The race is on to transform today’s enterprise to a digital entity, which sounds like a reasonable goal until you stop to consider that no one knows exactly what a digital enterprise is.
The template at the moment is Uber. With little more than a mobile app, the company has not only upended the worldwide taxi industry but is causing ripples throughout the entire transportation industry, from the way cars are being built to the entire concept of single ownership of the automobile.
If it can happen to someone else, it can happen to you, which is why organizations across the board are analyzing how they might be vulnerable to a digital business model and then quickly develop one before someone else does.
A key to this remodeling is agility, according to a recent blog post on Raconteur submitted by Basis Technologies. As the pace of business increases, so too does the need to adapt to new market conditions and customer demands, so the static model of application support has to go. In its place is agile development and flexible infrastructure that supports rapid and continuous creation of the kinds of services that will keep the enterprise a step ahead of rivals. Tools like Hadoop, SAP HANA and the software-defined data center (SDDC) are crucial in this transformation, but business leaders have to act fast because a new generation of digital enterprises is already on the rise, and they don’t have legacy infrastructure holding them back.
But what, exactly, are the characteristics of a digital enterprise? How will you know if you are heading in the right direction? According to Piers Fawkes, founder of business consultancy PSFK, the four key attributes are: continuous connectivity, data-driven operations, a digital-savvy workforce and a more robust security regime. The idea is to support seamless collaboration across all platforms and all devices at all times, which means that not only will the enterprise have to undo the physical silos within legacy infrastructure but the entrenched mindsets that are resistant to change as well. And, of course, this has to be done quickly and securely without disrupting existing processes and workflows.