Digital Transformation will see new technologies infiltrate every part of an organisation, increasing productivity and efficiency.
New applications will digitise existing processes, make staff more productive, and allow businesses to make better decisions that open up entirely new revenue streams. In essence, Digital Transformation is a megatrend characterised by automation and the better use of data.
But the backbone for this revolution will be infrastructure. It is impossible for organisations to harness the benefits of Digital Transformation without establishing the building blocks that make it possible.
The most obvious transformation is the widespread adoption of cloud, which is rapidly becoming the primary platform for innovation because it provides on-demand access to resources for applications.
This is a far cry from static server deployments that cannot be easily expanded without significant investment, reducing agility and capability. The cloud frees these constraints by allowing businesses to increase capacity during busy periods and reduce it during more fallow times. The cloud consumption model is also a more efficient use of IT budgets at a time when they are contracting.
Another benefit is that public cloud vendors like Microsoft Azure invest huge amounts in innovations and security, updates for which are automatically rolled out. This reduces the development and maintenance burden on IT departments.
Network transformation is also essential if organisations are to harness connected workforce or Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
Physical elements of a network such as routers and switches will be replaced by Software-Defined Networking (SDN), which enables the rapid rollout of new services without the need to replace equipment.
Meanwhile edge computing will bring processing power closer to the point of data collection, reducing latency and filtering network traffic. The intelligent edge will not only aid IoT, but it will also reduce latency for sensitive applications such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Mobile will become even more important in the era of Digital Transformation. The advances above in cloud and networking technologies will enable staff to access company data and applications wherever they are, but organisations need to have the right mobile strategy in place.
Regardless of whether a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) or Corporately Owned Privately Enabled (COPE) is in place, a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution will help increase visibility, control and the security of devices that have access to company assets.
These outcomes are achieved using policies that protect information without restricting functionality, such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP).
Digital Transformation requires a different approach to security. The increased number of devices in a network magnifies the number of attack surfaces, while the greater collection of data means there is a higher potential for damage.
Meanwhile, the extension of an enterprise network beyond the constraints of the traditional office makes it more difficult to protect. When you consider the increasingly-sophisticated threat landscape, it’s no wonder that 85% of CIOs are concerned about security in the era of Digital Transformation.
The use of cloud technology and MDM platforms is a good start, but organisations should ensure that security is integrated into systems, built-in to any application, and can be automated if possible.
What does Digital Transformation enable?
If the building blocks of this transformation are in place, then organisations can start their digitisation without fear of constraint or worry about threats.
Digital Transformation enables the collection of vast quantities of high-quality data that can influence how it operates, how much it produces, and which markets to target. What’s more, this data can be fed into cloud-powered AI algorithms that automate decision making itself.
Meanwhile, employees benefit from a range of new applications that automate simple tasks, freeing them up to perform more valuable tasks, while the connected workforce ensures they can work wherever they are, boosting productivity.
Insight Digital Workspace™ is an example of Digital Transformation at work. It intelligently brings together the content, people and information needed to perform everyday tasks, saving employees time, and driving productivity. And because it’s hosted in the cloud and based on Microsoft Office 365, it can be accessed on any device. It is also protected by Microsoft’s investments in security.
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