Do You Want to Transform Your Business? Start by Transforming Your IT

By Richard L. Villars, Vice President, Datacenter & Cloud, IDC

Organizations in all industry, government, education, and non-profit sectors are talking about digital transformation (DX) and how to use it to create value, growth, and better outcomes for their customers, constituents, students, or patients through new offerings, engagement models, and insights. For many, however, the biggest threat to a successful DX initiative is the failure of the IT organization to transform itself from being the back-office enabler of internal processes to powering digital engagement and action flows between people, things, and data.

This IT transformation (ITX) will make it possible for your organization’s leaders to more quickly identify opportunities, assess risks, and guide organizational change. In IDC’s November 2017 Global ITX Survey, organizations that modernized, automated, and transformed their IT environments were 12 times more likely to use IT to drive innovation, user satisfaction, and competitive advantage compared to slower-moving organizations.

Many companies mistakenly believe that the most important issue to manage when transforming IT is dealing with a growing portfolio of public IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions. The failure to implement a dedicated (private) cloud environment, however, can create much greater risks for your organization. No business can succeed if it can’t sustain customer/patient/voter trust as it launches new digital services. ITX makes it possible for your IT organization to continually balance three workload priorities (low latency, rapid resource delivery, and data control) without accruing technical debts that would inhibit future innovation.

For many workloads this means keeping applications in existing modernized datacenters and near existing users or devices whenever possible. In other cases, it requires moving workloads into new datacenters or edge locations to extend your reach into new geographies and latency-sensitive locations such as factories and hospitals. The workloads run by your IT organization in modernized datacenters are the systems of trust at the heart of your business. IDC finds that leading ITX organizations are more likely to make extensive use of their own facilities but only because they are certain that the facility can grow and evolve quickly with changing requirements.

The most important way that ITX contributes to DX success is that it enables your entire organization to achieve maximum insight and return from all the data that it generates, accesses, manages, and shares. In the our Global ITX Survey, ITX leaders are six times as likely to be using integrated analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and cognitive technologies to enhance engagement with mobile people and “smart” things, thus improving business outcomes. Companies that excel at ITX are those that adopt new thinking about the placement and coordination of traditional and new cloud-native workloads like AI and machine learning within their own modernized datacenters and in service providers’ cloud facilities. Critically, these companies can deliver workloads in local clouds running at increasingly “smart” edge locations.

Your ability to support more new apps and reduce development cycles that result from ITX ensures that your workforce has the tools, data, and insight needed to deliver the optimal experience and reap the maximum reward without degradations in quality due to application or data latency. Your employees, partners, and caregivers can consistently engage with customers, constituents, students, and patients across all personal and digital forums without jeopardizing personal privacy, intellectual capital, or reputation. They can do so in hospitals, factories, and other places where connected people and “smart” things are concentrated and DX is happening.

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Content sponsored by Dell EMC & Intel