Today, business executives from every sector are faced with an overwhelming dilemma. How do we respond to all this “disruption” in our markets? How many have uttered that word, “disruption” in disgust? Business disruption is a radical change in an industry, business strategy, etc., especially involving the introduction of a new product or service that creates a new market (e.g., Netflix, Uber, Amazon, Smartphones). In many instances technological innovations have created new businesses and new markets, and have drastically changed the status quo.
So, how do executives respond? Many believe they need to invest quickly and heavily into next generation technology to augment or change their business model. According to Gartner approximately 30% or more of IT spend needs to be purely strategic. That is the IT spend that should help an organization transform and grow its business. If you are spending less than 30% you are likely going to be disrupted, or already have been and just don’t know it yet. If you are in that undesirable bucket, then it may be the more prudent and the more cost effective approach to utilize infrastructure and desktop virtualization in combination with cloud services to create predictive, consistent, and repeatable outcomes in a complex and ever-changing technological landscape. In this way, you can reallocate dollars and resources from running the business to transforming it to be a disrupter.
Before we make any changes, it is a good idea to look at the technological landscape facing many business executives in all sectors:
1. Technology is needed to support or defend business disruption. In response to business disruption, whether your organization is the disrupter or the one being disrupted, the need for having a more scaleable, agile infrastructure supporting more functional business applications which provide enhanced customer interactions, only increases.
2. Technological innovation is creating more dynamics in technology infrastructure. Technology manufacturers continue to release smarter, faster, and more powerful solutions more frequently than ever before. These changes have created capital spending dilemmas for CIOs. Do you spend substantial sums of money on technology that used to have a 5- or 7-year life, knowing full well that the technology will be outdated in less than three years? CIO’s today need a predictive cost management strategy, while ensuring that the organization is utilizing state-of-the-market technology.
3. More legislation, not less, has created tremendous pressure on specific business sectors. For example, in the healthcare sector executives are constantly being asked to do more: Optimize workflows and improve clinician productivity, while meeting stringent federal and industry data security and privacy requirements. Meanwhile, patients’ expectations have never been higher, as they expect seamless digital service and secure access to care providers, treatment regimens, and all while you are securing their protected health information (PHI).
4. There literally exists a financially escalating “arms race” in cybersecurity. Hackers are extremely well funded to continue to challenge the security of an individual or organization. In response, individuals and organizations are spending more and more money to continually improve their defense, yet hacking still persists.
There is certainly no silver bullet that can solve all the disruptive business challenges that are engulfing today’s business leaders. However, there are a number of strategies that can be employed to better defend against disruption or to better create disruption in your market, depending on your perspective.
First, the affected organization needs to differentiate between strategic and non-strategic with respect to operations. The company needs its human assets that know the business sector but also know the culture and processes of the organization. The best of these human assets should lay the foundation of a core solution team. Yet, how can they be free to engage on solving critical disruption challenges if they are fighting fires of end-user support or infrastructure management? They can’t. In my experience, many of the best employees, especially in IT, are tied up with making sure nothing goes “down”. These are highly-skilled, highly educated individuals that know the company and its business. If they continue to support non-strategic initiatives their true value will not be utilized where it can bring the most reward—solving the disruption dilemma.
Once an organization separates itself into strategic and non-strategic elements, it can begin to turn the non-strategic into a “Without Worry” or WoW environment. To do that an organization should adopt virtualization from the datacenter to the desktop. Enterprise Virtualization will provide relief to the day-to-day fire fighting of end-user computing, while repurposing your best assets for strategic initiatives. How does enterprise virtualization make that happen? When combined with back-end cloud services, enterprise virtualization can:
• Create a dynamic infrastructure than can grow or shrink in a moments notice. Additionally, it allows the organization the ability to customize environments to create business, strategically-aligned solutions.
• Can bring all performance and end-user metrics into a single console, from the end point to the delivery infrastructure, to pinpoint the root cause of performance issues and remediate before business workers fail to access their business applications.
• Be another, but low cost remedy in fighting cyberhacking. Besides physical security, end-user computing is one of the weakest chinks in the cybersecurity armor. Enterprise virtualization offers a secure, centrally-managed environment for all users, thereby, eliminating a key weakness. Often, this feature is part of a bundled offering, which is provided through a predictive per month per user fee, thereby, addressing the spiraling arms race of spending in cybersecurity.
• Substantially reduce the management burden of maintenance. By virtualizing all dektop functions, i.e., Desktop as a Service (DaaS), the burden of maintaining daily updates and patches for thousands of end-user devices, is now controlled and maintained through a handful of end-user images (e.g., accounting department image). Utilizing intelligent automation in these areas can virtually eliminate the need for human oversight.
The more organizations think strategically about routine operations, the more likely they will recognize that by digitizing the workplace (Enterprise Virtualization), it will be giving people secure, simple access to the apps, data, and IT services they need, while freeing the best and brightest to focus on the disruption dilemma. Enterprise virtualization is a sophisticated DaaS solution that bundles, a rich end-user experience, with end-user security, business applications, performance monitoring, and full managed support. If an organization views operations like end-user and infrastructure support with an eye towards enterprise virtualization, business executives will stop muttering “disruption, disruption, disruption…”