Digital transformation will mean different things to different companies, but any organization that is looking to create new possibilities for its business through digital technology needs to focus on four strategic IT priorities.
In order to compete in today’s dynamic digital environment, companies need to be able to respond in real time to customer demand. Companies must also be working to proactively develop a steady and strategic stream of new products and services based on informed analysis of data. These are lofty goals that require a commitment to establishing an environment that leverages and combines the best of public, private and hybrid cloud platforms, as well as end-to-end security to protect the company and its customers. Companies must also set up a workspace that enables customers and employees to do what they need to do, when they need to do it, in the way they want to do it. As such, customers striving for true digital transformation must realize the following strategic IT priorities:
1. Modernize Data Centers
Customers today are taking a hard look at their data centers. Does it make sense to keep everything on premise? Should we move completely to the cloud? Is there some sweet spot in between these two worlds? The answers to these questions will depend on who is asking them, and the answers may be different today than they will be in a year, two, or five. With that said, the agility and flexibility companies need to thrive in today’s business environment can’t be found in traditional legacy data centers. To keep pace with escalating business demands, organizations need an agile, service-oriented IT model for software-defined data centers that leverages both on-premise data center resources and public clouds.
2. Integrate Public Clouds
It is a good problem to have if your customer is experiencing unprecedented growth—so unprecedented that on premise systems cannot shoulder the load. It’s for reasons like this and many others that growth-minded companies should integrate the public cloud into their data center strategy. Public clouds provide organizations with new opportunities to scale their operations, accelerate service delivery and reduce costs. Customers need to take care, however, to carefully manage the use of public clouds, taking advantage of the benefits of such clouds while making the right cloud choice based on individual workload requirements and in a way that prevents the emergence of cloud silos.
3. Empower the Digital Workspace
More and more employees want the flexibility, convenience and productivity that mobile solutions provide. They believe in collaborative work styles and the freedom to work from anywhere, on the devices and apps they choose. Employers want that, too. After all, a mobile workforce is a more productive workforce. Indeed, the “digital workspace” is about much more than just access; it’s about the ability for companies to quickly and efficiently develop new business models and user experiences with mobile in mind from the ground up. This is a complicated endeavor, but virtualization and cloud technology can ease development as well as application access and management, endpoint management, and security centralization.
4. Transform Security
The recent WannaCry breach illustrated only too well how vulnerable many companies are. Careless patching processes were at the root of WannaCry, but even the most diligent companies can be hacked. And, in today’s uber-connected and global computing environment, a single breach can quickly wreak havoc. Indeed, the rise of attacks targeting data centers is a growing problem that traditional perimeter-centric network security doesn’t solve. For organizations that are embracing cloud and virtualized environments in order to deliver on digital transformation, maximum visibility and control are key to mitigating this risk. IT must rethink cybersecurity and build on a virtualization foundation, establishing a security architecture that’s highly granular and policy-driven.
By focusing on these strategic IT priorities, companies will be well positioned for digital—and business--transformation.
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