Is your organization prepared for the era of digital transformation?
The term digital transformation receives much attention from IT professionals working across all industries in organizations of all shapes and sizes. However, what does the term mean? In the broadest sense, digital transformation represents the level of technological advancement that allows organizations to make changes to how they operate. Digital transformation increases operational efficiency, while at the same time improving agility and unleashing new opportunities for everyone involved in an organization, from hourly employees to key stockholders.
To make digital transformation a reality, organizations have to build an IT infrastructure that withstands the test of time. IT executives must balance the need for implementing cutting-edge technical innovations with the reliability of continuing with operating legacy systems. Although digital transformation looks different for every organization, it always should start with a problem statement that presents a clear opportunity to achieve an organizational goal.
Chief Information and Technology Officer of Clario, Jay Ferro, recently expounded on the definition of digital transformation. “The “why” of your organization’s digital transformation might be around improving customer experience, reducing friction, increasing productivity, or elevating profitability, for example,” Ferro said. “Or, if it’s an aspirational statement, it might revolve around becoming the absolute best to do business with, utilizing enabling digital technologies that were unavailable years ago.”
How Can Organizations Build a Future-Proof IT Infrastructure for Digital Transformation?
Organizations should take several steps to build a future-proof infrastructure for digital transformation. First, they should clearly define all requirements by asking questions that identify the specific components required to build a highly-functioning set of hardware. What are your organization’s growth plans and what are the budget constraints involved with achieving the growth plans represent two important IT infrastructure questions to answer.
Then, your organization should conduct an audit of the current IT infrastructure by identifying critical components, while considering the potential for scalability to meet increased demand as your organization grows. Finally, your organization should create a plan on how to achieve your IT infrastructure goals before implementing each element of the plan.
What Are the Key Elements of a Future-Proof IT Infrastructure for Digital Transformation?
Your organization’s IT executives should consider establishing four key components to achieve a future-proof infrastructure for digital transformation.
Move to the Cloud
A rapidly growing number of organizations from a wide variety of operating niches have moved most, if not all of their IT infrastructure needs to the cloud for several compelling reasons. First, by leveraging cloud computing technology, your organization avoids the costly process of constantly making updates to the software and hardware located on-site. Second, cloud technology allows your organization to scale operations when it starts to achieve growth goals, which is an important benefit for businesses that must meet the wide fluctuations of seasonal consumer demand. Third, your organization saves money by not having to maintain on-site hardware and software.
Create Network Flexibility
If there is one word that defines the era of digital transformation, the word is “change.” Creating network flexibility allows your company to adopt the many changes required to operate a future-proof IT infrastructure. A flexible network allows your team of IT professionals to reconfigure the hardware to meet ever-changing technical demands without having to make costly and time-consuming upgrades. You can create network flexibility in several ways, from using software-defined networking to detaching the control plane from the data plane, which allows your organization to quickly change how digital traffic flows through your organization’s network.
The term DevOps combines the words “development” and “operations,” which represents a technology goal to shorten the time it takes to deliver technical services and applications. Implementing a DevOps approach to building a future-proof infrastructure for digital transformation requires improving the collaboration between the development and operations teams. This means opening the lines of communication to produce a unified strategy to build a future-proof IT infrastructure.
DevOps enhances the quality of software by making it easier to track errors and identify potential issues. Although implementing a DevOps approach is not the only solution for building a future-proof infrastructure for digital transformation, the approach potentially can improve the speed and quality of the software developed.
Automation has emerged as one of the most prominent buzzwords for IT professionals operating across all business sectors. However, simply automating your organization’s IT infrastructure for adapting to rapid changes is not enough to ensure the achievement of digital transformation. Your business also must fully embrace intelligent automation, which uses the combined tools of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the IT tasks typically performed by humans.
Intelligent automation delivers several benefits, such as improving productivity, enhancing the quality of your organization’s IT infrastructure, and strengthening the security of sensitive proprietary data.
Additional Digital Transformation Resources
CIOs and Digital Transformation: Top 3 Strategic Priorities
Navigating Digital Transformation: Best Practices for CIOs