The IDC research described in this iView (Source: IDC’s IT Transformation Survey, March 2018) shows significant differences in behavior and outcomes between Digital Leaders, Transformers, Explorers, and Laggards. IT organizations today are challenged to respond quickly to developers’ desires and businesses’ need to drive innovation and create competitive differentiation. 

Compounding these challenges is the need to extend, support, and secure dedicated IT services for innovative new applications at the edge in the factories, hospitals, stores, campuses, and other facilities where business actually happens.

While all organizations agree that IT investment is necessary to drive productivity, Digital Leaders believe that their ability to drive competitive differentiation and business value depends on their IT investment strategy.

Enterprises seeking to maximize the business value of their IT organizations should follow these four principles:

  • 1

    Focus IT initiatives on business needs first.

    The most successful organizations view IT as a critical enabler of business success, with an eye toward innovative development, agility, top-line revenue growth, and excellence in customer experience. Digital Leaders understand the value of focusing on strategic outcomes and aligning IT’s goals with business objectives. IT departments should view delivering a superior experience as their mandate rather than simply minimizing costs and risk.

  • 2

    Provide a mix of architectures.

    Digital Leaders recognize the strengths of various infrastructure types and employ a variety of them to match their development and business needs. Leaders feel they have found an appropriate distribution of architectures and don’t see it changing much in the next three years. Less mature organizations tend to rely disproportionately on traditional on-premises infrastructure. (Although they, too, intend to reduce use of traditional IT infrastructure in the years to come but may not have a clear plan to get there.)

  • 3

    Place workloads on the platforms best suited for them.

    Seek to proactively move workloads and applications between platforms to serve the business’s needs. Continually evaluate your architecture’s suitability and make the necessary changes to keep applications running at their best without compromising security or compliance requirements. Make the investments required to keep the IT assets in your datacenters and edge locations at peak performance.

  • 4

    Take a “cloud first” approach.

    Institute a policy whereby your organization builds and hosts new applications and workloads on a robust cloud foundation unless there is a compelling reason not to. Consider a hybrid cloud strategy to use the most fitting public and private cloud architectures to deliver the best service to customers.

IT Strategies to Accelerate Digital Transformation: How the Most Successful IT Organizations Stand Out from the Rest

For a hard copy of the global IDC study described in this iView, download the IDC white paper.