How to Avoid a Dead End on the Road to a Digital Changeover

How to Avoid a Dead End on the Road to a Digital Changeover
Travel to Where It's Happening: At the Edge
Yield to Pedestrians
Be Sure to Map a New Route
Bring New Passengers Along for the Ride
Check Your Gauges
Make the Cloud a Key Stop
Crossing the Finish Line
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How to Avoid a Dead End on the Road to a Digital Changeover

Digital disruption—a buzz term for jumping the chasm from conventional business processes to cloud-based services and other new IT—is impacting businesses across industries. More and more enterprises are moving away from the old and investing in this so-called digital transformation (or DX, a buzz-acronym) to become more competitive. Companies are updating entire systems, processes, cloud services and architectures in order to create new revenue streams and open up new service offerings. Why? NetApp CTO Mark Bregman told eWEEK recently that he believes data is being generated at an unprecedented rate that soon will greatly exceed the ability to transport it. Now this would be a serious problem. In this eWEEK slide show, NetApp Vice President of Product Marketing Brett Roscoe explains how organizations can create a roadmap that focuses on people, processes and technology and achieve digital...

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Travel to Where It's Happening: At the Edge

Due to this incredible influx of new data already in the pipelines and all data to come, instead of moving the data workloads, the applications and resources needed to process are moving to the data; this has implications for new architectures such as edge, core, fog computing and cloud. Developing a multiyear data-driven DX roadmap is necessary to remain competitive. A recent IDC/NetApp white paper advises businesses to perform a holistic transformation involving people, processes and technology to achieve targeted business outcomes.

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Yield to Pedestrians

People are the heart of every organization. Before any digital transformation can occur, the entire organization must understand the business goal and how the shift to data-driven thinking will impact their current roles. This can help them prepare and evaluate how their current skillset will need to reflect the new needs of the business. Otherwise, the lack of direction could lead to overwhelmed staff who are not prepared to execute on new business goals, leaving their roles open to extinction.

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Be Sure to Map a New Route

If nothing changes, then nothing changes—an organization can’t transform without changing the legacy processes that are in place to align with the new organizational structure (people) and goals put in place to drive the business forward. Create new KPIs for finance, business and operations, and employ agile and design thinking practices focused on creating new DX business models.

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Bring New Passengers Along for the Ride

You need people in roles to implement the new processes. As old roles become irrelevant in the DX era, organizations are going to need to create new roles that put data at the core of their strategy. For example, the quest to become a data-driven organization has led to the creation of the chief data officer, with 47 percent of the survey respondents having already created that position. However, organizations cannot solely rely on the top role to lead the charge; new roles must be created at various levels—from cloud architects to data scientists—to help the company execute on its DX strategy. The survey only found 19 percent of respondents had data scientists and 23 percent had data architects—leaving plenty of room for growth in these key roles.

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Check Your Gauges

A key to any successful endeavor is setting goals and then measuring progress against those goals. The same is true for a successful DX transformation. Make sure your enterprise architecture and enterprise data management groups set the policies and governance methodologies associated with application and data architecture. Those groups should be responsible for ensuring that these standards and policies are enforced.

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Make the Cloud a Key Stop

It’s no secret that leading DX organizations have embraced the cloud for its power to deliver agility and flexibility. For most organizations, this takes shape in the form of hybrid IT where data is generated and stored across a combination of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud resources. Most organizations purchase and manage overlapping tools to address the unique challenges presented by hybrid IT infrastructures. Integrating information from these disparate tools may be either time consuming or impossible. Successful DX requires a company to invest in the right tools to manage and maintain its data in hybrid IT environment.

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Crossing the Finish Line

Digital disruption is real, and resistance can lead to a dead end for companies that don’t change. By following the steps outlined here, you can put your company on the right path to successful digital transformation that will increase revenue streams.

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