August 24, 2021
Categorized: Digital Transformation
Author: Doug Robinson, Managing Partner, Global Business Services, IBM Australia and New Zealand
If you’re like most IT leaders and other executives I’ve talked to recently, you’ve gone through more than a year of accelerated transformation.
No doubt you addressed your organisation’s urgent needs, such as rolling out or upgrading collaboration and other apps to support remote teams. Then, as the pandemic dragged on, you needed to address more fundamental business challenges, perhaps by optimising processes to reduce costs or digitising the supply chain to improve resilience.
Take a moment to reflect
I’m sure you’ve got more to do. But with months and probably years of social and market volatility ahead, it could be worth taking stock of your transformation. What have you achieved? Where are you headed? Most importantly, how are you going to get there quickly and successfully?
At IBM’s Global Business Services, we’ve seen a huge surge in interest from Australian and New Zealand organisations seeking to accelerate their transformations. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but we have identified common strategies that can help every enterprise, no matter what sector they’re in or where they are on their digital journey.
Ensure your digital platforms can support accelerated change
With many clients, we start at the basics: their digital platforms. Whether the platforms are on-premises, in data centres or on public clouds, what’s most important is that these platforms can support accelerated change.
To get to that point, we believe it’s vital to pursue three key steps:
- Modernise your digital platforms, so all your organisation’s data becomes accessible.
- Build an abstraction layer on those platforms to enable you to use that data in new ways – and quickly – via application programming interfaces (APIs) and other cloud architectures.
- Create the applications that use that data to transform processes and business models, leveraging analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) where appropriate.
Did you encounter all sorts of challenges when modernising your platforms? You are not alone. Legacy systems and processes are probably near the top of the list. There is a solution. A hybrid cloud platform can straddle on-premises systems, private clouds and public clouds, and unlock data from both new and ageing systems.
The complex, varied nature of today’s enterprise IT environments is another big challenge. That’s why IBM recommends and offers cloud technologies with open rather than proprietary architectures. Open architectures are critical to ensuring your systems are interoperable with each other and, therefore, to future-proofing your platforms.
Bridge the gap between IT and business
We’ve seen many organisations come a long way with their transformation initiatives over the past year. However, even clients who are more advanced along their digital journeys are facing another challenge: how to bridge the organisational gap between their technologists and the rest of the business?
They know they can unlock more business value by bringing together their IT team’s knowledge of how technologies can be applied and their business teams’ understanding of how various parts of the organisation operate. They are looking for ways to help teams work together, understand each other’s challenges and tap into each other’s expertise.
The solution here is to create an environment and practices that bring together cross-functional teams and foster deep collaboration and innovation.
By working together, for example, the IT and operations teams could identify and focus on a new application that could unlock millions in productivity savings, rather than prioritising apps on traditional criteria that deliver incremental value.
Unlock value with the right tools and practices
I’ve been privileged to be part of some amazing transformation projects with our clients, particularly over the past year. Banks are unlocking more customer data from new platforms. Utility companies are streamlining maintenance processes with the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Mining companies are exploring new ways to automate facilities. Businesses knocked sideways by the pandemic are reinventing their business models.
One way we’ve been helping customers take these bold steps is to work through our new IBM Garage transformation approach. This creates an environment that brings together cross-functional teams to co-create new applications using modern business methodologies.
At the same time, our Red Hat and other hybrid cloud solutions are enabling customers to modernise their platforms, build applications quickly and deploy them securely on any cloud.
There’s nothing like a crisis to galvanise teams and drive change. We are here to help you harness that momentum and we bring the platforms and methodologies you need to accelerate and maximise value from change.
How are you feeling about the next phase of your digital transformation? Let’s connect and discuss how IBM can help.