Why are organizations investing in cloud, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, social networking, containers, microservices, blockchain and all of the other technologies that are rapidly reshaping the business landscape?
Fundamentally, digital transformation is all about delivering a great, modern and glitch-free digital experience to customers, employees, partners and anyone else who interacts with your organization.
IT leaders are increasingly seeing the importance of focusing on the user experience. The largest increase in digital transformation investment for 2020 is for technologies that “improve the employee experience and productivity,” according to TechTarget’s 2020 IT Priorities Survey.
Additional research bears this out: According to Forbes Insights, business leaders say the top market force catalyzing IT transformation is the fear of “new competitors trying to enter our market and steal our customers.”
From an IT perspective, it is important to think of everyone as a prospective customer. So, delivering a great experience is not just about the people that use or buy your organization’s products and services; it’s also about employees and partners, ranging from the C-suite to developers and beyond, including gig workers, partners, distributors and, especially, the IT teams and administrators on the front lines of digital transformation.
Cloud opportunities and challenges
Cloud computing is the catalyst to delivering this great experience. It provides organizations with new levels of agility, economics and scalability, accelerating development cycles to bring new features and services to market faster than ever before.
But cloud can also complicate the user experience if it is not deployed and managed with an eye toward organizational cohesiveness, security and tight alignment with overall business objectives.
For example, an individual department may use one public cloud service to create a new application, while another department may choose a different provider. This may cause problems in sharing data, meaning customers may not have access to all of the data they need to make a decision. Or a development team may go off on its own without coordinating with cybersecurity or other vital internal teams. This may create security gaps that can eventually lead to breaches or compliance violations.
The expanded use of multiple cloud services exacerbates these customer experience challenges for IT departments. On average, companies are using about five different clouds, according to the 2019 State of the Cloud Report.
The path to improved experiences
In order to optimize the experience of customers and employees, IT teams have to be the ones to take control of the environment and ensure that the organization can leverage all of its IT resources.
The path to delivering greater, more intelligent, data-driven user experiences is through the hybrid cloud, specifically the consistent hybrid cloud model described in other articles in this special site.
For customers, more efficient hybrid cloud integration should be invisible and yield a wide range of positive results, including faster customer service, increased use of big data analytics to pinpoint specific opportunities, no downtime or lags in performance, and less risk of exposure of private data or other security gaps.
For IT teams and developers, the big benefit is to use the capabilities of self-service, self-sufficiency, automation and intelligence to minimize slow and manual processes. This way, IT can spend more time on projects that truly move the organization toward achieving digital transformation.
Who benefits and how?
Consistent hybrid cloud improves the user experience across the board. It’s faster, simpler, more secure, more reliable, more integrated, more intelligent and more automated. IDC has measured a number of improvements with a direct impact on the user experience, including:
- Almost three times as many new applications and features developed per year, thanks to tools that allow employees to work more effectively.
- Faster access to new applications and services, with development cycles accelerated by an average of 51%.
- Reduced risks with a 90% reduction in productive employee time lost due to unplanned outages and an 87% reduction in unplanned outages.
- Improved application performance, with 45% lower application latency.
Within the IT organization, the opportunity to drive innovation and spend less time on routine activities is a huge benefit across all constituencies— particularly for organizations that use the combination of VMware software and Dell Technologies infrastructure to migrate to a consistent hybrid cloud model. For “customers” within IT, benefit of this model are:
- IT operations can offload maintenance and focus on value-added services by leveraging a cloud data center-as-a-service option.
- IT architects can utilize VMware’s hybrid cloud control plan to simplify workload management
- IT security teams can uniformly apply security policies, eliminating the need to track and secure workloads that span multiple environments.
- Developers can accelerate application development by building for just one environment.
- IT decision-makers can negotiate one contract with one vendor for all core and edge data center needs.
Taking the next step
Leading IT organizations are seeking to operate more cohesively with a consistent hybrid cloud, which requires a modern, cloud-ready IT infrastructure on premises to reap the benefits of cloud at scale, according to IDC.
The first step toward delivering a consistent hybrid cloud experience, IDC says, is to invest in modern, cloud-enabled IT: “Key investment areas should include modern storage, compute, data protection, hyper-converged and software-defined networking for optimal value and cloud readiness.”
Dell infrastructure and VMware software are integrated in a variety of platforms, including Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, cloud-enabled infrastructure such as VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail and cloud-validated designs leveraging VMware with best-of-breed Dell servers, storage and networks.
To learn how you can leverage the best of Dell and VMware to enhance the experience of your customers and employees, please visit Dell.