The Need for Innovation is an ongoing series that explores the motivations, benefits, and key components to adopting a modern approach to IT infrastructure, and why it might be key to achieving the goals of your business. If you want to dive deeper into what this means for your organization, get in touch with us at [email protected].
For many organizations today, innovation is top of mind. They are feeling pressure from their competitors, who threaten to disrupt their industry by redefining how they interact with customers. Maintaining market share is challenging enough when what most companies are trying to do is grow. Successful modern companies are often compelled to disrupt themselves before their competitors force them to react to disruptions. How does a business stay relevant and provide value to their customers when the world of business changes so fast?
It might be time to look at IT. While traditionally seen as an operations cost centre, more and more organizations are recognizing that with the right approach, IT can be leveraged to drive digital innovation through experimentation, agility, and creativity.
How is this so?
The traditional approach to IT was to build monolithic, highly complex systems to drive the IT services of a business. These systems required a lot of care and feeding to stay functional, and the approach was to create a custom build, then change as little as possible to maintain high availability. Nowadays, this infrastructure is referred to as a “snowflake”. It’s hard to keep in its current state, and impossible to duplicate.
In contrast, modern IT practices change the approach so that infrastructure can be built identically (through code and automation) and can quickly be deployed an unlimited number of times, always with the same predictable outcome. Instead of avoiding change, it is expected (in some cases hundreds or thousands of times per day). So, how does this fundamental change to IT help the business?
When you no longer need to spend all your time maintaining a snowflake infrastructure, you can shift your priorities to innovation. With new cloud tools, you can improve your infrastructure and the business services that run on that infrastructure.
Compared to the traditional way that infrastructure is managed, in the modern approach the environment is more secure, more resilient, innately flexible, and meaningful data is readily available. This means that businesses can spend less time concerned about IT threats, release schedules, and troubleshooting, and can focus instead on exciting cloud capabilities such as:
- Using data analytics to make sense of the rich data your systems output, and capitalizing on this intelligence to support better decision-making;
- Experimenting with exciting new technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) and applying it to your business in a practical manner;
- Exploring new solutions and technologies, and moving on quickly if they are not the right fit; and,
- Offering a premium experience to your customers and stakeholders.
What does it mean to modernize IT?
There are multiple facets to a modern IT strategy, beginning with the adoption of agile practices and employing code-based infrastructure solutions, leading to continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD), and beyond. Over the next few months, we are going to delve into IT modernization and what it could mean for your business. Check back soon for our next topic: “Scrum, Lean, & Agile – Adopting a Modern Approach to IT Infrastructure”.
If you are interested in learning more about Long View's Modernization through Managed Services offering, connect with us and start the conversation on how we can help your business achieve ambitious goals.