From an IT services perspective, using technology for innovation is itself an interesting issue. The IT infrastructure has changed dramatically in recent years. The cloud is now a reality, as is convergence; segmentation between fixed and mobile has disappeared and consumer practices are spreading to the corporate world where employees are expressing new expectations about the possible and desirable use of new technologies at work.
So what are the ingredients of this magic formula? Nothing rocket science to tell the truth. Companies are asking for help to improve their efficiency and performance; Assistance in establishing governance that is both firm and flexible; End-to-end security, compliance and control guarantees savings and risk-sharing Mobilizing capacity to increase their competitive advantage innovation and know-how. The technology could be the way to meet all these conditions. A company’s use of technology to achieve these goals increasingly determines its future success.
- Efficiency and performance
The first element to consider its efficiency and performance, in the context of IT infrastructure. For many companies, global software development results in disparate systems and applications that are expensive to execute and often lag behind the company’s objectives. In an environment where success may depend on speed of commercialization and where the functioning of markets requires a precision of the order of millisecond, no company can afford to see technology become a hindrance to its performance.
They therefore seek to consolidate and streamline their systems so that everyone has quick access to information, the simplest in the world. After decades of tailoring, they now favor standard solutions that are simple and quick to deploy and replicate around the world, the results of which have proven their worth. (After all, a standard smartphone suits you perfectly, doesn’t it? What matters is what you do with it). They are looking for service and procurement models that can adapt to the evolution of their strategy. They also want price transparency and a quick and easy way to implement services.
They need an agile IT environment that is closely aligned with their needs and will help them achieve their goals.
- Firm but flexible governance
Once this ideal IT infrastructure is in place, the next step is governance. The aim here is to establish the “Holy Trinity” of processes, tools and people, in a simple and streamlined structure that promotes the optimal use of technology. Technology can be very useful here in self-terrorism: monitoring unexpected events, reporting of points of concern, and triggering basic corrections, as part of ongoing management of the processes that allow the company to stay the course. As the human aspect is equally important, the team that will exercise this governance must understand the links between technology and the company and strive to strengthen them, not just from an operational point of view.
The most important thing for businesses is that the process does not trump vision. Processes should not be excessively multiplied to the point where they attract all the attention. It’s the business that counts. An ongoing performance evaluation will eliminate unnecessary processes and introduce other processes that are useful to help the company move forward.
- Safety, compliance and end-to-end control
Then there is safety and compliance. In our connected and globalized society, security, compliance and control are the absolute watchwords of success. With the ability to value “big data” increasingly a key differentiator, companies have never created, accessed, shared and stored such large volumes of data from multiple sources. Hence the absolute need to protect sensitive intellectual property information (customer data, prices, product information, or other). Neglecting this aspect may be costly financially, but also in terms of image and reputation with potentially much more lasting repercussions.
- Shared risk and cost reduction
The rationalization of the technology infrastructure aims to make it more efficient and cost-effective. The elimination of waste and redundancy obviously makes sense; doing so in favor of future growth is the logical next step. This explains the increasingly fundamental positioning of the cloud in IT planning. Cloud Computing combines the benefits of flexible access to the necessary computing power, with the ability to freely adjust capacity up or down according to the natural and seasonal cycles of the business.
In practice, this means that IT can become more responsive to the dynamics and pace of the market, with technology as the engine of development. In addition, the Cloud allows us to move from an investment spending model to an operating expense model, with the positive impact we imagine on profitability. And, of course, when companies opt for cloud solutions from third-party providers, it’s up to third-party providers to invest in technology to keep the infrastructure up to date. IT departments no longer have to own and maintain the entire system, or even how it works: this role is outsourced.
For the company, this means the potential for agility and scalability on demand, mobilizing the cloud resources that are needed when needed. This model allows us to consider a new approach to business, where opportunities and business risks are essentially extended to third parties. The result is an absolute refocusing on the needs of the company, plus the guarantees of the cloud provider that will meet all these needs. As far as the cloud is concerned, a well-made solution is definitely excluded.
- Mobilizing Capabilities: Building on All Strengths
What matters is not what you do, but how you do it. This is why the use of technology can be a real competitive advantage. The challenge is to offer real mobility to employees, relying on the phenomenon of mass consumption of technology to enable them to access information in multiple formats, on multiple terminals, in all places and on-demand, and on immersive video communication tools, mobile devices and social networks to improve information sharing.
Mobile device management and content distribution systems will play a crucial role in the business in the future. They are already transforming the intranet into a secure social workspace, extended to all players in the ecosystem to give them greater freedom of innovation and collaboration, and to foster the emergence of new ideas. All this leads us to reconsider what we thought we knew about business practice.