Business and IT leaders recognize they must embrace digital transformation or put their organizations at severe risk. The advance of digitization has altered entire industries – think Amazon in retail, Netflix in home entertainment and Uber in transportation. This type of disruption will continue in the years ahead as organizations implement technology solutions that allow them to overhaul their business processes.
For IT professionals, this may truly be a once in a lifetime moment to be at the forefront of long-term, radical and positive change. IDC has stated: “The disruptive impact of digital transformation is about to be felt in every industry.”1 Between 2016 and 2017, two-thirds of Global 2000 CEOs will put digital transformation at the center of their growth and profitability strategies, driving a dramatic increase in IT investments that support digitization. By the end of the decade, organizations will devote 60% of enterprise IT spending to scale up digital business strategies.2
Market research firm McKinsey & Company laid out a broad vision for digital transformation a couple of years ago, urging organizations to accelerate the digitization of business processes to address a new paradigm in customer and employee expectations.3 The mantra was to go beyond simply automating existing processes. McKinsey said organizations must:
…[R]einvent the entire business process, including cutting the number of steps required, reducing the number of documents, developing automated decision making, and dealing with regulatory and fraud issues. Operating models, skills, organizational structures, and roles need to be redesigned to match the reinvented processes. Data models should be adjusted and rebuilt to enable better decision making, performance tracking, and customer insights. Digitization often requires that old wisdom be combined with new skills…
The emergence of converged infrastructures has been a critical factor in enabling forward-looking IT departments to accelerate the digitization of business practices for their organizations. Converged infrastructures allow IT organizations to leverage simple-to-deploy, prepackaged, highly automated solutions that allow them to modernize their infrastructures incrementally and cost efficiently—and without having to “borrow” precious IT resources from other business-critical applications.
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Converged infrastructures enable IT teams to address key success factors cited by McKinsey as necessary for digital transformation. These include:
Start at the end state and work back. Because they can deploy converged infrastructures separately from existing infrastructure, IT teams can design a future state for each process without regard to existing limitations.
Build capabilities: McKinsey noted that digitization skills are in short supply. Converged infrastructures simplify deployments and incorporate unified management platforms with software-defined models that leverage automation and mitigate the need for specialists to manage storage and networking.
Move quickly: Converged infrastructures enable IT teams to move much faster than traditional infrastructure models. There is typically one purchase order; set-up and deployment can take hours, rather than days or weeks; and if you want to launch a new desktop virtualization or DevOps initiative, for example, you can easily buy and deploy an entire infrastructure designed to meet your needs.
To gain an appreciation for the extent to which any organization can benefit from converged infrastructures, it is instructive to look at the results of a recent Forrester Total Economic Impact study of the VCE Vblock converged infrastructure solution from Dell and EMC.4 Forrester interviewed three organizations that implemented VCE solutions and drew the following conclusions:
Application developer productivity increased by 25%
Organizations saved or avoided 20% in infrastructure costs related to servers, storage, networking and ongoing maintenance
IT operations efficiency increased by 30%
Security and compliance costs dropped between 15% and 20%
Business productivity increased by 5% to 10%
If your organization is looking at digital transformation at any level, it is time to consider converged infrastructure as an important step on the path toward IT modernization. Here’s where to get started.
1“IDC Predicts the Emergence of ‘the DX Economy’ in a Critical Period of Widespread Digital Transformation and Massive Scale Up of 3rd Platform Technologies in Every Industry,” IDC, Nov. 4, 2015
2 Ibid, footnote 1
3“Accelerating the Digitization of Business Processes,” McKinsey & Company, May 2014
4“A Practical Guide for Evaluating the Value of VCE Converged Infrastructure for Data Center Modernization,” Forrester Research, March 2016
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