The role of infrastructure management in optimizing digital transformation

Infrastructure management and digital transformation

Digital transformation has now become a reality. It has moved a long way from being an option to a necessity, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19. While every department in an organization is being digitized, businesses reckon digital experience management as a key strategy in optimizing their transformation journey and also in creating a robust business model. This new digitally transformed business model, with experience management at its epicenter, can anticipate infrastructural, cultural, and behavioral changes to benefit businesses and their users. Businesses will additionally have to strike a balance between existing business functionalities and the recently transformed environment.

The need for infrastructure management

The scope of digital transformation extends beyond the technology realm—much into every corner of an organization. Full-fledged transformations can only be achieved with proper infrastructure capable of handling newer and evolving technologies, as every end user's experience matters in running a sustainable business, and infrastructure management plays a vital role in achieving seamless operations across diverse platforms—especially in hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

With technologies like AIOps, and multi-cloud infrastructures gaining prominence, IT teams now seek to implement customer-centric IT management policies in ensuring business processes are abreast. Also, with the new business continuity plans in place, technologies like virtual private networks (VPNs) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) have become the focal point. However, digital transformation initiatives should consider digital diversity, network agility, and various infrastructure components in order to successfully align IT with every business unit.

Digital diversity management

Digital transformation reinvents processes, causing variations in existing operations thus increasing digital diversity, or the spectrum of assets and technologies implemented at a business. With diverse digital assets, discovering and monitoring various components that will directly or indirectly affect a business is now a top priority. Businesses need a proper strategy for managing diverse infrastructure components to avoid major issues due to unaccountability; ideally, details should be presented from a single console.

Network agility, the backbone of digital transformation

Networks form the foundation for digital transformation, IT operations, and many of the services that businesses rely on. As IT teams are increasingly focused on greater availability and performance, both hardware and software infrastructures might require an overhaul to incorporate newer technologies like fifth-generation wireless networks (5G), edge computing, and AI to enhance operational efficiency.

To keep up with this change, network teams should consider adopting emerging trends like software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs). This technology reduces the dependency on infrastructure, thus increasing the network agility. SD-WAN enables IT teams to implement updates through one centralized portal, even for different geographies, instead of having to work in multiple silos. Additionally, maintaining and monitoring the infrastructure that supports remote work is even more important these days.

Interaction between infrastructure components

Infrastructure components interact through networks, services, and applications. Studying and analyzing the network path and map is crucial, as these provide a snapshot of the entire infrastructure, which in turn helps in seamless management of IT operations and systems.

With hyper-converged storage, virtualized networking, and hybrid IT environments, businesses can now integrate new components with older hardware and software to achieve smoother component interactions.

Digital experience management

In a 2018 survey, McKinsey and Company found that only 16 percent of organizations reported improved performance after their digital transformations. Businesses can increase their chance of a successful digital transformation by engaging in proper planning and prioritizing user experience at every step, starting with infrastructure. All these new digital business processes have to be properly planned and streamlined, and this can only be achieved through stage-by-stage monitoring and analysis.

Thus, digital transformation shouldn't stop with digitalization. To sustain the reality and reap benefits on a long run, businesses should consider monitoring not only at an infrastructure level, but also the different layers involving websites, networks, applications, cloud, hybrid cloud, private cloud (due to compliance reasons), the user experience, and work-from-home infrastructure; preferably from a single console.

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