Staying on Top of Change – Building Future-Ready Enterprises
By Mak Chin Wah, General Manager, Enterprise Solutions, South Asia, Dell
Enterprises are increasingly aware of their organisation’s ageing IT infrastructure which supports business operations. In a World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, it was highlighted that “industrial applications of the Internet of Everything (IoE) generate immense data flows, which are increasingly shifting over to Internet protocol (IP) networks. One reason for the shift is that IP networks have increased reliability.”
Alongside this shift, integration and the move towards scalable technology across multi-channel platforms have also contributed to the complexity we see today. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is expected to change the way organisations deploy technology.
Most of the time, this reconciliation of old versus new technology stand in the pathway of change and hinder innovation, something that is costly to firms in the long run. Some of these costs manifest in the form of unavoidable issues including migration and data security, transferrable employee knowledge, and the human capital capabilities in adapting to new IT hardware and software. This results in reduced productivity.
Apart from Malaysia’s emphasis on its citizens developing skills to harness global opportunities, creating an advanced economy and an inclusive society, it is also important for enterprises to be “future-ready”. Malaysia’s pro-business and pro-innovation environment continually drives the nation forward towards becoming a knowledge-intensive ICT-generation. Every dollar spent in terms of hardware and software should drive an organisation’s business output significantly closer to its objectives and goals.
Steps to Building your “Future-Ready” Enterprise
To get started, here are some golden rules for organisations that intend to embark on their future-ready journey:
Invest in Simplicity
- “Simplicity” does not mean adopting a passive stance – halting new investments and maintaining status quo. Instead, its significance lies in moving away from rigid, proprietary systems that require expensive IT specialists to manage. In order to achieve simplicity, it is paramount to pro-actively learn about the value of current systems in order to reduce complexity and maintain positive returns on all IT assets.
- Embrace Open Standards
- At its best, the IT industry is a community of innovators working together for the greater good. When we get it right, we produce powerful technologies that are based on open standards. Some may argue that standards stifle innovation among IT vendors; that proprietary technology is the only way to differentiate. We disagree. We believe that technology vendors should differentiate themselves by the innovation they build on top of standards. That way, customers are assured compatibility between the solutions they buy today and tomorrow.
- Think Software First
- Enterprises should be equipped with software and proper IT systems in order to respond to change quickly. According to IDC Manufacturing Insights on enterprise information management solutions and services, research shows that despite the increasing need for information exchange, only less than half of organisations can be defined as “high adopters” of electronic information and exchange processes. Whether it is application delivered via cloud computing or data centres, only software allows for flexibility and agility in IT systems.
- Build End-to-End Security
- The IT security market is highly fragmented. There are dozens of “best-of-breed” solutions addressing narrow aspects of security — from intrusion detection to application security to identity and access management. And knitting together these point solutions leaves seams of vulnerability. Future-ready enterprises need end-to-end security that is simple, efficient and connected. By tying together the splintered aspects of IT security, organisations can share, combine and analyse security insight from every system across the organisation. And IT security can become an enabler of innovation, rather than an obstacle to it.
- Modernise and Automate
- Old programming languages and obsolete IT platforms are inherently restrictive. They limit organisations’ ability to add new capabilities to the enterprise and they require a disproportionate amount of resources to maintain. Migrating onto more modern systems reduces cost, improves agility and lays the foundation for the future. It also allows for labour-intensive processes to be automated, which saves money and reduces the potential for human error.
As we head towards an age where speed to market and the relevance of technology is always in question, it is imperative that we find sustainable approaches to enterprise IT. In capitalising on every opportunity, including those that do not even exist yet, “future-ready” firms are able to provide enough support for their highly mobile workforce. Organisations can hedge their risks of the unpredictable future via the aforementioned simple best practices.