Digital IT Operations Transformation in 3 Steps
With the world thrust into the fourth industrial revolution driven by volatile technology changes, enterprise IT must shed its old mantle of a traditional support-oriented center and assume a proactive role as the service-oriented, strategic business system, supported by modern processes. With all the talk about digital transformation initiatives going around, you would think we have already moved into a digital future. But the truth is, most of the conversation stops at strategy with very little emphasis on the actual execution.
While it’s true that a full scale digital operations transformation requires meticulous planning and a phased approach, forward movement often gets bogged down in the planning stage. Most businesses that are considering an overhaul of their IT operations are still stuck in the strategy phase where the discussion revolves mostly around ‘what’ and ‘why’ rather than ‘how.’ The strategy phase includes:
- Determining the transformation objectives and target outcomes
- Researching technology disruptions and enablers in the market
- Conceiving a clear vision and agile roadmap for the future digital business
The Execution: 3 Steps to digital IT operations transformation
Discussions can only take you so far. It is time for businesses to bridge the gap between the strategic phase and the practical execution by chalking out a clear path to digital IT Ops transformation in three simple steps:
1. Modernization – The first step in this process is modernizing legacy IT infrastructure. Traditional on-premises IT infrastructure and networks must give way to cloud-based, serverless, hyper-converged IT infrastructure. A modern, optimized IT is the hallmark of a truly digital business. It is also a necessity if businesses want to remain relevant in a rapidly digitizing world.
Method: There are two ways to go about it – enterprises can either re-platform their core legacy infrastructure following a phased, hybrid- A approach or undertake a full-scale migration and modernization. The goal is to upgrade or replace aging, legacy applications, servers, processes and systems with modern, micro services-based, digital architectures. The process includes:
- Standardization of IT to align workloads with optimal and customized infrastructure
- Virtualization to consolidate the physical infrastructure and networks
- Convergence to balance workloads and infrastructure
Benefits: A virtualized, hyper-converged infrastructure helps to consolidate the infrastructure and simplifies workload management during the IT transformation process. It also:
- Delivers high performance, greater agility and cost savings
- Brings together separate technologies and teams
- Streamlines operations, processes and organizational structure
2. Automation – To unlock the true potential of a modernized IT environment, one must transition from manual operations to process automation. It drives better results which, in turn, accelerate the transformation.
Method: The first and foremost step is to automate routine tasks and standardize the most common services. Then comes orchestration which automates and simplifies service management. The goal is to speed up the time to value and improve performance outputs. Automation includes:
- Orchestration which helps arrange and coordinate automated tasks to simplify service management
- Hybridization which balances the placement of IT workload to match business needs
Benefits: A modern, automated IT infrastructure helps to increase service quality, improve service delivery and drive the overall transformation process. It also:
- Simplifies infrastructure management
- Drives down costs and saves time
- Streamlines environment provisioning
3. Transformation – A crucial part of this phase is moving to the cloud environment that delivers speed and agility.
Method: Transformation involves a complex process of planning, assessing, modernizing and migrating workloads, networks, servers and applications from on-premise locations to a cloud datacenter. The choice of cloud – private, public or hybrid – depends on the business needs but it is extremely important to select the right cloud infrastructure to optimize IT operations. Transformation includes:
- Identification of the applications, networks and servers that make up the IT operations framework
- Rationalization to assess the applications, networks and servers to be retained, replaced, consolidated, integrated or migrated
- Migration of the necessary IT operations technologies and processes to the cloud
Benefits: The main benefits of a move to the cloud include agility, scalability and speed that is lacking in traditional IT. It also:
- Enables new business models
- Modernizes and optimizes IT operations
- Drives improved business performance
Functional Sourcing: The key to a successful digital IT Ops Transformation
Most IT leaders are now making IT operations transformation an important part of their business strategy to realize greater efficiency, improved business outcomes and significant cost savings. However, the complexity of the actual transformation, regulatory and frequent technology changes in IT operations have forced many enterprises to turn to service providers for help.
To accommodate this growing demand, service providers should stay on top of the latest market trends and technology. Many however, lack the requisite skills and expertise demanded by their clients and often fail to realize the importance of optimizing their own operations to offer services at scale. This is where functional sourcing can help plug the gaps. It offers service providers and their clients the benefit of leveraging ‘multi-functional teams with diverse skill sets and domain expertise’ to fill the talent gap.
The functional sourcing approach in IT operations management helps service providers increase their profit margins, realize cost savings, service delivery excellence and drive down client attrition rates. It is a sure-fire way to enhance a service provider’s’ value proposition. To learn more about the top three IT operations challenges faced by service providers, read our blog Long-term business growth begins when reactive management ends.
It is evident that the competition to stay ahead of the transformation curve is fierce. Most organizations have realized the importance of ramping up their IT operations by implementing new business models and modernization techniques. However, as businesses gear up to meet the demands of a data-driven digital world economy, IT must redefine itself as a business-value oriented entity and service providers, powered by functional sourcing, must play an active role in this transformation.
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