The bold businesses at the crest of the wave of digital transformation – ready to surf the data economy with the agility of a Bondi brother as they shift from CAPEX to OPEX strategies – appear to be in the minority. Yet the energy is building and data management companies like NetApp have their boards waxed and ready to steer businesses through the waves.  

As the world looks up to its contemporary giants, like Uber and Airbnb, so worldwide spending on digital transformation is set to rocket.  The question is, will your business be looking on in admiration, or will it be out there making waves with the pros? With NetApp’s data management ecosystem in place to maximise scalability and flexibility within the data fabric, any business can climb those frothy peaks. So what’s holding them back?

Technological advances have awakened businesses to the service-based enterprise, entrenching fundamental shifts in business strategies that enable them to scale out their businesses to dramatic proportions. More traditional businesses can jump on board too, but despite the enticing fairy-tale of the modern start-up and the exponential rise in spend on digital transformation, set to hit $2.1 trillion in 2019, a recent Dell survey suggests many businesses are less enthused.

While there will always be the innovators, leading the way with their bold new ‘tricks’, there will also be the willing adopters, quick to jump up on that ‘board’  themselves. Then there are the followers with only tentative plans to engage, the cautious evaluators that let others test the business waters – and of course, the laggards. According to Dell, 41% of the 4,000 large enterprises surveyed around the world fall into the ‘follower’ category and 24% were identified as evaluators. Meanwhile, 19% were classified as laggards. So much for a digital revolution, right?

[easy-tweet tweet=”86% of Britain’s biggest businesses have assessed their risk of digital disruption” hashtags=”DigitalTransformation, IT”]

Change, especially at speed, quite naturally evokes fear. Indeed 41% of Dell’s respondents said they were uncomfortable with the pace of the technological changes. But that’s not to say that businesses aren’t taking it seriously. Learning and development experts AVADO found that 86 percent of Britain’s biggest businesses have assessed their risk of digital disruption, with the majority putting a c-suite executive in charge of driving digital change.  Swimming against the tide or opting out is simply not an option for those businesses that want to compete.

Tapping into the data economy means businesses can streamline their services, switch to the service-based enterprise and offer increasingly personalised services. The resulting shift in business models from CAPEX to OPEX, means channelling serious investment into digital transformation. For example, Walmart is set to spend $2 billion in order to overhaul its core capabilities and boost digital engagement. Similarly, General Electric is spending $1 billion every year in its quest for digital dominance. Meanwhile, start-ups are exploiting their agility by developing digitally native businesses from the get-go – asserting themselves as market disruptors.

As the conversation around digital disruption rumbles on, inspiring the Leaders and unnerving the Evaluators, it is data that is keeping the economy afloat. Currents of data streaming through our everyday lives – connecting our personal desires and needs with the businesses that can alleviate them – are the future of retail, healthcare and manufacturing. Scalable, real-time data management keeps businesses in action and their customers contented. Data management companies like NetApp are omnipresent and as ubiquitous as the tides of data they manage. With the NetApp’s infrastructural provisions and data management to support business’ service-focused software, any business can command the surf and ride the crest of digital transformation.

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Laurence James, Products, Alliances and Solutions Marketing Manager, NetApp NEMEA Laurence is responsible for driving market awareness for NetApp’s products across Northern EMEA. Working closely with the EMEA Product, Alliances and Solutions Marketing team, his focus is on business growth and aligning NetApp’s offerings with customer and market needs. Laurence works across all of NetApp’s product areas, and has an in-depth understanding of diverse customer requirements to deliver value across the entire range of the product suite. Leading the marketing activities, Laurence is responsible for ensuring that NetApp’s offering is market-leading, of the highest standard and guarantees customer ROI. Working with a dedicated and experienced team, he assists in developing and implementing marketing campaigns that support the positioning of NetApp’s products and its reputation. Laurence has many years’ experience working with all aspects of Enterprise IT and held roles at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and StorageTek.