Preparing for Digital Transformation: Where to Begin?

February 29, 2020 0 Comments
Preparing for Digital Transformation: Where to Begin?

As an I&O leader, your strategy for organizational continuity and success should be focused on digital transformation. The following guide outlines key things to consider in order to achieve quick wins and gain insight into the IT assets in your environment.

Thirty years ago, an IT leader’s responsibility was to ensure that workstations functioned the way they were supposed to, staff were able to log into their applications and that business could transact without any hiccups. Backup and disaster recovery were manual processes involving reels of tape transported daily to the appointed DR site. If that seems challenging now, imagine how challenging it was back then. It was definitely a job for a skilled expert.

Since then, the people, processes and technology needed to manage IT infrastructure have evolved to keep pace with business needs and a market that is more intelligent and demanding. IT environments have evolved from being on-premise data center set-ups with physical servers to more complex setups that can include everything from colocation to cloud only environments in certain instances. While the underlying principles remain the same, automation, analytics and the ability to demonstrate ROI have become driving elements in the process.

What is driving this change?

In large part, digital transformation means that technology has become the business, because it affects every aspect of how internal and external customers experience the value it delivers.

  • As consumers become increasingly tech savvy and demand instant gratification, organizations providing customer experiences are under tremendous pressure to keep up. In this new digital ecosystem, organizations must change their mindsets to and recognize technology and innovation as the product rather than a task that facilitates product delivery. As such, technology silos must come down and technology leaders must embrace their roles as business leaders who are responsible for contributing to business growth.
  • Role ambiguity often arises as CIOs are pressured to embrace new objectives. As companies scale their digital businesses, IT leaders will see their function scale as well, and they will be asked to correlate their efforts with measurable business value. It is critical that they evolve from their roles as delivery executives to that of IT business executives with a focus on driving revenue and managing innovation, integration, infrastructure and intelligence.

Change is the only constant, and businesses must be prepared for it in all its forms, but IT infrastructure leaders often feel they don’t have control over key aspects of their business.

What is the solution?

In a continuously evolving digital landscape, organizations experience both external and internal pressures that directly impact business and require ongoing, strategic decision-making about the current and future status of the IT environment.

A hybrid setup provides an ideal environment for digital transformation. Any I&O leader who is determined to keep up with the times and stay ahead of the competition must have their head deep in the game of all things related to IoT, edge, cloud computing and infrastructure management.

According to Gartner, by 2022, 20% of enterprises will adopt the use of hybrid digital infrastructure management tools to optimize workload placement across on-premises, cloud and edge environments.[1]

Visibility into all workloads, whether on premises or in the cloud, will be a critical starting point to assist in the management of hybrid digital infrastructure. This will evolve into a full-value management system that should include organizing, implementing, operating and monitoring.

So, what is the first step?

To map out a winning strategy for digital transformation, I&O leaders must have visibility into their environment. The first and most important step any IT infrastructure leader should take is to inventory exactly what they have in their data center and understand each asset’s health, where it’s located, its workload and application interdependencies, vulnerabilities and any imminent threats. IT leaders should also consider which hybrid ecosystem best suits the company’s needs. By so doing, I&O leaders can:

  • Reduce the risk of infrastructure failure and business interruption by improving their understanding of organizational strengths, weaknesses and risks;
  • Reveal unnecessary redundancy and overlap, reducing the total cost of ownership and freeing up operating expenses so they can plan and budget hardware and software needs;
  • Use their newfound control to make better data-driven business decisions;
  • Comply with their organization’s existing IT policies; and
  • Spend more time driving business strategy, thereby increasing agility as business needs change and competition intensifies.

Using discovery tools to complete an assessment will help paint a vivid picture of the state of the IT environment. This information can provide key decision makers with a pathway for implementing strategic objectives that will ensure the business is relevant.

So, in determining a company’s readiness for coming change, an initial inquiry into visibility is needed. To decide if your company should perform a formal assessment, ask yourself the following:

  • Can I see which of our applications are interdependent?
  • Do I know everything that will happen if I de-commission a device?
  • Do I know every vulnerability in my environment and the severity level of each?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to assess your environment as a first step towards digital transformation.

Learn more about how your company can benefit from a digital assessment or contact us to set up a targeted data center workload assessment with the experts at DAG where data transforms, business never stops, and agility makes it happen.

[1] Hybrid Digital Infrastructure Management: A View From the Top
Published: 17 September 2019 ID: G00392851

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