In the digital economy, applications are both the face and the backbone of the modern enterprise. For the digital customer, user experience trumps all. Customer-facing applications must be available anytime, anywhere, and on any device, and they must provide real-time updates and intelligent interactions. For the business, the insights gleaned from the data collected from these interactions inform and drive future development needs.
Applications and the underlying infrastructure are strategic to the business. Businesses that can efficiently use modern data center technologies to rapidly deliver innovative capabilities to customers are positioned for success.
The importance of applications in the modern enterprise presents a huge opportunity for IT organizations. IT can become an active enabler of the business. Traditional IT teams are faced with a massive amount of complexity when building, configuring, maintaining, and scaling applications. Organizations need to successfully deploy and operate an environment that takes full advantage of the innovation taking place across the industry—without the complexity of piecing together and supporting a wide range of patchwork tools.
IT transformation is difficult. It requires a great deal of planning, evaluation, reorganization, and modernization of infrastructure technologies and applications. Multiple factors, including costs, skill sets, governance, the drive to innovate, and the willingness to transform, influence whether a business moves beyond the traditional three-tier data center structure.
Every business approaches IT transformation at a different pace and has different goals for that transformation. Not every business wants or needs to go to a full cloud service delivery model. What is needed is an approach that enables businesses to transform to a place that provides the transformation benefits they want at a pace that makes sense for their business model.
The challenge is how to go about this transformation and what areas need to be addressed to allow for transformation of any kind to happen. Gartner surveyed IT staff resources about what they spend the most time on and found:
With IT staff resources spending nearly half their time maintaining the status quo to deliver existing services, little opportunity remains to strategize, plan, and implement a plan to transform IT. Addressing the complexity of IT infrastructure will go a long way in freeing IT personnel and resources to focus on IT strategic goals that can drive modern applications and support the breakneck pace of innovation.