Digital Transformation is nothing new. In fact, it's been around since the early 1990s. However digital transformation is a constantly moving target and a highly dynamic strategy. Technology changes daily. As new technologies come out and become viable, then mainstream enterprises need thoroughly evaluate the return on such new investments--is their value in this new tech. will this new tech make us money? It can be difficult to keep up.
Companies of all sizes are seeing desirable business outcomes from digital transformation efforts, such as product and service improvement and innovation, operational efficiencies, and increased agility across the value chain. But the path to value starts with defining a strategy for your specific business needs and desired outcomes.
A Digital Transformation Strategy is a detailed plan for how your business will address key challenges created by the convergence of the physical, digital, and human worlds. Digital transformation is, in and of itself, a broad business strategy.
Developing a roadmap for short- and long-term digital transformation is key to clearing hurdles, avoiding pitfalls, and overcoming other unique challenges businesses face today.
- Objective: Resilient connectivity. Optimize network segments. Maintain, improve, and maximize performance across all network domains. Ensure the highest levels of service for users and customers.
- Strategy: Monitor and manage. Optimize and prioritize traffic and services to users, systems, and cloud(s).
- Benefits: Cost reduction, latency reduction, overall increased better performing bandwidth
- Technologies: SDWAN, SASE, various managed services, Network as a Service (NaaS), NOC/SOC as a Service, Edge Computing
Network optimization really is just a set of best practices and a strategy used to improve overall network performance both inside and outside any organization. A variety of services, tools, and techniques can be used to monitor and improve network performance. Businesses are completely dependent on the availability, reliability, and security of the transfer of data making network optimization a crucial piece of the digital transformation puzzle.
- Objective: Enable network agility to support emerging technologies
- Strategy: Shorten the distance between users and services. Tailor network balance towards hybrid and premise traffic
- Benefits: Smarter network supports digital transformation, reduced bandwidth costs, increase security and data protection, dramatic improvement of real-time services
The concept of Edge Computing was conceived due to the explosive growth of IoT and millions of new machines generating enormous amounts of data. Edge Computing further enhances and enables the power of the cloud by bringing it closer to critical users and resources. Paul Miller at theverge.com says Edge Computing “doesn’t mean the cloud will disappear. It means the cloud is coming to you.”. It intelligently distributes compute and balances between the cloud and the edge where control and security are centralized.
Gartner defines edge computing as “a part of a distributed computing topology in which information processing is located close to the edge – where things and people produce or consume that information.”
- Objective: Migrate infrastructure. Connect public & private clouds. Manage sprawl and control costs
- Strategy: Cloud First. Connect multiple clouds and segment traffic to the appropriate targets
- Benefits: Increase agility and scalability. Better interoperability and integrations. Reduced overall infrastructure costs. Operational Expenditure model. Reduced complexity.
Today, cloud strategy is “table-stakes” for organizations to remain nimble in any way. In order to differentiate, to transform, to gain any advantages--a solid cloud foundation is crucial. Many organizations are focused on cloud-first strategies, but cloud-first does not necessarily mean cloud-always.
A cloud strategy is different and unique for each business and must be understood and embraced by the entire organization, not just IT. “If you have not developed a cloud-first strategy yet, you are likely falling behind your competitors,” says Elias Khnaser, VP Analyst at Gartner.
Customer Experience Design
- Objective: Enable the creation of engineered customer experiences that are measurable, memorable, and meaningful.
- Strategy: Take advantage of Cloud Contact Center technologies to provide competitive advantages
- Benefits: Proven value of investment. More data and better information for quicker decisions. Increased conversion rates. Improved customer interactions. Omnichannel: engage customers on numerous media. Better management of increasing customer engagements.
- Technologies: Omnichannel Contact Center, Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI/automation, and many, many more...
Customer Experience (CX) Design focuses on improving and optimizing every aspect of a customer’s engagement with a company and/or brand including every touchpoint before, during, and after conversion. CX Design goes far beyond technology and shouldn’t start there, but tech can be an easy way to engineer customer engagements. When done right, not only can it improve and create a satisfying customer experience but also provides more and better data, and therefore insights, for businesses to predict, respond, and pivot quickly. Better information means better decisions and better design.
- Objective: Engage in cloud application ecosystems that support SaaS
- Strategy: Balance performance and functionality of cloud, network, and SaaS
- Benefits: Improved conversion, visibility, and usability. Better software performance, maximizing impact and reducing cost. Increased usage and adoption for customers and/or employees. Improved productivity.
- Technologies: Compression, caching, TCP Optimization, SDWAN, SASE, Edge
It’s all about performance. You want your enterprise applications to run smoothly, whether those apps are home-grown and hosted “in-house” or third-party Software as a Service (SaaS); whether they are for internal use or for external customers; whether its a mobile, app, web app, or pulling from a database. Application Optimization uses a number of techniques to specifically target the applications themselves; clean code, XL compilers, small memory footprint, quick startup times. Sometimes a simpler approach can have the best results. Often, enterprise application optimization can be as simple as improving the network.
- Objective: Continual process improvement. Support more visible customer engagement benefits
- Strategy: Transform through digitization, workforce enablement, and performance management
- Benefits: Redefining interactions and changing the functionality of business processes
- Technologies: Business Intelligence (BI), Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Workforce Optimization (WFO), CRM, ERP, Internet of Things, Mobility/Wireless, Contact Center and associated solutions, and many more
Operational Optimization means different things to different people and it depends on what your business actually does, obviously. It could be anything from fleet management to running a contact center; or even both! Whether you sell products, make products, or provide services, every business needs to manage its own internal processes, procedures, and assets to run as efficiently and effectively as possible with the ultimate goal of earning money. Regardless of Operational Optimization means to you and your business the better your data, analytics, systems, and solutions, the better information you to make sound decisions.
- Objective: Reduce risk and exposure. Allow access, promote collaboration of the distributed workforce, thoroughly secure distributed systems, staff, assets, and data.
- Strategy: Deploy security controls utilizing cloud-based solutions
- Benefits: Real-time control of identity, access, authentication, virtual and logical perimeter, and data with a reduction in audit costs & overall exposure
- Technologies: Technologies: Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Software Defined Perimeter (SDP), Secure Access, Service Edge (SASE), Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), Unified Threat Management (UTM)
Digital Transformation is a moving target and securing your assets is perhaps the most important piece to the dynamic DT puzzle. There can be risks involved and security needs to be woven into the DT strategy each step of the way. Distributed systems produce new security challenges particularly when it comes to protecting multi-cloud environments. Distributed security essentially refers to a layered approach and especially applies today with the inevitable permanence of the remote workforce and the new ways that staff access corporate resources. Centralized management and security of distributed systems (multi-cloud, hybrid, on-prem environments) and a distributed workforce are crucial.