Digital transformation (DX) is not a new initiative. In fact, Forbes states that 70% of companies had a DX initiative in place at the onset of the pandemic but weren’t far enough along to make the crisis a non-issue. As a result of the past couple months where digital has become central to every interaction, DX is back in the forefront for IT leaders.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently summed it up this way, “As COVID-19 impacts every aspect of our work in life, we have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” And while it may be in our nature to put on the brakes and proceed with caution in fear of an uncertain future, now’s the time to speed up DX initiatives.
There are a few big drivers in the need to rapidly transform:
- Customers still have need for responsive and always-on services.
- Employees expect a suite of tools that enable them to be productive from anywhere.
- IT must provide a strong foundation on which the business can thrive now (in a crisis) and into the future.
Yet driving transformative change in a time where many are seeing reduced budgets and shifting to startup mode can be challenging. A recent survey of CFOs polled by PwC reported that 67% of CFOs say they are prepared to reduce costs to counteract the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the flip side though, 68% of these CFOs say that crisis-driven transitions to remote work will make their company better in the long run. Overall though, worldwide IT spending is now projected to decline by 2.7% in 2020 as a result of the recent crisis, IDC estimates.
The analysts are telling us what we already know – times are hard, and it’s probably not going to get any better for a while. But all the more reason to speed up the pace of DX. So, given the absolute necessity for transformation at an accelerated rate, what should you be prioritizing?
- Modernize the infrastructure: With remote work forcing all digital interactions, many organizations have quickly realized that their infrastructure was not built to support it, forcing them to fast-track plans to modernize legacy tech stacks to sustain business and scale to meet the demands of a remote workforce. Now is the time to assess where your infrastructure fell short and prioritize upgrades that provide automation and efficiency to do more in less time.
- Embrace the cloud: No other technology has streamlined transformation and accelerated time to value like the cloud. Moving workloads to the cloud improves the time to provision, often from weeks to seconds, and enables rapid response to market demands. Now is the time to take a data-driven, application-centric approach to identify the right mix of public and private cloud for each workload and systematically migrate those ideally suited for the cloud.
- Enable the digital workforce: Work has been evolving for some time, but the shift to primarily remote work in recent months has been a challenge for businesses that weren’t already embracing a remote-first approach. Now is the time to examine your remote-first strategy and invest in digital workspace technology to ensure you’re providing employees with a positive digital experience outside the office.
- Reexamine your BCDR strategies: Business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) are critical in supporting an organization’s ability to remain operational during and after a crisis, which has brought them to the forefront in recent weeks. Now is the time to take a holistic approach to BCDR and create a strategy that includes a DR plan that outlines specific steps to resume operations following an incident and a BC plan that focuses on the mission-critical functions needed to continue during and after a disaster.
- Ensure security best practices: No matter where you are on in your DX roadmap, security must be an integral part of every step, as not even a crisis can slow the ever-growing onslaught of cyber criminals. Now is the time to understand your risk profile, create a plan to mitigate those risks and align with security best practices.
DX is a journey comprised of incremental projects, both big and small, and with many team members. For success, you need to rely on the insights, opinions, requests and recommendations of in-house IT professionals, trusted external advisors and people in the organization who the project will directly affect. As you assemble your team, know you have a partner in OneNeck who can help. Whether it’s a large cloud migration project or just a simple rack and stack, our team of experts is ready and willing to help.
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Interested in learning more? Check out these DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION RESOURCES, including a free DX presentation template.