This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
Business leaders build their strategy using information at their disposal. Whether they look at historical trends, listen to the best experts or go with their instincts (or all three), they can still be blind-sided. We live in the age of digital disruption, where new players and visionaries can leverage technology to radically change markets and industries - and make the most successful and entrenched brands obsolete very quickly.
Businesses leaders may not always be able to predict the future, but they should be prepared to quickly, easily, and cost effectively respond to whatever the future may bring, such as fluctuating market dynamics, growing competition, or increased customer expectations. The rapid change in the business world today builds the case for why it is important for businesses to embrace agility and resilience through the "Future-ready Enterprise".
Business agility is not easily achieved if technology inhibits flexibility in any way. A technology infrastructure must enable an organization to make dramatic changes, as needed, without any arbitrary restrictions or intentional limitations imposed by technology vendors. All that is required is a commitment to open standards and the acceptance that we do not, and cannot, know what the future may hold.
Building a Future-ready Enterprise based on open standards enables all technology to simply work together better, regardless of the vendor who designed it. Whether it is hardware, software or a service, it should fit seamlessly into an existing IT environment today and work with the technology of the future.
Whether the business infrastructure is built on a complex patchwork of point IT solutions or created more systematically with a consistent IT framework, it can be simplified, standardized, and made more capable of responding to change. Being future-ready requires a long-term vision and a new approach to IT decision-making, however. It also requires working with a very different kind of technology partner, one who is not bent on selling relatively profitable but proprietary solutions.
To get started, organizations can embark on a future-ready journey with the five steps below:
1. Modernizing and automating: Old software and obsolete platforms are inherently restrictive. They limit your ability to add new capabilities to the enterprise, and they require a disproportionate amount of resources to maintain. Migrating to more modern systems reduces cost, improves agility, and lays the foundation for the future. It also allows labor-intensive processes to be automated, which saves money and reduces the potential for human error.
2. Investing in simplicity: Some IT leaders might be tempted to think that pursuing a simpler IT environment means maintaining the status quo; a passive act. It doesn't. Simplifying means actively, aggressively understanding the value of existing systems. It means conducting a comprehensive audit, and applying analytical rigor to determine the return on IT assets. Investing in simplicity also means transitioning off of rigid, aging, proprietary systems that require expensive specialists to manage and maintain. Committing to simplicity is not cheap, at least not initially. But it's a lot less expensive than continuing to live with complexity.
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