Warning Signs your IT Infrastructure is Hindering Digital Transformation Goals

22 / Sep / 2017 by Dwiza Saha 0 comments

Remember Kodak, the yesteryear giant in the roll film business that had to prematurely wrap up its business owing to poor strategic choices and failure to ride on the digital transformation wave? Well, it is a gaping fate that awaits a quarter of businesses today as predicted by Gartner.

As per Gartner Digital Business incompetence will cause 25 percent of businesses to lose competitive ranking by 2017

Digital transformation entails that organizations should be able to utilize latest technologies such as social, mobile, analytics, cloud, IoT, and big data to reinvent their business models, redefine customer interactions, scale to accommodate future requirements, be agile and go-to-market faster with minimal changes/modification to their existing platforms and seamlessly foray into new markets and utilize opportunities. Digital Transformation Consulting firms can assist organizations that are just starting out with their DT journey. A comprehensive digital strategy requires an understanding of people, processes, and technology to transform processes and business models. Digital Transformation Service Providers helps define strategy, utilizes experience design to deliver intuitive and superior CX while leveraging Analytics and development & engineering best practices.

Though organizations realize the need to embrace Digital Transformation, and many may have already chalked out a digital transformation strategy, yet their DT goals are yet to be realized.

Some of the roadblocks that organizations face while embracing Digital Transformation include:

  • Legacy IT infrastructure and Processes
  • Organizational culture
  • Skill gap
  • Budgetary constraints

As per a research by Protiviti, even though IT budget for organizations have increased by 10% over last year, a greater share of the budget (55%) goes into operational and maintenance expenditure rather than innovation expenditure (13%).

Signs that your infrastructure might be acting as a roadblock and you need Digital Transformation Services

  • Legacy Infrastructure- IT legacy infrastructure continues to be a primary cause of concern as legacy maintenance consumes 55% of the IT budget and are not aligned to organizational DT goals. So long IT has always acted as a support system instead of a business driver. A majority of organizations are still operating with the technology they first started out with. And, they were built with traditional workplace and business model in mind. As the age of connectedness kicked in, with technologies like Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud doing the rounds, suddenly these organizations operating with their dated technology found themselves inadequately equipped to survive in this era of cutthroat competition. And needless to say, their technology was unable to support digital transformation needs. Organizations need to invest in the right tools and platforms to transition their legacy infrastructure to one that supports digital business environment.
  • Limited Automation- Automation is vital to get your digital transformation wheel moving. Becoming a truly digital enterprise demands a faster go-to-market, rapid product updates, and improvements, seamless customer experience and faster response times. Organizations need to modernize their infrastructure and automate their redundant tasks to achieve their goals.  
  • Missing flexibility- The rapidly changing business scenarios demand that enterprises should be able to scale at short notice. If your IT infrastructure is unable to accommodate required changes or scale in a real-time basis the changes in demand, it is time to re-evaluate your IT infrastructure. Moreover, organizations that are not flexible to allocate resources according to changing demands also incur a huge cost by provisioning inadequate or excess resources.
  • Traditional Workplace and outdated processes- In this era of connectedness, enterprises cannot afford to do business with siloed processes and traditional workplace model. Akin to external customers, employees to expect access to resources anytime anywhere for maximum productivity. Hence it’s time for you to ring the warning bell if you still have manual processes for approvals and stringent work policies. Organizations need to adopt agile principles and design new-age workplace models to support their DT goals. Modern organizations have started providing employees the flexibility to work in a distributed way, bring their own devices to work and much more.

One of the key lessons for CIOs and CTOs, therefore, is to ensure that IT becomes mission critical and actively drive digital transformation needs. On-boarding a Digital Transformation consulting partner can be a good starting point for enterprises that are just starting out.

Legacy Infrastructure hinders Digital Transformation

Legacy Infrastructure hinders Digital Transformation

Source: CIO Insight

5 ways to overcome Infrastructural Roadblocks

CIOs face infrastructural challenges as well as cultural challenges while undertaking enterprise-wide digital transformation. Infrastructural challenges include re-architecting IT infrastructure to speed up development and deployment of new products while ensuring operational efficiencies for routine activities. However, it is not easy to completely overhaul the system as updating and integrating with legacy systems can be quite a challenge as some of the legacy systems are mission-critical, and business processes must ensure continuity. Following are some of the tips that CIOs can adapt to strategize their IT infrastructure for supporting digital transformation-

  • Upgrade Data Centre/Storage - Data processing is the key to delivering great customer experience, which requires a modern data center that can process data in real time along with better storage capacity. Digital transformation requires organizations to rethink their storage infrastructure. A high-performing data storage infrastructure is required to utilize right data at the right time. Data storage infrastructure for a digital business should be able to accommodate new workloads without compromising the existing business processes. Adopting/ moving infrastructure to the cloud is one of the fastest means of speeding up storage. Agility, efficiency and economies of scale as provided by Cloud, is essential for digital transformation.

Migration to the cloud is a strategic decision to be made by CIOs. They need to list out existing systems and processes that are to be moved to cloud architecture, systems that are to be done away with, and those that can be re-implemented as cloud-native apps. For systems that are not to be re-architected, orchestration automation can be done to ensure they run continuously.

Digital Transformation consulting services often provides Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-service to help organizations manage their cloud deployments. Given the big data explosion, organizations need to scale up their data capture, storage and retrieval capability leveraging tools such as Hadoop, Cassandra, Spark and others. Digital Transformation consulting partners provide end-to-end management of data centers from deployment, migration, management to analysis, optimization, capacity planning, workload balance, automation and orchestration tools that can help in managing multiple data centers.

  • Invest in Network- Network plays a central role in DT. A fast and secure network ensures a sustained flow of data to all stakeholders with zero availability errors. Digital businesses investing resources in the development of web and mobile apps need to understand that their product development efforts need to be complemented with efficient NetOps. The methods of NetOps can help digital companies to not only create a network that is reliable and secure but agile in configuration, capacity, and operations. With NetOps, the network is Agile and available at all times. Remember, this will, in turn, improve the customer experience thereby impacting the recall and engagement.
  • Enhance Security- As per 2017 State of Enterprise digital Defense Report by IDG, in the past 12 months, 40% of organizations have experienced more than 5 major security threats, including domain and company brand abuse, online scams, malware, ransomware, phishing and more.  The security threats have become a major issue today as most of these attacks are taking place outside the firewall and targeting the digital attack surfaces such as web servers and apps, which is being compounded by the digital transformation wave. As organizations adopt new technologies such as big data, cloud, mobility, and IoT, new digital attack surfaces are available to cybercriminals. While re-architecting infrastructure, organizations must maintain an inventory list of all physical and digital assets, invest in firewalls and other protection software, implement adaptive security architecture, and establish data governance practices. A Digital Transformation Consulting Partner can guide to overhaul and modernize the infrastructure following security best practices and take preventive and proactive measures timely.
  • Implement DevOps and Automation- Automation is the key to maintaining a competitive edge. Automation at the network layer helps in modernizing data center, reduce human error, and increase agility, free up resources who can then focus on delivering faster services. Automation can be done across processes throughout the organization, be it for testing purposes, software delivery or customer journey. DevOps-as-a-service, for example, can ensure continuous integration and continuous deployment while improving the release cycle and build quality of digital products. Here’s a quick guide how organizations can adopt agile principles. DevOps is instrumental in aiding the digital transformation journey. End-to-end automation can help organizations optimize infrastructure, applications, and services. AI software can be deployed to debug digital products, identify issues and their root causes, and suggest most viable actions to be taken.
  • Adopt Agile Culture – Adopting an agile culture can be equally challenging. Organizations practicing Agile infrastructure best practices ensure that there are fewer well-targeted IT transaction improvement goals rather than a broad spectrum of IT maturity improvement goals. Along with transaction improvements, focus on I&O capabilities, and IT/OT alignment in response to IT/OT convergence. I&O leaders should only set reasonably sized improvement goals and ensure that they are flexible as the opportunities evolve. Along with clear goals, continuous improvement and periodic infrastructure assessment is equally important for Agility.

Concluding

Technology is transforming businesses and making them more Agile. Companies embracing Digital Transformation need to start leveraging these new-age digital technologies and ensure that there is right infrastructural support in conjunction with the high-level goals. Right-sizing infrastructure by eliminating roadblocks will help to cut costs and deliver more computing power. It will also improve service levels by ensuring that the problems are resolved faster, unplanned outages are mitigated, and network availability is always reliable. Moreover, by injecting agility within the organization through automation, companies will also be able to accelerate delivery cycles and provision resources optimally.

If you are facing challenges in modernizing your infrastructure, feel free to let us know, and our experts will be happy to solve them.

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