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November 6, 2017
In today’s dynamic digital environment, there is no greater imperative than developing an agility and innovation mindset. Organizations must be in a position to turn on a dime—at any time—to meet internal and external customer demand. They must be able to iterate constantly, repeatedly setting and raising the bar in order to stay ahead of the competition.
However, as partners know all too well, all of this is much easier said than done.
One of the biggest hurdles to business agility and innovation is customers’ legacy data center hardware and software. These systems often exist in silos; therefore, it is difficult to analyze data across systems. This results in information that is, at best, outdated and, at worst, plain wrong. Many companies are also challenged by slow provisioning, complex processes and outdated development systems. And, with shrinking or static budgets, organizations are hard-pressed to scale legacy systems, which means they can’t efficiently meet demand for growth (if they can meet it at all).
So, how can you help your customers achieve business agility and flexibility?
First, help them modernize the data center. This does not mean replacing every piece of equipment, but it does mean helping your customers consider that compute, storage, network and security services are just table stakes today. Technology such as software-defined systems—including IT automation, modernized infrastructure and the ability to run modern apps– can provide the kind of edge your customers need in an increasingly competitive environment.
The cloud can also provide this kind of edge, and service providers need to work with customers to determine what can and should be in the cloud, and what kind of clouds make sense. For example, public clouds such as AWS, Google and Azure can help drive agility costs down, but the public cloud does not make sense for all workloads. For organizations in highly regulated industries, for example, some workloads may need to be on private or hybrid clouds (and some may not be appropriate for the cloud at all.) Service providers must also help customers implement a common platform and common tools for managing and aligning cloud services.
Another hurdle to agility and flexibility can be corporate cultures that may run counter to the current business climate. The days of IT and business working in their own separate vacuums are gone. Indeed, companies that hang on to that model run the risk of faltering.
Think about BYOD. While some organizations deign to allow people to use their own devices for specific corporate tasks (but not for others), truly agile and flexible organizations have moved beyond thinking about mobile as a separate entity whose usage must be tightly controlled. Rather, these organizations think in terms of a digital workspace, driven by the cloud and mobile, which enables employees and customers to use the devices of their choice to access the applications and data they need.
Ultimately, “agile” and “flexible” are really just other ways of describing digital transformation. In today’s hyper-competitive and fast-moving environment, helping your customers achieve digital transformation will result in your mutual success.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.
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