Digital transformation is a big challenge for many companies, and it is on the agenda of numerous CIOs. But, digital transformation cannot succeed unless a company’s current infrastructure is changed.
This post describes four strategic points for achieving a successful digital transformation strategy. When transforming businesses digitally, your strategy should include these key attributes:
- Innovative use of technologies: It does not matter if the company uses new or existing technology. However, it is crucial that those responsible use technology innovatively.
- Improve or create a process, product, or user experience: Companies can use technology to change or improve their current situation. For example, a hospital can connect wireless sensors, an Internet of Things (IoT) platform, and analysis tools to a heart rate monitor to send vital data to a specific nursing contact center. Then, the nurses can more quickly intervene if problems arise, benefitting the patient.
- Deliver measurable business value: Companies expect their digital projects to provide quantifiable or measurable value to their business. Let’s go back to our healthcare example. In this field, giving value leads to a better initial customer experience. In this scenario, patients can receive phone calls from nurses based on the evaluated sensor data, which can provide insights that improve patients’ quality of life and even save lives. Further, sales can increase if patients monitor their health information because they will know when to go to the doctor or need new medication.
- Rapid implementation of a digital transformation strategy: Firms should implement their digital transformation strategy as quickly as possible, ideally within six months. This tip does not mean companies must complete the entire transformation project within six months. However, a checkpoint or milestone with measurable changes must be within this time. Without a tight deadline, competitors may launch products or services faster, stakeholders may lose interest, and the budget may expire.
Digital Transformation Cannot Happen Without Changing Infrastructure.
Digital transformation is the current trend; transforming your digital infrastructure is integral to this process. Although the connection seems plausible at first glance, much work is behind it. To become a digital company, you must do more than create a mobile app.
Ideally, your digital transformation will enable your business to interact better with your customers, make your core business more effective, and unlock new market segments through new products and processes, including data analysis. Depending on the industry and the company, your digital transformation will differ. Still, the basic idea remains the same: The added value of data becomes a central element of your business strategy.
While some services can be moved to Office 365 or Salesforce, workloads remaining in your data centers are becoming more strategic, like with the introduction of digital products. The job of IT departments is changing. The focus is no longer on general application best practices but defining and implementing methods and workflows tailored to your business.
Digital transformation requires the transformation of your company’s infrastructure. The job is not only to handle the larger volume of incoming and outgoing data but also to provide agility and flexibility. The more innovative a company becomes in handling data, the higher the likelihood that new products, services, and initiatives will come to market faster.
Transformation of Your Infrastructure
How should transforming your infrastructure be addressed? First, a piece of advice: It’s not just about buying the latest hardware and software. We have been making this traditional purchase for decades and will continue in this direction, but purchasing this technology is not part of infrastructure transformation.
Contrary to the prevailing opinion, cloud use is not an infrastructure transformation. For example, cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure have benefits and may feel transformative, but that’s not enough to constitute a complete infrastructure transformation.
Digital transformation is about improving and increasing the efficiency of allocating resources to new projects and markets. During this process, the administration should become more straightforward and cheaper. Here, we list four goals that your infrastructure transformation should achieve:
- Eliminate bottlenecks: Your infrastructure should ensure that the correct data can be accessed at the right time. To accomplish this goal, it must be able to increase speed so that new workloads can be added without negatively impacting performance. This is especially important for business intelligence and analytics workloads, and developers need the fastest possible data access.
- Multi-generation architecture: Infrastructure demands scalability, and new hardware is introduced in shorter cycles. Data must remain available even with a generational change. Data access must be predictable, accessible, consistent, and online, even with changing requirements. Hardware abstraction through software-defined storage (SDS) is one way to meet the challenge of introducing new generations of hardware. These are integrated into the overall pool without affecting data access.
- Immediate roll-out: As new requirements arise, access to digital transformation cannot wait months for approval, taking several months to implement. Many technologies accelerate roll-out, such as converged or hyper-converged infrastructures based on SDS. Access to the public cloud can also be high-speed. While not suitable for all data types, the cloud can significantly speed up the provisioning of new storage.
- Data management in different clouds: The control of new infrastructure must be automatic. Effective management should save time and resources for other tasks while covering the entire hybrid or multi-cloud environment. According to an Enterprise Strategy Group survey, 75% of customers rely on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the public cloud on different providers. To manage this multi-cloud ecosystem, you need the following:
- Unified architecture that can consolidate different clouds
- The ability to automatically select and book cloud services
- The ability to capture and manage the computations at different data locations to reduce latency
- The ability to start new workloads in the cloud or your own data center using universal data access
Research compiled by McKinsey Insights further reinforced that companies with successful digital transformations are more active in deploying newer technologies than other companies who were less successful in their digital transformations.
The strategic attributes you should employ when striving for digital transformation will get longer as innovations become available. Today, your IT department may be busy maintaining data center or cloud operations but make sure that they keep an eye out for new opportunities.
As your company gets serious about digital transformation, daily maintenance needs to be drastically reduced, and your focus must be on transforming digital infrastructure. Luckily, behind each of these initiatives is a well-functioning network that securely and cost-effectively supports real-time applications.
Many companies usually start their digital efforts by analyzing their core technologies in the network, security, and communication areas. Many innovative applications work inefficiently without a strong foundation, leading to poor implementation of digital transformation.
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