This is a guest blogpost by Derek Thompson, VP EMEA, Boomi, which is a Dell Technologies business unit.
If there’s one thing all organisations today can agree on, it’s that no one is asking for less data slower, and the need to satisfy rising consumer demand is a constant source of pressure. What can businesses do to maintain customer satisfaction in such an environment and still find the space to grow and meet these demands – without a blank chequebook?
In particular, the problem for large, established enterprises is that their inevitable complexity limits business strategy options. Brittle architecture in IT landscapes can lead to high maintenance costs, greater risk of failure, and limited future use. Other organisations should not be complacent, however. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are wrestling with this burden, especially in the age of hybrid multi-cloud capabilities.
Data management continues to be at the heart of overcoming this “pace of change” challenge. With great data and actionable insights, businesses are able to innovate and stay ahead of the competition. Without it, they are stymied.
The startup community is at an advantage in this regard because startup infrastructures are relatively new, and they are not burdened with the cost of maintaining legacy architecture. This allows them to innovate and deploy the latest as-a-Service cloud technologies and analytics technologies with very few constraints.
One restriction they do have, however, is the lack of access to the kind of capital available to established enterprises. Bigger organisations can unlock and repurpose their funds and apply these to innovation. As a result, they can afford to maintain their leadership position in the market with relatively little risk.
For businesses who want to acquire new customers, streamline their supply chain and enhance their existing portfolio of products and services, innovation is key. Entering new markets either happens organically or via M&A, and the speed at which change is delivered ultimately comes down to having the right technology at the right time.
Whether a business’ architecture is on-premise, private cloud or public cloud, it does not matter, as long as the technology is up-to-date and the infrastructure is as streamlined as possible. In fact, modern approaches to business efficiency seem to indicate that a combination of all three is the preferred approach, and this is the core tenet of hybrid cloud.
Certainly for larger enterprises, committing their entire infrastructure to just cloud or on-prem is impossible. Hybrid cloud environments are becoming more and more important, and if you deploy the right technologies to integrate everything correctly it doesn’t have to be complicated.
In the area of integration, the key to success is to ultimately move businesses away from complex, developer-heavy, high-cost, on-premise solutions whilst recognising that this process cannot happen overnight. The journey to low code, agile, easy extensible and low-maintenance SaaS platforms, in particular, makes this transition easy and does not require a radical, costly overhaul which dispenses with ingrained legacy architecture all at once.
The second step of the journey, of course, is making sure that whatever integration platform used needs to be embedded with intelligence so that the journey to full automation is as painless as possible. Machine Learning and insights play a key role in this. If you have the right SaaS integration platform, you know where all of your data is going. The insights you can gain from this can be extremely powerful.
Innovation and Regulation
Put simply, regulation comes down to data. Regulators will not be concerned about the infrastructure you have in place or which applications you are using as long as your data can be located and is not vulnerable to attacks and breaches.
Whether merging disparate IT environments, looking at what is possible for your future business or going through a modernisation program, digital transformation can only succeed and be viable if organisations make sure that the right technologies are selected for the right applications.
“Where is the data, is it secure, can I trust it?” are the key questions at the heart of each process. When selecting new hybrid technologies, decision-makers need to ask themselves: is this going to satisfy the needs of regulation, not just for today but for the future?
When we talk in the industry about technical debt, it doesn’t necessarily equate to old or legacy technology. For larger, established enterprises, in particular, what it refers to is having to decide between delivering tactical, medium-term business objectives or building a strategic, agile business platform which will perform well in the future. Now, it is possible to have both and unlock the technical debt in your organisation, which in turn means diverting previously ring-fenced funding into innovation and growth. Ultimately, this is key for businesses to gain a competitive advantage.