Digital Transformation: More than Just a Buzzword

Moving Your Organization Ahead with Digital Transformation

Tim Allen

Lately, it seems that digital transformation has become a term that is used pretty liberally as a convenient phrase for justifying a technology conversation. So what does digital transformation actually mean? We see it as an optimization of technologies that is process driven, automated, and has autonomous independence. This is disrupting the traditional blocks of infrastructure in the modern data center.

During the early stages of our “Information Age,” we have taken the easy elements of capturing and processing data and coined the term “computerization.” Now we’re moving out of the industrial era of building physical things for computerization into an era of describing things. The last 65 years have been spent creating the physical infrastructure on which we can run the digital technology of today.

The component of compute technology has three tiers of infrastructure: compute, storage, and networking. Technology has now advanced to smaller discrete devices that allow us to have more flexible interaction with our technology as well as to scale out platforms. For example, in the past software architectures have been bound pretty inextricably to the hardware platforms. We transitioned from mainframes to mini-computing to micro, all the way to pushing data down to handheld devices – and software has had to adapt to these changes.

Today, software platforms are dis-aggregating from operating systems and hardware, thus reducing the cost for hardware infrastructure. Software developers are taking advantage of new ways to architect these software services and building systems that treat hardware as an anonymous platform. It is clear the way humans interact with compute platforms is the driving force with this next change of digital transformation.

Digital transformation is the evolution of static “data” into an automated and manipulated landscape that can isolate decision points. It’s taking data from your environment and using it to help move your organization in a new direction. So we see the rise of analytics and “big data” platforms that allow organizations to optimize their business process and provide the ability to deliver on their charter goals. Now you can focus on the key role of evaluating decisions based on the value of the information that has been transformed, rather than merely maintaining and operating the machines that spit out that data.

To learn more about what digital transformation can mean for your organization, take a look at this video I recently participated in with Ethan Banks, co-host of the Packet Pushers podcast.

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