What is Digital Transformation?
The MIT Sloan Management Review defines digital transformation as “Digital transformation is best conceived of as ongoing adaptation to a continually changing environment.” The most important element of adopting digital transformation means asking yourself how you can adapt your business practices to maximize on available technology investments. Digital transformation can mean anything from adopting more modern IT, like cloud computing, to a complete overhaul of all technology, to help enable new business processes. Customer demands often drive digital transformation, with rising expectations of the quality of their user experience, making HCI a natural progression for those moving toward digital transformation.
A great example of digital transformation is the boom in streaming services in 2020. Before the pandemic, Netflix was dominating the streaming service market, offering DVD’s for shipment directly to customer homes. They achieved success by making their service easy to use on the web, shipment fast and easy, and their stock highly available. But, when streaming started shutting down the movie rental and DVD business, Netflix and other streaming services quickly shifted to digital transformation. Today, in 2021, streaming services are the norm, with every major media outlet offering their own streaming services and content offerings. Adding downloads, shared accounts and exclusive content, available in real-time on your TV or any device, clenched the market for streaming services.
Types of Digital Transformation
Did you know there are 4 types of digital transformation? Process, business model, domain and cultural transformation. Let’s explore.
- Process Transformation: Process transformation includes the collaboration of people, procedures, and applications by transforming business processes, services, and models using technology chosen to enhance your team’s existing talents and goals. An example of process transformation is the F&B industry using mobile devices to take payments and accept orders from tables, making food service faster and more accurate.
- Business Model Transformation: Businesses who choose digital transformation in an effort to more quickly and easily update traditional business models. An example of business model transformation is found in the way Apple changed the music industry by standardizing downloads with iTunes.
- Domain Transformation: Digital transformation is used to add domains or markets or switch businesses from one domain or market, into another. An example of domain transformation is the way Amazon started as an e-commerce platform, but used technology to create their streaming platform, Amazon Prime, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- Cultural Transformation: Different businesses use different technology, sometimes causing issues between partners, third-parties and sister businesses. Cultural transformation involves getting multiple businesses on the same technological page and using the same programs and applications, streamlining all processes and providing a much better customer experience. A great example of cultural transformation is the way bank branches in different states and countries all access the same technology and infrastructure, making your financial information available in real-time.
Most Common Technologies Used for Digital Transformation
- Mobile – There are 6.4 billion smartphone users worldwide, meaning websites must be optimized for mobile, and applications are vital to the success of a business.
- IoT - There are more than 10 billion active IoT devices, a number expected to surpass 25.4 billion in 2030. The internet is business, and business is the internet.
- AI & Machine Learning – 77% of devices already use one form of AI or another. “The value of the global machine learning market was $8 billion in 2019, and likely to reach $117 billion by 2027. Businesses are investing in AI and machine learning for a reason – it’s easy to read the writing on the wall.
- Augmented Reality – this is the natural progression human connection to the computer world. This technology helps workers be more productive and perform at a higher level.
- Cloud – Public, private and hybrid cloud are a necessity for digital transformation. Choosing the right cloud depends on the needs of the business. Businesses with more complex requirements are increasingly turning to hybrid cloud first for several reasons.
What is Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid cloud, sometimes called “multi-cloud,” is the combination of an on-premises data center (or private cloud) with a public cloud, and on-premises infrastructure, sharing both applications and data easily between them, while offering increased security. The combination of easy management and application portability on all platforms means a more unified, productive and flexible environment. There are several benefits of hybrid cloud, including:
- Workloads that change dynamically or frequently
- Increased security by separating critical workloads from less critical workloads
- Big data processing
- Steady movement toward total cloud transformation
- Changing capacity needs and requirements
- Future ability to adopt new technology and scale as needed
- The best of both public and private cloud
Hybrid cloud is proven to work better when paired with hyperconverged infrastructure, or HCI. Let’s explore the question of “what is HCI?” and how it can be used to enable digital transformation and future proof your business.
What is Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI)?
Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), like Sangfor’s HCI solution, combines data center hardware and local storage, with software to create a virtual network to replace traditional infrastructure elements like servers, storage networks, and arrays. Bringing together all these elements under one, space-saving, digital platform means easier O&M, increased productivity, more scalable resources, and a much more secure network.
- Simple Deployment – fast and easy deployment.
- Flexibility – single administrative platform for all workloads.
- Lower Cost – less equipment to purchase, maintain and support.
- Easier Management – automated software performs day-to-day operations.
- Easy Scaling - node based architecture means easy addition or subtraction of nodes.
- Data Protection – better security for the entire network and all data in transit or at rest.
- Increased Reliability – automatic workload balancing and monitoring of resources to maintain the health of the system.
Every digital transformation is going to begin and end with the customer, and I can see that in the minds of every CEO I talk to,” explains Marc Benioff, Chairman and CO-CEO at Salesforce. Customer and staff expect and deserve more from enterprises in 2021, leaving many looking for ways to enable secure remote work, fast and easy communication and customer service, and ways to secure their data both at rest and in transit. This article will answer the question “what is digital transformation?” and what new technologies, like hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and hybrid cloud, can do to enable fast and efficient digital transformation.
For more information on HCI, and how it can enable fast and easy digital transformation, contact Sangfor Technologies today.