The key to business's thriving in today's digital eraBy Industry Contributor 3 March 2021 | Categories: feature articles
By Lorenzo Lumassi, Vice President - Services Sales, MERAT, Western and CNE Regions, Dell Technologies
If we look back to just a few years ago, much of the digitalisation conversation was about discovery; learning what transformation is and why it’s important. For many businesses it was about overcoming the hesitancy of embarking on a digital transformation journey. Nowadays, the conversation has shifted and is less about the need to transform. Businesses and customers have kick-started their technology modernisation plans and have been learning and navigating through them real time.
If there’s anything that businesses recognised in the past year, it was the importance of technology in ensuring stability and long-term operational success. Having already started their journey, the time has come for businesses “needing to transform” to “needing to accelerate.” The ability to remain competitive and ensure their organisation is agile enough to respond to changes is especially concerning for board members and CEOs. For IT, the directive has changed from “do more with less” to “do more with less…faster” as time expectations of the business are compressing exponentially.
As organisations look to integrate and build strong technology-based foundations, we’re seeing investments being made with a view to drive business agility, manage a connected and remote workforce efficiently, derive valuable insights from data and offer enhanced customer experiences. But transformation initiatives have been often stalled because IT teams are consumed with the demands and intricacies of ongoing operations.
In a study commissioned by Dell Technologies with Forrester Consulting on ‘The Impact of IT Services.’ it was found that 62% of 684 IT decision makers surveyed felt they lacked the IT skills in house to realise the full potential of technology purchases. While many companies have a defined strategy, the underlying roadmap on how to get there is not clear, resulting in limited executive sponsorship and a lack of alignment across lines of business stakeholders. Unpredictable costs, increasing complexity, and knowledge gaps are just a few examples of the barriers they face. In a time of change and accelerated digital transformation, IT-as-usual just won’t cut it on the way forward.
What IT requires is greater flexibility to meet variable demands from the business, and the expertise to successfully manage transformational initiatives and keep pace with advancing technologies. Without well run IT operations, the likelihood of a transformation initiative failing to meet expectations increases. IT leaders need to focus their talent on transformation, but performance, reliability and security of operational systems cannot be compromised in the process. To better respond to the needs of business, organisations are turning to IT services to bring agility to all parts of their organisation.
Leveraging services helps keep an organisation’s technology environment operating at peak performance in the face of fast paced change, increased consumer demands and what can feel like overwhelming IT complexity. With IT-as-a-Service (ITaas), organisations are realising the benefits of having the hardware, software, and support according to their needs, in a subscription-based or consumption model. As cloud based-based capabilities are broadening, numerous solutions are available to everyday burdens. For example, a customer might want help with basic hardware installation; or filling gaps in their technical knowledge; or taking care of complex hardware and software integration across a global environment. Almost any IT function can be supported by IT services experts, to help accelerate time-to-value on new technology investments and maximise productivity for IT and end users.
These delivery models are also an opportunity to reposition IT as a function that can drive business value. First and foremost, they free up IT departments from the day-to-day operations, allowing for more resources to focus on the core business and value-added projects, becoming a catalyst for innovation. Aside from increasing efficiency and being cost-effective, they can also facilitate the flexibility to scale as needed, whether through infrastructure, applications or skill sets if the leverage residency, managed or education related services. This accelerates IT deployment, adoption and upgrades, allowing organisations to remain competitive.
But, IT services don’t only touch infrastructure and software. Transformation is moving beyond the foundation of a modern infrastructure as it involves people, process and workflow changes. Businesses are turning to consulting services to access expertise, help reassess their environments, and build transformation plans that achieve measurable outcomes aligned to corporate vision and strategy. These services also involve upskilling teams by identifying knowledge and skills gaps and defining a strategy to keep them up to date and leverage their full potential. The days of having a single role such as storage or server admin are fading fast. Coming to the forefront are new roles spanning multiple technologies like networking, server, storage, cloud and virtualisation, with a security-first mindset.
It’s clear that innovation leaders need IT services to drive transformative outcomes. The organisations that prioritise digital transformation and recognise it as fuel to the success of their business are turning to services to eliminate barriers, reduce costs, drive innovation and accelerate their transformation journey. From multi-cloud, applications, DevOps and infrastructure transformations, to business resiliency and data centre modernisation, IT services is helping organisations build end-to-end transformation roadmaps that positions them to thrive in a digital era.
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