Digital Transformation Is Driving New Imperatives

Digital disruption is impacting every industry, and businesses understand that they need to adjust to a new world fast—or risk falling behind. According to the Gartner 2018 CIO Agenda, digital business/digital transformation ranked among the top two of the 10 most common business objectives.1 The stakes  are high: Two-thirds of C-suite executives surveyed believe that  40 percent of Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist within 10 years.

To stay competitive, business leaders are embracing new technologies that will help them spark innovation, deliver a superior customer experience, and drive growth and efficiency. The Gartner 2018 CIO Agenda shows an 80 percent growth in deployment and planning for Internet of Things initiatives from 2015 to 2018, while artificial intelligence growth is 150 percent over the same period.

As businesses look to enable more creative, agile organizations with these new technologies, the imperatives for their IT groups have evolved. According to Gartner, IT is no longer simply a provider of corporate support, but has stepped up to play a critical strategic role.

IT Is Thinking Bigger

Today’s wave of digital transformation is redefining the role of the CIO, and Gartner surveys chart the steady evolution of IT priorities. In 2014, CIOs focused on digital leadership and renovating the IT core, with an emphasis on bimodal  IT to meet changing demands. By 2017, top-performing CIOs reported taking  the next step of the CIO’s digital journey, extending their scope beyond the enterprise to explore the digital ecosystem.

Today, leading digital business initiatives has emerged as a key focus for CIOs  and CEOs, cited as a top priority by participants in the Gartner 2018 CIO Agenda Industry Insights.

Companies are seeking to achieve it in several ways:

  • Disrupt the disruptors: The 2018 State of the CIO survey noted that preempting disruption is a top CIO objective. Companies are under increasing pressure  to innovate with technology to beat competitors, and 88 percent said they were more focused on digital initiatives and innovation.
  • Keep costs in line: Surveys show that controlling costs and boosting  efficiency is another top imperative. For instance, 29 percent of North American and 38 percent of LATAM CIOs are cutting back spending on data centers and infrastructure.
  • Stay secure and compliant: Although technology teams are looking ahead  to enabling creativity and business growth, it’s important that they don’t overlook core priorities like security and regulatory compliance; 95 percent of CIOs surveyed expect an increase in security threats.

Application Modernization Is Essential for Transformation

Applications are the key catalyst for powering business transformation. Organizations are actively exploring how they can best optimize their existing application portfolios, as well as provide a fertile environment for building  and running new applications that they hope will drive market expansion and increase competitiveness.

To do it, they can choose from a wide variety of app modernization strategies—or a combination of several, including:

  • Maintaining the status quo, leaving business-critical apps intact if their performance is good enough for their current needs
  • Re-platforming an application for a public cloud
  • Refactoring part of the application and moving it to the public cloud as  a hybrid app
  • Refactoring an app to be cloud native
  • Building new cloud-native apps for public or private clouds
  • Using third-party software-as-a-service (SaaS) to minimize development costs and OpEx

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How a Hybrid Cloud Approach Supports Top IT Trends

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