The speed of change in enterprise technologies over the past five years has been astonishing. Trends such as social, mobility, cloud and Big Data have disrupted existing business models. These new technologies represent a significant opportunity for businesses to innovate, improve efficiency, and provide differentiated customer experiences in highly competitive marketplaces. The challenge, however, is to ensure that repeated adoption of the 'next big thing' and next-generation applications delivers maximum benefit and optimal value to the business.
With expectations surrounding what can be achieved through transformational IT projects high, how can CIOs transform their IT infrastructure amidst the fast-paced change of the technology landscape?
Here, Willem Hendrick, senior VP EMEA at Riverbed Technology, offers his very best advice.
1. Embrace change (or it will embrace you)
BYOD, mobility, cloud computing and big data mean that users now have the freedom to make their own IT decisions. For CIOs the challenge is to embrace change whilst ensuring that repeated adoption of the "next big thing" delivers maximum benefit and optimal value to the business and demonstrable ROI.
2. Make innovation a 'business basic'
Organisations acknowledge that the levels of innovation needed to drive their IT strategies forward can only occur by using the right technology. It's imperative that the C-suite highlight technology as a driver of innovation within the organisation.
3. Don't 'leak' value
Our recent 'Transformers' research showed that new technology deployment now accounts for 25% of technology spend. Yet while the importance of maximising technology spend is evident, in practice, new technologies introduced are falling short of their expectation.
4. Infrastructure is imperative
As more diverse and varied applications are added to the network, IT infrastructures are becoming increasingly convoluted. This churn can cause issues if your infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle leading-edge applications. This disparity becomes even more prevalent outside of IT, where business executives are demanding new technologies but aren't tuned into the underlying infrastructure concerns.
5. Optimise technology investment
New technologies are the driving force behind innovation, and if these applications underperform, so does the business. Almost half (46%) of those surveyed in our research said that looking at their spend on IT and networking over the past three years, they could have spent less money and achieved better business results.
6. Make datacentre transformation your new 'mega trend'
Many businesses are investing in the right technology, yet they are not investing in the infrastructure to support the surge in leading-edge applications. Before deciding to invest, IT leaders must ensure these will meet their performance expectations and not undermine the business goals.
IT leaders recognise that data centre performance is a key factor in application failure, but most executives and Board members do not. It's time to put data centre transformation on the boardroom agenda. Only with applications fully optimised and working effectively, can organisations regain certainty over ROI and continue to use technology to drive innovation across the business.