Is your ICT infrastructure closed for new business?

Because they’re difficult to update or move, your legacy applications may be holding you back.

Unless you’re a ‘born digital’ enterprise, your legacy applications and services are likely to be placing a huge drain on your ICT resources and expenditure. Worse: while they once represented competitive advantage, they may now be holding you back from succeeding in today’s economy.

In the era of cloud computing, ‘as a Service’ opportunities are now viewed as a mandatory option to explore for any ICT strategy going forward – making your existing data centre the first place to consider for enabling transformation.

Change or Die

Pretty much every industry is being disrupted by new competition and new business models – typically involving players without the ‘baggage’ traditional participants carry. Governments are also investing to meet the challenge, with citizens demanding online information at their fingertips, self-service options and the ability to communicate over a wider range of channels.

These changing paradigms demand you compete by:

  • Digitising every corner of your operations
  • Moving CapEx investment to OpEx to improve cash flows and reduce debt
  • Communicating with your customers, employees and suppliers in new ways
  • Delivering new and existing services online

Legacy applications can be heavy baggage indeed. Yes, you need to keep your core applications running, but you have to do it ‘smarter’. And there’s an increasing emphasis on innovation for new ways of working, communicating and interacting via new technologies.

Letting Go

Five years ago, the arguments for cloud computing and aaS were centred firmly on their oft-repeated advantages: pay by use and moving CapEx to Opex; increased flexibility and agility – whatever they mean!

Today, most Australian organisations have dabbled with the possibilities; these new delivery models are now being well recognised as key strategies for:

  • Bringing greater business focus to the ICT function: moving from ‘ICT technology’ to ‘business technology’ by having your ICT team concentrate on unique business or service delivery opportunities rather than just ‘keeping the lights on’
  • Separating technology from service delivery: given technology is now a commodity, differentiation depends on innovating services to remain competitive
  • Moving at ‘internet speed’: because, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, ‘born digital’ and highly Social Gen Y/Z now represent 40% of the workforce – and typically your customers and citizens– so traditional deployment time-lags are no longer an option

Many enterprises are now talking about adopting a Hybrid ICT infrastructure to fulfil these maturing needs. At Nextgen, we interpret this term as an approach to ICT service delivery based on a combination of:

  • The essential legacy services that form the backbone of your operations – enhanced by new ways of accessing them, online delivery and new communications channels
  • Private and public cloud options – selected on the basis of appropriate security, data sovereignty, availability and reliability
  • Increased reliance on external Service Providers, as technology becomes more specialised and maintaining in-house skills less viable
  • Managed Service options that eliminate repetitive manual processes, reduce the need for internal monitoring and management tools and leverage Service Provider expertise and economies of scale
  • Balancing your risk profile and compliance obligations – corporate, legislative and industry – which must be accommodated within the mix

Looking at the bigger picture, cloud and aaS models are increasingly being seen as enabling critical business and organisational strategies – thus raising their profile to executive level.

First Steps

Many traditional in-house data centres lack the flexibility or capability to accommodate multi-partner services. They may also lack the ability to scale critical elements such as power and cooling to meet new architecture or technology requirements.

So the first step to developing a solid future proof strategy is to determine whether your existing infrastructure arrangements can enable the development and deployment of a Hybrid ICT ecosystem. Begin with a discovery audit of:

  • What you have – and what you’ll need
  • Which systems and applications are cloud-ready, and which aren’t
  • What you can outsource and what intellectual property you need to hang on to

The next steps are to select and prioritise opportunities for cloud and aaS delivery. To inform this process throughout, you’ll need expert advice forged from proven experience of the possibilities and practical realities.

Then you’ll be truly open for new business!