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Digitization effecting all aspects of IT

3/30/2016 8:34:40 AM

The mass digitization of business processes has had a profound impact on the average organization, with companies increasingly looking to streamline and optimize their operations through the use of more advanced technologies. One could make the argument that this trend has been fueled by the introduction of cloud computing, which essentially acted as the first step toward more accessible and agile systems capable of supporting widespread digitization. 

Certain organizations have faced these trends in proactive fashion, while others have lagged behind with respect to adoption, optimization and business model overhauls. Suffice it to say that those in the former group have been ahead of the curve and are better-positioned to excel in the modern marketplace than their counterparts. Digital technologies are driving virtually every industry in the world toward their respective futures, and firms that try to avoid this shift will likely be left behind. 

"Digitizing the business is no easy task."

At the same time, digitizing business processes and embracing all of these diverse, complex and new technologies are not easy tasks. The challenges involved have been magnified by several other movements, including a massive, wide-reaching talent shortage within security, cloud, analytics and similar circles. Leaders must find ways to first understand the digital movement, then act on it with the right knowledge and skill-sets, otherwise achieving maximum profits would be a long shot. 

A weighty task
Gartner recently argued that the ways by which enterprise architecture is being affected by digitization are likely to come into the spotlight in the coming years, with more agile businesses already taking the time to overhaul core systems and processes. According to the analysts, the proof is in the connections, in that digital processes will lead to an explosion of interactions between people, technologies, processes and more, and relevant management must be prepared to support these intertwining movements in stride. 

"Digital business significantly changes this type of value calculation that guides investment decisions," Gartner Vice President Betsy Burton explained. "First, tens of billions of things will join the billions of people and millions of businesses online. Second, any of these agents will be able to play multiple roles: customer, partner, supplier, employee, competitor or a combination of them."

Burton also spoke to the ways in which digitization is impacting competition, specifically in terms of the speed that a market's composition and range of participating businesses can shift today. 

Digital business is driving the number of connections up. Digital business is driving the number of connections up.

"In the flash of a digital business moment, a customer may become a partner or even competitor," Burton affirmed. "Digital business requires an organizational architecture that seamlessly accommodates economic agents in different roles depending on context, and can cope with an exponential increase in interactions from many different things, people and customers."

For these reasons and more, leaders need to not only be aggressively embracing newer systems and approaches to enterprise architecture management, but also focusing on the underlying changes those ventures will enact. 

The technology side
Much in the way that mass digitization, the cloud and mobility have caused enormous increases in virtually every type of connection, these trends are also transforming the demands of networks and enterprise infrastructure. International Data Corporation recently reported that the software-defined wide area network market will enjoy a more than 90 percent compound annual growth rate between last year and the end of the decade. 

At the end of that period, $6 billion will have been spent on these systems annually. The lesson here is that digitization and the trends it involves are comprehensively changing the average marketplace, and companies need to get these matters right or suffer the consequences. 

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