Technology has always had the power to reshape business, and that is particularly true now during one of the most intense periods of technological innovation in history. Cloud, edge and mobile computing, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, digital assistants, and IT automation are just a few technologies that organizations have embraced as part of their digital transformation efforts.
Effectively implementing evolving technologies is a challenge, however. Only about 30 percent of digital transformation initiatives meet or exceed their target value, according to a recent survey from Boston Consulting Group. In most cases, that’s because companies haven’t adequately modernized their existing IT infrastructure in advance.
Although IT modernization is often considered to be synonymous with digital transformation, they are actually separate but complementary activities. Digital transformation is the process of embedding digital technologies across an entire organization, while IT modernization refers to updating the underlying infrastructure in order to support those new technologies.
Traditional IT environments rely upon rigid and hard-to-maintain legacy technologies. Digital transformation requires new infrastructures that automate manual tasks and streamline operations in ways that free up resources and enable new levels of speed, efficiency, scale and cost-effectiveness. Here are some of the modernization projects that can help organizations enhance their digital transformation efforts:
- Accelerate Cloud Adoption. Moving applications and services to the cloud helps ensure that growing numbers of remote and hybrid employees have anytime/anywhere access to the resources they need. It also increases the level of automation and orchestration to eliminate many repetitive IT management tasks.
- Upgrade the Data Center. Even with more workloads in the cloud, most companies will remain dependent on on-premises data centers. However, traditional hardware-centric infrastructures are too rigid to handle many modern workloads. Software-defined data center solutions enable increased flexibility and scalability by virtualizing all data center resources and services.
- Transform the Network. Networks must deliver reliable connectivity for increasingly decentralized operations. Software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs) enable point-to-point connectivity and automatic failover to multiple transport types to ensure that remote employees always have reliable access to the data and applications they need.
- Modernize Legacy Applications. Legacy software based on older hardware and operating systems often requires re-engineering to work properly on a new platform. Sometimes creating a new interface such as a mobile or Web front end will allow an app to be used in new ways while preserving functionality. Other cases may require more significant modifications such as rewriting code.
- Increase Automation. IT automation uses software to create repeatable processes that minimize the need for human interaction with IT systems. By reducing the chance of human error, automation helps ensure accurate and consistent delivery of essential IT services.
- Revamp Backup Operations. With more data being created in more locations, organizations need new data protection strategies. Cloud backup solutions make it easier to restore data in the event of a server crash or some other disaster. Plus, the cloud also allows companies to create an immutable backup copy that is completely isolated from local systems to be sure it can’t be compromised.
- Modernize Security. Decentralized operations with remote workers and multiple branch offices have essentially erased the traditional network perimeter. Zero-trust network access solutions use access controls, network segmentation, multifactor authentication and other techniques to protect applications and other network resources from unauthorized access.
December 9, 2022