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In This HP Cloud Source Blog, HP Expert, Christian Verstraete will examine cloud computing challenges, discuss practical approaches to cloud computing and suggest realistic solutions.

HP Discover: a new style of IT for the digital enterprise

Digital enterprise 2.jpgThe world is very quickly becoming digital. There is no day passing or we are in touch with digital technologies, being it through our phone, our TV, or our music. Enterprises are quickly following route, digitizing their products and services, as well as using digital technologies to improve their products and services.

 

The financial services and telecommunication industries have even become fully digital. There is no way they could operate without information technology. McKinsey describes the move to digital very well in an interview called “The Digital Enterprise”. They point to the fact many enterprises focus digital technologies on the analysis of their customers and market. And they ask themselves the question whether that is the best way to use this technology. They point out the need to address four points, first understand where the value is to the enterprise, second they need to prioritize, third, they need to take an end-to-end view and fourthly look at their portfolio and understand what impact digital has.

 

The new style of IT

The new style of IT centers around four technologies that are currently hyped quite a lot, but that, together, provide immense opportunities to business. First there are mobile and cloud, these are basically the two sides of the same coin. They are the platform on which all services will run. Mobile allows users to consume these services, typically through mobile apps.

But these apps are nothing else than the front-end of larger applications running in the cloud. Secondly we have social and big data. They are the information reservoirs. Social, comprising both social media as well as all other non-structured information available on the internet. This includes news, TV broadcasts, radio etc. Big Data includes the enterprise information as well as the sensor data generated by yet another hype, the internet of things. Even if these technologies are hyped today, they are slowly but surely entering our lives. The connected car finally seems there, advanced analytics tools searching through structured and unstructured data to identify “sentiments” are a reality today. I could go on like that. All these tools are instrumental in creating the digital enterprise. But what value do they add to the company?

 

The value of the digital enterprise

Traditional companies spend the bulk of their IT budgets to keep their existing systems running, responding to change takes time. In the current business environment with loads of opportunities and variability, this becomes a bottleneck. That’s why business people use external service providers to deliver what IT is unable to provide them. The result, scattered data and potential compliance and security concerns. Mobility and cloud allows IT to build an agile platform. Virtualization, automation and self-provisioning reduce cost, leaving more room in the budget for innovation. But how do you measure that?

 

In the Supply Chain Operational Reference model, agility is measured by defining the number of days required to achieve an unplanned sustainable 20% increase in quantities delivered. Maybe we could do something similar. What is the time it takes to create a new service and make it available to the users? What-ever measure we use, it’s all about being able to respond to users’ needs quickly.

 

But that’s not the only benefit. Understanding the market better allows enterprises to make better informed decisions. This may result in entering new markets or timely leave some. It also allows them to understand how they and their products/services are perceived by customers. In turn this allows them to react more quickly. What value does that have?

 

How do you measure such value? What is the cost of a bad press, of customers not buying your products because they are considered inferior in the social media circles? Frankly this can be extremely damaging.

 

But that is not all. Using digital technologies allows you to build new business models and integrated product/services approaches, which may differentiate you from your competition and allow you to grow and enter new markets. Moving digital actually unleashes creativity, building new revenue streams. What is that worth to the enterprise?

 

Components, Solutions & Services

Each enterprise will develop their own IT environment to support their strategy and their implementation of the new style of IT. Some will start from components, integrate them and get to the results, while others will start from integrated solutions, but all want services to help them achieve that.

 

As Meg highlighted in her keynote at HP Discover in Barcelona, HP delivers the components, the solutions and the services to drive the new style of IT. We have the capabilities to support you on the journey so you can focus on the business transformation and the change of the organization to address the new challenges ahead of you. There is actually a sense of urgency as some companies are already on the journey. Make sure you do not get bypassed by others.

Labels: cloud| CloudSource
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About the Author
Christian is responsible for building services focused on advising clients in their move to cloud, particularly from a business process and ...
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