For any company, completely transforming its IT can sound complex and risky. This is especially true when managers do not know where to start. Proof of this is that only 1 in 10 companies in Canada are ready to navigate the digital transformation shift.
Yet a company's IT transformation can allow it to make significant savings, and also importantly, greatly improve the efficiency of its processes, both internally and externally.
EMC, one of the world’s leaders in software and storage systems, knows something about this, as it underwent this change successfully. From 2004 to 2013, it increased from 24,000 to 60,000 employees, from 960 TB to 13 PB of data to be managed and went from 90 days to deliver an application to a single day! A growth that would have been impossible if it had not thoroughly reviewed its processes.
Here are the three major stages of IT transformation that they followed to get to where they are today and which should inspire every medium and large company that wants to succeed in its technological transformation.
In 2004, only 15% of the EMC environment was virtualised. Moreover, it was very heterogeneous and worked in silos, that is to say by the lines of business. Because of this heavy and inflexible infrastructure, almost 80% of the IT budget was allocated to the maintenance of existing systems. That left a very small part of the budget for development and innovation.
The virtualisation of the environment seemed to be the most appropriate avenue when faced with a system management that had become too cumbersome. EMC therefore implemented VMware hypervisor, which consolidates multiple virtual servers on a single physical server. This allowed for the consolidation of 14 virtualised servers to one physical server.
Despite all the savings from the VMware solution, the rapid growth of data greatly hampered the integration of all components. It is at this point that VCE released its Vblock architecture, which manages storage as well as servers. EMC therefore transferred its applications and databases onto x86 servers running Vblock, thereby eliminating the complexity involved in their integration and management.
This step represented a giant step towards an architecture in the private cloud. Today, 93% of the EMC environment is virtualised.
While the virtualisation of infrastructure lays the foundation for good IT transformation, certain changes must also be made under an operational perspective to enable the shift to an IT-as-a-service mode.
Initially, EMC’s IT operated in silos. To change this approach, EMC created an IT services team for each infrastructure component. This allowed for self-service within the various silos, much like it would for external clients.
A new server is required? It was simply added and the usage charged back to the appropriate service department within the enterpise. So EMC gets to know precisely how much, for example, the marketing or sales department services costs the company, and therefore can better control spending.
Applications also play an important role in the evolution of IT. Several years ago, EMC realised that its project management software was outdated and was no longer working fast enough for a multinational.
Indeed, today's businesses need access to their computer systems, from anywhere and at any time, either on a laptop, smartphone or tablet to maintain high productivity.
To meet this need, it was necessary to deploy a new, more flexible platform for applications that supported production, finance, sales, customer service, etc.
To successfully transform IT, each application must be analysed to determine where it should be, whether in the private, public or hybrid cloud. For example, data that is consulted regularly in SAP requires a more efficient and faster environment, such as a private cloud.
In contrast, the least-used data and that which must only be stored for a number of years can be stored on less efficient and less costly systems. In this way, the most efficient systems remain for the most critical data.
The phases for the successful IT transformation of a business are many and each has equal importance. The key to success is planning these steps diligently.
For starters, the first step is to understand the challenges related to your company’s IT transformation and how it is must from a business point of view. Request a meeting with an expert from Present to begin your transformation strategy.
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The right use of technology addresses business challenges and drives business growth in all areas of an enterprise. We hope this blog will offer insight into developing strategies and tactics to enable you to identify those key drivers of growth and keep pace with and anticipate the rapid technology change of today.