Unlocking the Power of Digital Transformation: Freeing IT from Legacy Constraints
By Aziz Ali, Country Manager, Brocade Malaysia
A recent global study “Unlocking the Power of Digital Transformation: Freeing IT from Legacy Constraints” by Brocade, examined the challenges IT departments face in delivering business benefits from digital transformation – from increased competitiveness and innovation, to productivity and revenue.
The study aimed to identify these challenges, as well as gain insight into what the missed opportunities mean to business. It asked 630 IT decision makers in the US, UK, Germany, France, Singapore and Australia for their thoughts on the state of digital transformation, perceived challenges and opportunities and what greater freedom to innovate could mean for their businesses.
Undeniably, an increasingly dynamic technology environment has resulted in organisations needing to be more agile in uptake and deployment of technology. The IT department’s role is crucial to this. This new environment offers a wealth of digital transformation opportunities for organisations, but only if the IT department can effectively and efficiently overcome restrictive legacy technologies and misplaced historical perceptions.
The vast majority (87%) of IT decision makers interviewed reported that their organisations are adopting digital transformation strategies. An even larger proportion (94%) said that their organisations’ CIOs and IT managers felt that it is important to adopt digital transformation in order to achieve business objectives. However, in reality IT departments are currently spending large proportions of their time maintaining data security (73%) and legacy systems (63%). This restricts the time and resource available to digitally transform their organisations. Add to this the fact that implementing digital transformation is not always a simple process, and it is perhaps unsurprising that 79%of respondents state that their organisation is restricted in its ability to support these strategies.
In fact, almost half (46%) stated that their IT departments are perceived as not being able to deliver on some current business needs. This can cause concern across businesses, with nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents feeling frustrated that the IT department cannot readily deliver what is demanded by the business.
Worryingly, 88% identified situations in the last year where the IT team has had to defer or decline requests that would have clearly benefitted the business, with over half (53%) saying that these situations resulted in missing short term business benefits and 72%, long term benefits.
On a more positive note there is clear acceptance of the potential advantages of implementing a more flexible approach to technology. More than 70% of IT teams felt that if they had the opportunity to be more flexible, there would be clear business benefits, including; increased competitiveness (36%), more time to focus on innovation (31%), and the elimination of shadow IT (30%).
Respondents also claimed that the business bottom line would benefit, projecting that the ability to innovate to a greater degree could result, on average, in a 12% increase in revenue, and a 10% decrease in costs over the next 12 months.
The research confirmed how critical IT is to enabling innovation, but too many businesses are restricted in their ability to adopt digital transformation and drive this change. It’s clear that if IT departments could spend less time ‘keeping the lights on’, then they could devote more time to creating value, reducing costs and increasing revenues. Organisations need to be more fluid with their uptake and deployment of technology.
For two decades, legacy IT infrastructure has held back businesses from innovating on their terms. The IT department has found itself having to say ‘no’ to new business opportunities far too often. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Modern New IP technologies unlock the power of the network as a platform for innovation and put the IT department in the business of saying ‘yes’ to the kinds of business opportunities that surface almost daily in today’s era of digital transformation.
The potential is there, but organisations must free IT departments from the constraints of legacy systems so that they can truly unlock the power of digital transformation and deliver the wealth of business benefits it can clearly deliver.