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Transforming your IT from good to great

Focusing on what you are excellent at, and handing off to experts where you are not, can readily improve business agility and innovation.

When you think about your business, are you one of those who sees IT as merely a way to be more efficient? Or do you use technology to drive forward in the market? Businesses of all sizes and all industries have been increasingly shifting to digital processes and services, and this is putting pressure on IT infrastructure in a way not seen before. The unpredictable and fast-changing markets have forced companies to adapt in double-quick time to the new realities, and this means there will be many areas of IT service delivery that will need rethinking in the coming years.

Deliver what services the business wants
As part of this, digital excellence is top of mind. But just what does this look like? From the business side of things, supporting innovation and agility is what matters. Digital excellence means driving toward a common platform and marketplace with comprehensive and standardized features, APIs, and billing to enable new applications and services to get up and running quickly and ensure they deliver on expectations and experience across employees, partners, and customers.

From the IT side of things, digital excellence is about delivering what services the business wants — seamlessly, securely, and efficiently, whether from our own IT infrastructure or from the public cloud.

As an industry, we readily talk about advancements in IT infrastructure embodied by public cloud — such as automation, orchestration, and AIOps; software-defined infrastructure; DevOps and API-centric development; hybrid multicloud; digital trust and governance; and real-time data for business support — as though they are completely natural to all of us and we are adopting and actively using them.

Deploying all of these in a broad-based approach is what a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure looks like — but only around a quarter of companies are operating consistently at this level.

Leaders take a comprehensive approach to building advanced IT platforms

To what extent have you adopted the following elements in your IT infrastructure – extensive adoption

For most companies the reality is that they may do one or two of these things reasonably well, but they still have a significant way to go to have a true digital platform. Transforming our IT infrastructure from largely manually managed silos into a cloud-like platform to deliver this will require a significant and sustained effort and funding, while the expertise and skills for design, implementation, and operations are expensive and in short supply.

Modernization is sorely needed
And how good are our datacenters? While pretty modern and capable when first opened, they quickly build up a level of technical debt and inefficiency as time passes. This makes it harder to adjust existing apps and services or to easily accommodate new workloads — such as power-dense AI systems — as the business environment changes. Datacenter modernization is sorely needed to support the latest expectations — requiring significant capital investment and time when both are in critically short supply. And going down this route tends to bake in yet more technical debt until the next major modernization project.

For most of us, our IT infrastructure is good, rather than great. So, what can we do to improve the situation? One of the most important things you can do when looking to improve IT service delivery is to think critically about what really delivers revenue and advantage to the business. Are you in the business of developing great products and services that suit your customers? Or are you in the business of building cloud-class datacenters and IT infrastructure? If it is the former, is it reasonable to expect you to invest to learn how to be a service provider class IT provider? Especially when there are third-party facilities providers that have built world-leading datacenters that you can take advantage of?

Data center platform services offer many benefits

Not only can they provide leading-edge, efficient and secure datacenters with all the mod-cons for you to move into immediately, but they can also offer a number of other advantages too. High-performance connectivity to leading public cloud providers and Internet Exchanges provides a scalable on-ramp to hybrid cloud. IT management and operations support services as well as pre-built application platforms can transform your IT infrastructure and operations so you can focus on delivering what the business needs rather than reinventing the infrastructure wheel.

To learn more about how you can move your IT service delivery from good to great, click here.