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The Doyle Report: Here's What's Thwarting Digital Transformation

Market intelligence from Riverbed, SolarWinds and Kaspersky highlight persistent and difficult challenges that IT service providers can fix.

Remember all the cool technological advances that were supposed to be digitally transforming Corporate America now? Their impact is being diminished by a series of ongoing and troublesome challenges. So say three new industry reports published in June.

The reports, sponsored by Riverbed, SolarWinds and Kaspersky, respectively, underscore the many roadblocks and impediments that confound organizations wrestling with digital transformation. (They also highlight opportunities for channel partners, but I’ll get to those in a moment.)

In Riverbed’s Digital Performance Global Survey 2018, for example, researchers found a significant gap between digital strategies and performance. Among other things, the study of 1,000 decision makers at large, enterprise companies found that 80 percent believe “critical digital services and applications are failing, diminishing productivity and customer experiences, at least a few times each month.” What's more, the report found, “95 percent of global business decision makers face challenges when it comes to achieving a more successful digital strategy, including budget constraints, lack of visibility to manage the digital experience and legacy infrastructure.”

Despite their frustrations, however, decision makers were in virtual agreement about the importance of digital transformation. Nearly all survey respondents – 98 percent – said they believe that going digital is “a critical component to the future of their business.”

To that end, these decision makers expressed hope that their organizations would invest in key, emerging technologies, including business analytics (60 percent), the internet of things (59 percent), blockchain technology (48 percent), machine learning (47 percent) and artificial intelligence (47 percent).

Another study completed by SolarWinds uncovers similar findings. In the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2018: The Intersection of Hype & Performance, researchers found that nearly half of IT professionals spend half of their time or more “reactively maintaining and troubleshooting their IT environment.”

(No wonder digital transformation is taking so long.)

The same report found that 44 percent of IT professionals think their IT environments are not operating at optimal levels. Why? The top reasons cited by survey respondents were inadequate organizational strategy, inadequate app strategy and inadequate infrastructure.

To combat these challenges, the report recommends that IT professionals embrace container technologies such as Docker, leverage advanced cloud capabilities, upgrade their technology leadership and deploy more sophisticated performance measuring and monitoring tools.

“To achieve digital-transformation success, it’s imperative that IT professionals begin to embrace the resiliency and reliability of their environments as critical performance metrics,” the SolarWinds report concludes. “Resiliency is the ability to provide and maintain an acceptable level of service in the face of faults and challenges to normal operation. Reliability is the ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, automatically scale resources to meet demand, and mitigate service disruptions, including misconfigurations.”

Then there’s security — the ultimate roadblock in any successful digital transformation. This month, Kaspersky, working with Pierre Audoin Consultants, published a new report, the “State of Industrial Cybersecurity 2018,” which found that 65 percent of organizations globally think that OT/ICS security risks are greater thanks to the advent of the IoT.

Partners, we want your thoughts on IT and data-center security trends. Take our survey now!

“As the trend for digitalization – including increased connectivity and IoT – grows among industrial organizations, so are the cybersecurity risks associated with complex industrial environments,” the Kaspersky report concludes.

Some noteworthy findings:

  • More than three-quarters of respondents believe their organization is likely to become a target of a cybersecurity incident involving their industrial control networks.
  • Almost two-thirds of companies experienced at least one conventional malware or virus attack on their ICS in the last year.
  • Data suggest there is a disconnect between the perception of organizations’ concerns and the reality of the threats they face.

All of the above findings are reasons to approach customers now, especially nimble ones thinking about digital transformation. Some already know the impediments they face, while others are just now learning. Regardless, there has rarely been a better time to educate and assist customers while they are in the nascent stages of major change.

Surely there’s opportunity to help them better spend their money, manage their networks and secure their enterprises.

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