Recently, I have visited a number of organisations wanting to discuss their plans for digital transformation. They were all curious as to what other companies in their sector are implementing as the talk around artificial intelligence, robots and big data seems to be everywhere. The idea of what they want to achieve is great. However, one thing that struck me was that each one was harbouring ageing infrastructure. The key foundation on which to build these grand plans is holding them back on taking on the digital transformation minefield.
Transformation is the word of the moment, from IT to digital, security to workforce, we just can’t seem to hide from the digital age. The challenge that the IT transformation message faces is that it is not an exciting topic. Digital Transformation leads us to believe anything is possible, processes can be modernised with robots, whilst a new app will service all of the customers’ needs. It is an exciting conversation and when you throw in block chain and big data, it all sounds wonderful.
The same can be said for workforce transformation, the vision of providing all of your employees with a digital workspace that can be accessed at any time and from any device is a great conversation. It is a topic that will excite your staff as their role no longer requires being shackled to an office location but instead, being able to securely access applications from remote locations. It also brings many benefits to the organisation, they can implement a workspace solution without the restrictions of device choice or working location, empowering your staff to work efficiently.
So you have sold the vision, your about to start and radically change the way the business is going to operate, you will be more efficient, staff will be happier and more importantly the service you offer to customers will be ground breaking. You then look under the covers and realise that the server and storage are over 6 years old and the network infrastructure has not been updated in 8 years. All the grandiose plans you have discussed are now going to have to be put on hold whilst you draw up a plan to modernise the back end. Boring right?
No, well it doesn’t have to be. With the new technologies available today the modernisation of your infrastructure can be just as exciting as your digital transformation journey. You could consider a move to Hyper Converged Infrastructure, moving from a 3-tier architecture to a single tear. You could consider a move to the cloud or a hybrid cloud model. This would allow you to retain control of your IT environment whilst placing appropriate workloads’ into the cloud while potentially reducing costs and increasing agility. The good news is that it is not just a refresh of your server estate or buying a new SAN with a slightly more storage and some new whizzy features. Your IT transformation journey can utilise all of the latest and greatest technologies, exciting your IT team and making management happy by allowing you to actually realise the plans around your workforce and digital transformation.
So, don’t forget to put IT transformation at the front of any discussions you are having. The topic may appear to be boring on the outside, but it will deliver significant benefits to an organisation and you can’t do many of your other plans without it!