What exactly is digital transformation and how can an enterprise benefit from it? That is a top question among executives, and for good reason. According to a 2017 IDG Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker Study, 72 percent of IT Decision Makers reported their organization is still exploring a digital first approach.
All too often, business leaders confuse digital transformation with a digital strategy. While they have similarities and you need to have a strategy to implement digital technologies for successful transformation, the two concepts are very different.
Digitalist Magazine defines digital transformation as an enterprise using the latest digital technologies, tools and processes to free employees to focus more on innovation and less time on redundant administrative tasks.
Are you ready to step away from traditional IT and into the future of business tech? Keep reading to find out how to prepare your network to use the latest technology, tools and processes.
- Take an architectural approach. Traditionally, networks are deployed one device at a time and are managed that way, which is slow and time consuming. An architectural approach considers the network as a whole and is able to adjust quickly to changes and technological advances.
- Build on open, standards-based interfaces. Digital transformation requires a large network of solution providers who can supply and back you with the latest technology and processes your enterprise needs. Using standards-based, open solutions guarantees you have access to vendors who can support the new capabilities you need.
- Use a two-sided IT approach. To prepare your enterprise for digital transformation, your enterprise should exercise a double-sided approach that involves simplifying network support for current business operations, while also allowing for new digital capabilities with minimal risk.
- Simplify the network. Focus on simplifying your network’s design, deployment and operations.
- Make the network more agile. A network built on single-purpose hardware devices is static and inflexible. A key goal of digital transformation is the network’s ability to evolve to become dynamic and agile—and therefore capable of enabling new functions and services quickly and consistently across all types of devices.
- Introduce centralized policy-based control. Centralized policy control provides the framework to ensure the automation of network operations enforces the enterprise’s intent. Over time, this increase in network automation will reduce the administrative burden on IT; freeing up resources to focus on business-enabling capabilities.
- Integrate security throughout the network. Traditional security is deployed as an overlay to the network. This architecture was sufficient when organizations had a well-defined perimeter but is now too slow, and opens your enterprise to security risks with inconsistent protection. Digitization, mobility, cloud and IoT are cornerstones of digital transformation that create a perimeterless organization; embedding security into it is significantly more effective than the overlay approach.
- Leverage network-based analytics. Combining data gathered from your network with analytics can deliver real-time and predictive insights into users, applications and the network for the enterprise and IT. With this information you can uncover new business-enabling data, potential problems and possible security threats.
- Leverage the network for contextual information. By using contextual information such as presence status and location, your enterprise will be able to build personalized digital services with the ability to identify a user and customize the information they receive.
- Move toward cloud-based services. Digital transformation requires new ways of running your network. Shifting to a cloud-based approach to deliver services such as policy management, security, and analytics can increase the agility of your network, while also making it more scalable, agile and adaptable to new business models.
These ten considerations are important for the successful digital transformation of your enterprise. Need help implementing them, or want more information on the topic? Contact WEI today to speak with one of our experts.
Next Steps: Make sure you are aware of everything you need to know in order to successfully integrate hybrid cloud into your IT strategy. Prepare your enterprise by downloading our tech brief, “A Checklist for Preparing Your Data Center for the Hybrid Cloud.”