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The Digital Transformation of the Global Enterprise

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There's a massive global change underway: the digital transformation of every large business and commercial platform. It's a race that promises the leading companies unprecedented levels of business agility and speed to market - opportunities denied to the laggards.

There's a massive global change underway: the digital transformation of every large business and commercial platform. It's a race that promises the leading companies unprecedented levels of business agility and speed to market - opportunities denied to the laggards.

There's a massive global change underway: the digital transformation of every large business and commercial platform. It's a race that promises the leading companies unprecedented levels of business agility and speed to market - opportunities denied to the laggards. The future of business is digital, this is beyond dispute, but what does it mean? Predicting what future digital business processes will be needed is an impossible task, yet CIOs and IT departments have been tasked with ensuring that strategic business goals can be swiftly reached and supported with innovative technologies.

It's no wonder that over the last few years most CIOs have listed the topic of "business agility" as one of their top concerns. But there's an interesting shift happening: CIOs are realizing they can't predict exactly what their lines of business will need in the future, but they can make sure the enterprise has agile IT to meet whatever is demanded.

A survey of CIOs released in October 2015 by the Society for Information Management found that the topic of IT agility is now a top concern for CIOs, jumping from No. 16 in the ranking in 2014 to No. 5 in 2015. "Business agility" fell from No. 10 to No. 22 in 2015. Business agility is being defined by the enterprise's IT agility.

Predicting the future is risky, but there are things we do know that will be critical in digital business, particularly applications. One of the lessons from the smartphone app stores is that a mobile application can become viral almost overnight and dominate its space. What happens if a competitor's application suddenly becomes viral or is first into a market?

If you can deliver applications (whether mobile, enterprise or web-based) months ahead of competitors, for example, there is a chance to build a loyal user base that will shun new arrivals. And as the smartphone increasingly becomes how the brand experience is delivered to consumers, the app, its quality, performance and innovative features, becomes even more important than ever.

Yet faster application delivery is an aspect of IT agility that is poorly understood. A survey by Oracle last year found that only 31 percent of respondents named faster application development as the main benefit of Platform as a Service (PaaS) deployments. Most respondents were still stuck in their old IT Ops thinking and are primarily motivated by cost savings in IT infrastructure. A change of attitude is clearly needed because business success is awarded to those that make money, not to those that saved the most.

IT agility provides the most bang for the buck when it is invested in application delivery, but agility is also needed in IT security, migrating workloads to the cloud, building out new lines of business, and for the process of digital business transformation itself. Agility means self-service, it means more efficient app testing, it means faster business analytics reports; it's an overall acceleration of virtually every business process needed by the future commercial digital enterprise. Ten years ago the enterprise IT market was dull and boring, lacking in innovation and dominated by a handful of large vendors; Nicholas Carr wrote, "Does IT Matter?" IT is no longer boring and yes, IT does matter; technology has regained a strategic role in the digital enterprise. We know this about the future of business: data is the currency. How that data is collected, stored, protected, moved and analyzed will be how businesses of the future will measure success. And Delphix technologies are essential in this global transformation of business.