The digital ecosystem: IT infrastructure now on CEO’s agenda

Businesses, whether they like it or not, are fast-becoming part of a digital ecosystem comprised of enterprises, competitors, customers, regulators and other stakeholders that exchange information and interact electronically.

Gartner, Inc.’s annual global survey of CIOs showed that, despite only a modest increase in the enterprise IT budget (2.2% globally), spend on digitalisation is on the rise.

The 2017 Gartner CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from 2,598 CIO respondents in 93 countries and all major industries, representing approximately $9.4 trillion in revenue/public-sector budgets and $292 billion in IT spending.

>See also: Digital transformation: an analysis of the potential and the challenges

The gathered data from the 2017 survey shows that CIOs are shifting their investment pattern in response to digital business, with typical CIOs already spending 18% of their budget in support of digitalisation, a figure set to increase to 28% by 2018.

Top performing businesses (where digital transformation is fully ingrained into their planning processes and business model) are already spending 34% of their IT budget on digital, and this is predicted to increase to 44% by 2018.

IT infrastructure – what is needed to support digital transformation – is well and truly on the CEO’s agenda.

The need to improve, modernise and replace has become a priority so that businesses can remain competitive in this digital ecosystem.

Survey responses, according to Gartner, suggested that this digital ecosystem membership increases with digital maturity.

One of the differentiating factors of a high-performance digital business is the creation of and/or participation in a digital ecosystem.

Deliberate, wide-ranging use of an ecosystem to co-create solutions and take advantage of distributed capabilities separates top performers from the rest of the pack.

>See also: Digital transformation is the new kingmaker

79% of top performers indicate their participation in digital ecosystems compared with 49% and 24% for typical and trailing performers, respectively.

“A digital ecosystem amplifies the reach of a company. It enables scalable connections between known partners and customers, but also provides a platform for unknown parties to connect with one another,” said Andy Rowsell-Jones, research vice president at Gartner.

“Ecosystems blur industry boundaries and give rise to entirely new kinds of companies, products and services.”

Customers’ enthusiasm for digitisation drives service-based delivery

Given the scale of this opportunity and the impact it will have on businesses of all types and sizes, NetApp hosted a panel session as part of its UK Backup as a Service (BaaS) launch.

The discussion, alongside partners Daisy and Node4, focused on how customers’ digitisation needs are driving change in how IT services are delivered.

Nathan Marke, chief digital officer, Daisy Group said that “Customers want to transform into digital businesses but find it hard to focus on innovation due to the complexity of the IT environments they run today. Demands for 24×7 operations, raised levels of cyber threats, the sheer pace of technology change and the need to do more with less add to the day to day challenges of running legacy systems and holding onto good skills”.

>See also: 5 factors driving digital transformation

“Customers need partners who can help to free them up from this complexity by delivering the digital foundations essential for their business to succeed. Our NetApp powered DRaaS solution is a great example of a solution that removes complexity and allows our customers more time to unleash their creative talents on figuring out digital.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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