Jim Steinlage, President & CEO of Choice Solutions, Digital transformation is most likely the answer to many of the questions your organization is challenged with today. Yet, tasked with an ongoing cycle of creating, monetizing, and defending value, many CHROs spend an inordinate amount of time trying to make a traditional square peg fit into a digital round hole. Why? Because they fail to recognize that the way to manage this cycle has drastically changed in the digital age.
A new approach to balancing competing priorities
Every business faces the same challenges:
- How do we differentiate ourselves in the market?
- What will increase profitability and uncover new avenues of growth?
- Where are the new markets and how do we expand into them?
Ultimately, all these questions can be refined to one: how do we compete in our industry? The answer can be found in embracing innovative solutions that are about far more than just buying new technology.
A roadmap to transforming the workplace
Technology may be a vital player in a company’s digital transformation, but the digital workplace heavily relies on a vision that’s focused on realignment of your organization’s internal culture, operation processes, and technology with the goal of getting things done digitally. This vision must also address a variety of priorities including business functions and expected results.
In a report from the 2018 Digital Transformation Index, nearly 80% of companies who responded described their relationship with tech and digital transformation as average or above average. Sixty-five percent of them feel positive about their ability to adapt to technological disruption. Yet, while IT departments are adopting tech faster, HR lags behind.
If a digital transformation is going to work, HR and IT must be on the same page for maximum effectiveness.
What to look for in digital transformation solutions
The best solutions are those that assist both IT and HR to make the digital transformation a seamless and painless one. Despite the good news that came out of the above report, only 40% or so of companies report having a dedicated digital transformation team in place.
Look for solutions that are easy to integrate. Hybrid cloud VDI solutions have the same benefits and functionality as traditional on-site platforms but are much simpler to set up and manage. Quickly becoming the norm for many industries, you simply subscribe and activate the service. There are no infrastructure components to install or manage—everything is delivered as a cloud service.
A hybrid cloud computing model enables proficiencies and delivers the flexibility and speed you require to respond to the changing needs of a digital workplace. Internal, on-site resources and apps that are already familiar to the workforce are streamlined while still maintaining strict security for sensitive data and networks. And the selected cloud solutions should be compatible with the tech and apps that already exist within your company.
To truly digitally transform, you need to transform enterprise desktops first. Today, desktop workloads remain seriously undermanaged and under-architected, resulting in higher costs and security risks while undermining employee productivity.
Scalability is a must for enterprise-scale VDI deployment and a good solution will make it easy to expand infrastructure while preserving performance predictability. Look for a service whose VDI infrastructure components expand as your footprint does and that allows you to spin up additional virtual apps or desktop servers as needed.
A true digital environment requires anytime, anywhere access by employees to their apps and data. And its needs to deliver it as quickly as possible. The time it takes to implement and configure cloud services can be just a few hours. The same tasks for local servers and equipment would take weeks to set up. Plus, replacing virtual desktops and solving virtualization issues happens almost in real time.
Adding the cloud helps meets the demands of a modern digital business and makes it possible to enhance the computing environment. Users now have a faster machine compared to traditional desktop environments and time-consuming activities are eliminated. Everyone wins.
Whether they’re infrastructure, platform, or software, digital transformation demands the adoption of increasingly more cloud-delivered as-a-service elements. After all, the ability to connect to corporate data and apps remotely wouldn’t be practical if it wasn’t secure. Hybrid-cloud VDI lets you control where your data and apps reside and ensures they’re behind layers of security in your organization’s data center.
A virtual application and desktop platform is especially appealing to companies with mobile workers. A cloud VDI solution has built-in provisioning methods that let the company, not the workers, install company files, apps, patches, security fixes, and updates to virtual desktops and virtual application servers. Employees are not required to install anything on their own devices, which mitigates the chance of data compromise including theft and loss. And frontline employees and high-clearance executives can use the same devices without leaving a record of their individual activities.
The ability to effect changes across your entire computing, storage, and networking infrastructure from a single touchpoint is one of the greatest benefits of HCI, or hyper-converged infrastructure. Its scale-as-you-grow model reduces upfront capital investments. Other cost efficiency benefits include:
- Fewer servers and less space required in a server room.
- Management updates and support are incredibly simple, rolling out from the same single point from which the environment is managed.
- Fast deployment and speedy changes that help you get to market faster than your competitors.
- Reduced server cooling and energy consumption.
Your business also benefits from flexible investment options and lower implementation and consulting fees.
IT teams have discovered that the levels of scale, simplicity, and agility need to support complex digital transformation strategies cannot be efficiently achieved using the traditional practice of buying individually managed silos of data center resources. Converged infrastructure solutions that can be centrally managed are needed for top performance. It’s no surprise that adoption of converged systems has grown quickly—annual spending now exceeds $13 billion worldwide.
Hybrid-cloud VDI offers the simplicity and economics IT craves and support your employees with agility, improved performance, and more functionality. The result? Employees use virtual desktops and apps more effectively which, in turn, increases productivity.
A modern HCI solution should also support consolidation of job roles so that IT team members are free to work on more innovative projects and human capital is shifted to other roles that drive new revenue streams, not maintain the status quo.
Digital transformation means changing the fundamental way your company creates, monetizes, and defends value so to gain a much-needed competitive edge. To recap, a seamless digital transformation requires:
- Digital workspaces that support employee collaboration and boost productivity.
- Letting go of traditional approaches and a willingness to be “pushed out” of your culture zone.
- Consolidation of infrastructure silos.
- Shift to cloud-based virtual app and desktop platform.
- Adopting a tightly integrated hybrid cloud solution that simplifies and accelerates VDI deployments and delivers optimum speed, agility, security, cost efficiency, and scalability.
Whether you realize it or not, your employees are already working in a digital workplace. The question is whether it is sufficiently capable of meeting the demands of the modern workforce.
One thing is certain: the longer a serious level of investment and attention to digital transformation is postponed, the wider the gap will grow between you and your competitors. Rest assured, the digital workspace is not a fad. It’s the new normal.