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Assuring Business Outcomes on Your DX Journey

By Michael Segal September 07, 2017

When it comes to implementing strategies for digital transformation (DX), there are nearly as many methods as there are companies using them. Whether introduction of new business services, migrating applications to the cloud, deploying new IoT devices or utilizing big data analytics, there’s a common thread among them all: Building a data-driven business model for DX is no small task. Enterprises taking their first steps on this journey need to consider how every aspect of their business should be optimized to fulfil new growth potential and digital objectives – and how to optimize their IT goals to support the transformation.

Companies face some complex issues, including the following:

  • Developing the ability to modernize, rapidly iterate, and scale applications to support an increasingly connected world.
  • Optimizing data intelligence – while data is clearly the key to the digital realm, many companies lack the ability efficiently to derive actionable intelligence from large volumes of data to improve their operations and gain business insights.
  • Streamlining and managing a complex and changing IT infrastructure to support rapid response and instant access.  

Important concepts such as  Business Assurance – a powerful combination of application assurance, service assurance, and security assurance – can help. But, using such tools without a DX delivery strategy means that you are navigating without a map, which is rarely a recipe for success.  After all, DX will result in the continuous deployment of new services and functionality onto your IT infrastructure, both on-premises and cloud-based, invariably leading to a far more complex and connected world.

Strategic thinking

Reinventing IT for DX starts at the CIO level, as companies often find themselves re-organizing teams to support an always-on world that requires constant network and application monitoring to ensure both performance and security.  Since DX touches all aspects of the business, enterprises need to be aware that every new business model that requires expansion of the connected world will add significant network complexity via integration, implementation, system upgrades, connection, and additional applications.  Such increased complexity also expands the footprint for malicious intruders looking to compromise corporate security and infiltrate perimeter, network, and end-point security mechanisms.

There is no one better than the CIO to oversee this. Business assurance, due to that powerful combination of service assurance and cybersecurity aspects that it incorporates, will become a way of life for the CIO, and, by extension, those who work with them. Maintaining a sense of order, laying the foundations for the future, and fully managing the digital transition is now down to the CIO – the captaincy of the ship will be thrust upon them in this new DX environment.

Keeping data in mind

The increased complexity of the IT infrastructure also highlights the value of the data moving across the connected world. Like Archimedes and his fulcrum and lever analogy, the same can be said for data that traverses the connected world (wire-data) and can be used to protect the enterprise from either system failure or security breach. Barely a day goes by without new reports of service outages, hacking attempts, data leaks, or network breaches, which begs a number of important questions: How much is risk mitigation and business assurance worth to a private or public organization?

So how does the CIO most effectively approach this? By continuously collecting collecting comprehensive wire-data sets that traverses the enterprise infrastructure and the broader connected world, organizing it, and converting it into actionable intelligence in real time. It has the added benefit that when it comes to customer insights for business departments, it is significantly important. The potential cost from system failure, lost data, corrupted information or security breaches is high, but knowing what to do to prevent it and assure desirable business outcomes is invaluable.

Knowing that your IT department has the ability to see across a global physical and virtual network in a matter of minutes is going to be a quasi-safety net when it comes to DX. Complete visibility across the connected world via lightweight and cost-effective tools that are platform agnostic and capable of spanning all layers of a network and service delivery infrastrucrture is crucial for all on their digital transformation journeys.  Only through a combination of this holistic visibility and business assurance will a company catch the wind in the sails of the DX ships they are aboard.

Tactical execution

It is clear that digital business models depend on the ability to continuously create, adjust, and deploy new services onto on premises and cloud-based infrastructure. Managing this highly strategic transformation, though, will require a tactical execution based on two metrics that will become the most important transformational metrics: Service Performance and Risk Mitigation.

Cloud management solutions, for example, primarily monitor operational and performance metrics of their cloud resources and applications. This approach does not analyze the interdependencies across hybrid cloud and multi-service stacks, such as network, compute, storage, databases, service enablers and applications. Yet, all of these metrics must be considered when assuring business outcomes in the enterprise DX journey.

As the move to digital continuum and the fourth industrial revolution truly takes hold, enterprises must recognize the increasing role of business assurance. Moving to a data-led digital environment without full visibility into the vast wire-data sets that will provide insights into everything from business automation to new business models, will cost companies a lot of money when they are faced with service disruptions – capable of running into the millions of dollars per hour.

Ultimately, businesses will start to recognize that assuring a consistent service delivery relies on real-time information driven by a platform that supports comprehensive IT visibility that produces unique insights into operations across the entirety of the IT infrastructure.

Business assurance that relies on smart, actionable, and contextual data is the centerpiece for DX. The sooner that companies realize this, no matter their sector, the sooner they will know how to navigate the turbulent times that lie ahead.

Edited by Erik Linask
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