Digital transformation is becoming a priority for CIOs around the world. According to a recent Gartner study, CIOs reported that their spend on digital transformation would increase from 18 to 28 percent by 2018. Top performing organizations were already spending 34 percent of their IT budget, but expected that figure to rise to 44 percent by 2018.

Those figures indicate that digital transformation is more than a buzzword; it’s a serious business and it’s set to deliver important benefits. But, to gain full benefit from the transformation, cloud migration is an essential step.

Why Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is a technology-based business strategy that aims to enable new business models and deliver major improvements to internal operations and customer engagement.

It will achieve this by automating essential business processes, connecting systems that support customer engagement and managing massive volumes of data to provide better insights.

These changes are essential because customers are more demanding. And, they have high expectations of digital processes that must be accessible, convenient and easy to use. At the same time, the workforce is becoming more mobile and dependent on access to company services, data and productivity tools wherever they are based.

Behind the services that businesses and customers need and expect, there are massive data flows. These require new approaches to storage and management so they can yield high-value business information.

With demands like these, legacy systems are no longer adequate, and transformation is a priority.

Agile Organizations Need Agile Data Centers

A key objective of digital transformation is to make the organization more agile and more innovative. However, many data centers are restricted by legacy systems, outdated technologies, siloed data and inadequate skill sets. That limits their ability to evolve at scale as business demands grow.

Migration to the cloud is therefore essential. Cloud offers scale, high levels of automation and agility, and it provides a cost-effective solution. Cloud migration leverages the high levels of virtualization in the data center and offers the storage capacity to handle the huge volumes of data coming into the business.

Digital Transformation Benefits the IT Department

Digital transformation is delivering benefits to the IT department, according to a survey for Dell EMC. The report divides organizations into digitally transformed and legacy driven entities. Transformed organizations were able to complete IT projects ahead of schedule and under budget. They are also more likely to view IT initiatives as competitive differentiators.

The report notes that digital transformation initiatives require the infrastructure supporting business applications and IT services must evolve. Legacy IT is largely unprepared to meet the requirements of the new digital business environment that demands constant availability and rapid response times. In a legacy environment, IT is perceived as a barrier rather than an enabler for the business.

Time to Migrate

The cloud is an essential enabler for digital transformation, but it is still in early stages. A study by CIO insight found that cloud adoption is a top priority, but adoption by enterprises is in its infancy. Less than 10 percent of respondents said their enterprise is fully deployed in cloud environments, but 86 percent said the cloud is critical to digital transformation.

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