All dressed up with nowhere to load: The story of a very frustrated IT department and its quest for digital transformation

Half a year ago, we could have told you that we were all on the cusp of a ‘business technology revolution’. A myriad of data-driven technology trends were highlighting a route to a ‘business process mecca’; a path, if chosen, that would enable businesses to maximise their potential and gain competitive advantage.

[easy-tweet tweet=”For many businesses, #legacyIT infrastructure continues to hold them back from innovating” hashtags=”Transformation”]

That supposed future vision is happening right now. We’re seeing the convergence of big data, the Internet of Things, 5G, cloud computing, and mobility. Business leaders and senior IT decision-makers alike are realising that having a superior network in place, one that can efficiently handle the huge data demands that come with the rise of these trends, is vital to business growth. A scalable, agile network infrastructure could be the difference between leading from the front, and total stagnation.

Adopt to adapt

IT departments are very aware of what is at stake for their companies. At Brocade, we recently issued a report which found that the vast majority of IT decision-makers (87 per cent) were part of organisations that had strategies in place to transform their digital operations. An even larger proportion (94 per cent) stated that their organisation’s CIO and IT managers valued the adoption of digital transformation in order to achieve business objectives.

‘Computer says no’

However, despite evidence that IT departments know what needs to be done, some businesses still find themselves falling behind competitors because they are failing to sufficiently adapt their approach and embrace a digital transformation. They are all dressed up with nowhere to load. The problem is a familiar one for fans of Matt Lucas and David Walliam’s hit comedy ‘Little Britain’: “Computer says no’.

For many businesses, legacy IT infrastructure continues to hold them back from innovating on their terms. Despite knowing what they need to achieve, IT departments have found themselves having to say ‘no’ to new business opportunities far too often, instead focusing efforts and resources on ensuring their current legacy system can handle increasingly overwhelming quantities of data. In fact, if IT departments could spend less time ‘keeping the lights on’, they could devote more time to creating value, reducing costs, and increasing revenues as much as 12 per cent according to our research.

How to start saying ‘yes’: The New IP approach

Digital transformation can sound like a daunting proposition, but if broken into digestible steps, it can be much easier to implement at a pace that is considerate of struggling IT staff, and their budget. There are a number of achievable changes organisations can begin to make that will ensure their IT departments are finally able to start saying ‘yes’.

Firstly, nothing is more important than adopting The New IP approach. Modern New IP technologies are software-enabled and based on programmable networks, unlocking the power of the network as a platform for innovation. The New IP approach gives organisations a much higher ceiling for adapting to modern technology demands, freeing up their IT departments to build upon what they have and evolve with technology, rather than attempting to cope with more from each advance. The New IP is a class above the legacy networking systems that are holding companies back.

Introduce automation across the board

However, just implementing a new networking system isn’t going to make your business a digital enterprise overnight. Even once the system is layered with all the required software, it will need to be agile enough to respond to demands within milliseconds.

Consider online retailers: as it hits a busy sales period and shoppers are maximising their own resources making purchases online or via mobile, the retailers’ IT systems will need to be able to handle a greater demand on the servers, provisioning more resources if need be so that customers can continue to have a smooth shopping experience. Additional recent Brocade research highlighted how a failure to optimise application performance could mean missing out on an 11 per cent increase in revenue as disappointed customers decide to shop elsewhere or spend less.

In a traditional legacy system scenario, IT teams would have had to manually raise tickets which moved from one siloed IT focus to another. However, with the right network and algorithmic solutions in place, it’s possible to automate this process. Enabling new server capacity to be freed up or new cloud space to be provisioned as soon as it’s needed without waiting for a never-ending line of tickets to be dealt with means that the business can maximise its potential.

Shut down the ‘no’ programme

Senior decision-makers need to ask themselves if they are truly giving their IT departments the support they need to help businesses perform at their peak. The convergence of digital technologies can be seen as a series of challenges but it should ultimately be regarded as a collective wealth of opportunities. IT departments don’t have to be stuck in process, and should be empowered to innovate and help business decision-makers deliver true business value.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Simply implementing a new networking system isn’t going to make your business a #digital enterprise overnight”]

By making your network agile and scalable, bridging IT silos, and enabling end-to-end automation of cross-functional IT workflows, you can shut down the ‘no’ programme for good and move into the business of ‘yes’.

Marcus Jewell, Vice President Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Brocade

As Vice President Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Marcus Jewell is responsible for sales operations throughout the geography, helping Brocade expand its footprint in the EMEA market. 

Jewell has more than 15 years of experience in the networking business, having started his career in technical sales at Xerox, focused on network attached solutions. He then joined MiTech Europe, where he rose through the ranks from lead generation and sales to become Managing Director of MiSpace Ltd, a managed ICT services company jointly owned by MiTech and Jewell. He joined Mitel Networks in 2003, heading up the Enterprise Sales and Services for the UK and Ireland, where he was responsible for significantly growing market share and revenue. 

He graduated from Glamorgan University with a Bachelor of Engineering Honours Degree in Civil Engineering.

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