The term ‘digital transformation’ is becoming part of the language of IT, and it’s putting more pressure on CIOs to adapt their organization and their infrastructure to the demands of the business.
The availability of cloud services and applications has created a form of ‘black IT’ that partly loosened IT’s grip on technology in the enterprise. Business users circumvented the IT department because they didn’t feel it was agile enough to handle their business requirements.
Gain Back Control
In some cases, IT was left out of strategic technology decisions and found itself struggling to deliver and demonstrate value to the business. However, digital transformation, which business leaders see as essential to their future, is giving back a stronger role to IT.
Digital transformation is much more than self-service access to applications and services. Business leaders see it as essential to driving greater revenue growth, creating a better customer experience, improving decision-making and driving down costs. But, to achieve those competitive benefits, business leaders need IT as the enabler, and that is closing the gap between business and IT.
Meet Changing Demands
The question facing CIOs is how to change IT to meet those demands. Business users want and expect rapid delivery of new services, access anywhere on any device, and the agility to respond to changing market conditions.
That’s a different challenge to maintaining a service that is stable, reliable and secure. As a recent IDG study found, many IT leaders are concerned about meeting the new challenges. Less than half of respondents felt their progress towards meeting the goals was higher than average, while 22 percent felt progress was below average. Their main concerns were making data more accessible, integrating and supporting data analytics tools, and integrating premise and cloud applications and data.
A Gartner report, Flipping to Digital Leadership, suggested that IT needs to flip from a legacy-first attitude to an agile, digital first mind set. To achieve that, CIOs should lead the drive for agility, providing strategic vision not just operational control.
Cloud Closes the Gap
Cloud migration can help close the gap. According to IDC, cloud migration is an essential element of digital transformation. The firm believes that, without a robust cloud foundation, any transformation initiatives will be impractical.
Cloud will enable IT to provide the flexibility and agility the business needs, while balancing governance, data security, and compliance. Migration to the cloud can free IT resources and reduce costs, giving teams more opportunity to focus on transformation.
Infrastructure automation will also be important to enable rapid launch of new products and services, and deliver constant updates and improvements. Automation is essential to enable real-time delivery of services and meet business expectations.
The infrastructure must also be flexible and scalable with automated reconfiguration of the underlying infrastructure to support rapidly changing demand. Speed of response will be key to the success of digital transformation.
Digital transformation is changing the way organizations run their business. By leveraging the cloud, IT is playing the lead role in driving the agility and speed necessary for successful transformation.