Digital Transformation

From innovative to ineffective: the importance of auditing digital infrastructure

Successful businesses recognise that they will need to adapt. That they need to scrutinise their practices, alter existing or develop new products and services, better align their models to markets and so on. Whilst marketing strategies, fulfilment plans and financial forecasts are regularly altered, though, digital infrastructure is all too often left to stagnate. Consider just how quickly technology has developed in recent years, and you’ll soon realise why regularly assessing these setups is just as important as scrutinising any other part of your business’s plan.

Consider your network. This resource plays a vital role in virtually all modern businesses. To most, it could quite reasonably be described as indispensable and, should it fail, the effects are highly corrosive. Surveys conducted by ITIC revealed that losses attributable to downtime typically exceed $100,000 per hour.1 Another, conducted by SanDisk, revealed that slow connections result in organisation’s employees waiting one week for resources to load every year.2

Digest that information for a moment and then ask yourself: when did you last check your computer network’s overall health? When did you last confirm that it was running at optimum capacity? Considering the losses you’d suffer if it failed – or was simply operating less efficiently – we’d imagine it wasn’t recent enough.

The same principle applies to numerous other forms of seemingly omnipresent business tech. Cyber security solutions can rapidly become outdated and ineffective. Software than once greatly aided productivity can cease to add the value it once did. Vitally, as technology develops, it provides better and more innovative solutions to problems; organisations that remain mindful of this and actively consider how new technology can drive further organisational efficiencies are certain to be more successful than those that do not.

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Author:

Laura Steele
Laura Steele Chief Financial Officer

Once indispensable – now insignificant

The fax machine was once a truly transformative piece of hardware. Having gained traction in the 1980s (the technology actually dates back to the nineteenth century), it enabled the rapid exchange of documents over telephone lines. In turn this meant businesses were less reliant on physical post. With the internet and email, however, it has become significantly less relevant.

Physical forms of infrastructure are now, thanks to virtualised alternatives, typically no longer required. The same is true of software licenses. In each instance, businesses can now purchase the processing power, licenses, storage space etc. that they require for a single monthly fee. Not only does this result in savings, but also highly-agile infrastructures: extra space or additional licenses can be purchased and accessed instantly meaning that growth does not hinder productivity.

Driving positive upheaval

Adopting new technology does more than just improve existing functions, it can lead to truly transformational positive change. Recent surveys, conducted by PTC, have revealed that 60% of enterprise executives believe that findings generated by IoT devices will shape their business strategies. An impressive 40% of respondents that had adopted new technologies also stated that the main benefit of its implementation had been increased productivity.3

Ensuring that big data and analytical tools are being leveraged is certain to be vital to success. Figures released by IDC revealed that large companies are expected to have spent $187 billion on data analytics in 2019.4 The valuable insights that can be derived from the truly gargantuan amount of data that customers and even prospective customers generate are – provided the infrastructure needed to analyse them is in place – capable of driving significant organisational improvement. Amalgamating salient metrics derived from various sets of data into dashboards via APIs is a particularly powerful tool capable of expediting complex decisions and monitoring real-time performance, for example.

Finally, developing flexible working environments is becoming key to the vital task of attracting and retaining exceptional people. A recent survey, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development5 found that three out of all five respondents worked longer hours than they wanted to. A further 15% reported that they were actively seeking roles that would afford them more flexible conditions and 42% would seriously consider an offer than provided them with more accommodating circumstances.

Amongst employees that enjoyed more flexible environments, 43% reported that it positively impacted their mental health and 69% claimed that they were more productive.

Conclusion

With change comes great opportunity. Regularly reviewing digital assets and identifying shortcomings is an essential means of both ensuring that existing infrastructure is performing as it should and to optimum capacity. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to discover ways businesses can develop new and beneficial practices.

ROCK’s technology auditing services combines our unparalleled technical know-how with a collaborative approach to identify and address deficiencies in client’s infrastructures as well as propose new tech-based strategies designed to yield unrelenting growth and progress. 

References:
  1. ITIC, One Hour of Downtime Costs >$100k for 95% of Enterprises, Available at https://itic-corp.com/blog/2013/07/one-hour-of-downtime-costs-100k-for-95-of-enterprises/ [Accessed on 14/10/19]
  2. Hexus, Users lose a full working week every year due to slow computers, Available at https://hexus.net/tech/news/systems/61001-users-lose-full-working-week-every-year-due-slow-computers/ [Accessed on 17/10/19]
  3. PTC, 14 Digital Transformation Statistics & Why They Matter to the Enterprise, Available at https://www.ptc.com/en/product-lifecycle-report/digital-transformation-statistics [Accessed on 21/10/19]
  4. IDC, IDC Forecasts Revenues for Big Data and Business Analytics Solutions Will Reach $189.1 Billion This Year with Double-Digit Annual Growth Through 2022, Available at https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44998419 [Accessed on 20/10/19]
  5. CIPD, UK Working Lives, Available at https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/uk-working-lives-summary-2019-v1_tcm18-58584.pdf [Accessed on 20/10/19]

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