For the past couple of years, digital transformation has dominated the conference circuit. You couldn’t toss a smartphone without hitting somebody espousing the transformative virtues possible for your business.
But here’s the thing: Digital transformation is beginning to happen, and it’s delivering on its promises. Even for small businesses, pervasive IT has begun to drive measurable return on investment.
What all of this really means is that you need to pursue technologies that will let your company tap into data across the business and agilely apply it to your desired outcomes. Think artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and software-defined everything, for starters. If you’re not at least exploring ways to adopt these and other fast-emerging technologies, then you’d better start. Otherwise, your competition is likely to push you aside.
Don’t just take my word for it. Consider this caution shared by Gartner’s Milind Govekar at the research firm’s annual data center summit in December: “By 2020, 30 percent of data centers that fail to apply AI or machine learning effectively in support of enterprise business will cease to be operationally and economically viable.” Ouch.
While that sounds dire, you have time to make sure your business infrastructure can keep pace.
IT Infrastructure Enables Digital Transformation
A critical element in all of these conversations is infrastructure. Does yours provide the baseline needed to move away from legacy technology that doesn’t allow automation and orchestration? That’s the place to start.
Take a look at Briggs & Stratton. The global engine manufacturer is certainly not a small or midsized business. But borrowing pointers from its move to software-defined WAN makes sense for many a small company. Here’s why, says IDC’s Brad Casemore: “If you do SD-WAN right, you can take IT out of all your branches and provision and manage all your resources centrally.”
That also opens possibilities with AI and machine learning because, as Briggs & Stratton’s Norm Mackensen points out, “we have increased visibility into the network.” To learn other ways SMBs can take advantage of SD-WAN, check out “SD-WAN: The Just-Right Network Technology for Many Small Businesses.”
In this issue, you can learn about other tactics and technology to help you forge your own transformative journey. Don’t be pushed aside.