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As organizations embark on their digital transformation journeys, it’s very apparent that it will not only deliver a competitive business advantage but also an increase in IT complexity. As with any change, it can be disruptive as companies try to balance agility with the need for stability and compliance.
To minimise risk, it is vital that CIOs know where to focus their attention during the transformation process. With this in mind, here are four key areas to consider.
Ensuring systems stay up and running during quarter-close and year-end close processes is key to maintaining share price and business earnings. Adopting a combined method, which enables organizations to shift from being reactive to proactive is a highly effective way of minimizing risk during these critical times.
The first step in achieving a proactive approach is gaining greater visibility over the business-critical functionality connected to core processes. The IT team should be able to track the revenue generation process across multiple systems, re-create the processes from an end-user perspective, and flag at-risk transactions proactively. By doing so, you will be able to identify potential challenges and establish a creative work-around with stakeholders.
The greatest innovations are made when solutions are exposed to a broad range of users and are allowed to interact with real-world data and systems. This can only be achieved by moving them into the enterprise, rather than keeping them in lab or public cloud environments.
To protect mission-critical IT services during this process but also improve innovation, it’s important to rethink and modernize the network architecture.
Improving compliance and application delivery
Cloud services, such as IaaS and SaaS, are key to the success of digital organizations. However, the move from technology being housed in companies’ data centers to global third-party cloud providers has made managing system availability and ensuring compliance increasingly complex.
Proactively having visibility is vital to overcoming the blind spots caused by cloud services. By leveraging the right digital experience management toolset, you can achieve visibility into the data flow between, for example, your cloud provider and your environment, as well as providing end-to-end monitoring and performance insights across end-user devices, applications, network, and infrastructure. By doing this you will be able to ensure user expectations on performance are met or even exceeded.
Preparing for mergers and acquisitions
In the event of a merger or acquisition, it is vital that IT can effectively support the integration between companies, employees and customers to create a cohesive new business. The key ways companies can prepare for this scenario is by focusing on branch infrastructure beforehand. This means simplifying operations, streamlining employee access, and improving performance, as well as centralizing data to support application availability, disaster recovery and data protection.
Complexity, and the need for stability and compliance are the biggest obstacles to efficiency for CIOs embarking on a digital transformation journey. To counteract these, CIOs should focus on re-architecting traditional networks and the edge for simplicity, speed and security, and not be afraid to adopt new solutions early on. By doing so, they will accelerate their digital transformation and drive greater performance and end-user satisfaction—and guarantee competitive advantage for their companies now, and in the future.
Rich Hillebrecht is the CIO at Riverbed Technology.