Digital Transformation is top of mind as we are led into a technology evolution. Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, Technology Evangelist at Zerto, provides three easy steps for companies looking to digitally innovate.
Digital Transformation may be one of the most popular buzzwords at present but when it comes down to it, it can actually be quite a daunting task for an organisation to address. Yes, the ultimate goal is to improve how the business works in every aspect, but this doesn’t happen overnight and requires a great deal of patience and planning to execute. A company’s technological foundation is the driver of much of this transformation but at the same time, IT is under constant scrutiny to deliver ROI while continuing to modernise.
But if an organisation’s IT infrastructure is working perfectly fine and employees and customers are getting exactly what they need, why would the organisation choose to evolve it? To put it simply, good enough isn’t actually good enough anymore. To take advantage of the more business opportunities in the competitive landscape, companies need to be more efficient, nimble and data-driven. Modern technology upgrades are also a way of driving costs down, helping companies to scale and providing better insights into resource usage. It’s something all organisations should be considering, but ultimately, requires a lot of planning and preparation.
One of the biggest hurdles companies may face when considering Digital Transformation is understanding how to allocate resources between ‘keeping the lights on’ and implementing a new innovative technology. The most efficient way of jumping this hurdle is by ensuring that IT infrastructures are built to be resilient – able to adapt to anything from unexpected disruptions to planned transformation initiatives. Essentially, an IT resilience strategy enables organisations to be prepared and to recover quickly from any hiccup encountered. This is all while simultaneously freeing up resources to address the twists and turns that come with overhauling digital strategy.
With this in mind, below are the three components of IT resilience design that can guarantee employees and customers never feel a disruption:
1. An ‘always-on’ customer experience
In this day and age, regardless of industry, it is critical that businesses deliver an always-on customer experience – no matter what planned or unplanned changes are going on in the IT infrastructure. At its core, continuous availability is the approach to an IT system that protects users against downtime by keeping them connected to their data, documents and business applications.
It is also essential, for an always-on customer experience, that IT departments review current backup strategies. Backups have been an important part of the IT strategy for many years but unfortunately, many of today’s technologies are now inadequate for the job they need to perform. For example, periodic backups that only provide a snapshot in time are not compatible with demands for a recovery point objective of seconds and a recovery time objective of minutes. Tying this in with the complexity that often comes with those legacy solutions that require specific skill sets to manage means organisations should really be looking to integrate the alternatives that offer incremental, journal-based protection, and can be accessed across multiple hypervisor, cloud and storage platforms.
At its core, continuous availability means that whatever disrupts the organisation, whether it be a cyberattack, a hurricane, or even planned work to upgrade the IT, both the company and its customers will be completely protected.
2. Secure workload mobility
Workload mobility gives IT departments the business confidence to move applications and data workloads with ease while remaining completely protected. This can be anything from cloud platform migrations to consolidations as a result of mergers and acquisitions.
Although workload mobility is not a new concept, many IT practitioners are moving workloads around much more regularly due to the rapid adoption of the public cloud. It’s more important than ever, due to the multitude of public cloud options and hybrid cloud strategies, that IT teams have easy, seamless and risk-free workload mobility and agility. This can enable them to unlock their on-premise environments and extend their data centres to the cloud. This is the key to many Digital Transformation journeys as the cloud provides cutting-edge features and capabilities for organisations that don’t want to be tied in to just one vendor along the way, or stuck with their data in the wrong place if a platform doesn’t work as intended.
3. Enable a multi-cloud strategy
Companies are increasingly using multi- and hybrid-cloud strategies to accelerate their business and properly take advantage of the cloud. The benefits of this approach include the freedom to choose your own cloud and the ability to move to, from and even between clouds that typically require vendor lock-in.
The enterprise adoption of multi-cloud strategies has many factors driving it. After all, each cloud offers different services and features that may be more suited to specific applications than others. Organisations that adopt a multi-cloud strategy gain the ability to cherry pick the best levels of performance, response time and throughput for each.
As part of IT modernisation and transformation, a common use case is moving disaster recovery and backup to the cloud, while reducing physical data centres. Speed-to-market is a critical element of Digital Transformation and the cloud can provide that by driving new efficiencies which accelerate the application life cycle without having to worry about underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance.
The three IT resilience elements work hand-in-hand to ensure organisations can withstand any kind of disruption. Combining this with a unified platform for implementing and leveraging new technologies, companies will have the right elements to spark innovation, enhance business efficiency and confidently overcome and conquer the daunting task of Digital Transformation.