Warren Olivier, regional manager for Southern Africa at Veeam, examines why it is important for organisations to consider digital transformation in the age of the Always-On business.
“The climate today demands more from IT services. Being Always-On means more services are driven from the data centre. And with many lines of business applications providing rich data options, this drastically increases demand for storage,” says Olivier.
In order to achieve the requirement for improved service levels, businesses must ensure they have a modern data centre in place. This will be anchored by the key technologies provided by the likes of virtualisation, modern storage systems, and the cloud.
Already, additional projects are gravitating towards these technologies but organisations still have a burden to meet their business requirements.
“Despite the influx of new technology, South African businesses are by nature quite conservative when it comes to change. And then there is the issue of addressing legacy software and hardware while still growing with new solutions.”
A good example of digital transformation can be seen in basic workforce communication. While not exactly a Tier-1 application just a technology generation ago, email has arguably become the most critical application for most organisations.
And then there is enhanced integration with workplace telephone systems. This includes meeting room capabilities, mobile device access for all communication and critical applications, voicemail messages delivered to mobile devices, and more.
“The communication process has changed significantly, and has leveraged new devices, new networks, and new applications. But it draws back to the data centre with an increased expectation on availability,” adds Olivier.
It is not a case of if but rather when digital transformation should be embraced. Missing out on the transformation can lead to loss of business, loss of revenue, and the loss of business reputation.
“It used to be a first impression was made on a good handshake. Today it could be based on whether the company Web site is available or not.”
Olivier believes that decision-makers should not be concerned about adopting a different attitude when it comes to digital transformation.
“IT rules do not change with digital transformation or new characteristics of modern applications and infrastructure. Instead, the delivery and implementation do. Organisations need to strengthen controls and deliver complete visibility in a new way to meet these needs,” he says.
However, the back-end IT infrastructure does have to change. The digital transformation and the ability to meet the needs of the Always-On business can only be met when the modern data centre has the capabilities to meet this demand.