There’s no question that digital transformation is at the top of virtually every organization’s list of objectives and concerns as we go into 2019. The rules of business (and public sector) are being rewritten nearly every day as new opportunities and expectations enter our collective mindset. Evolve with these new requirements and it’s likely the company will flourish. Ignore them, and prepare to struggle. The disparity is that stark.
Much has been written on “why” digital transformation is business-critical. A combination of technology advances, evolving customer expectations, process evolutions (e.g., digitization), and new business models are forcing IT and line-of-business executive’s hands on next steps. In the end, the decisions they make on how to address these changes will have a direct impact on differentiation, growth and scale, profitability, customer satisfaction and speed-to-market. That’s certainly enough reason to prioritize.
What’s a bit less clear as we enter the new year is the “how.” How does an organization transform in a way that balances quality and cost, without introducing undue risk? At Micro Focus, we have been exploring this question with customers, partners, top industry analysts and thought leaders for many months now, and we have empirically found that the answer resides in the answers to yet additional questions:
Are speed and agility two of the top strategic drivers as organizations progress toward digital transformation? Absolutely. Organizations recognize that every day they have not progressed is another day they fall behind, and an absence of tools to build and deliver quality software quickly presents unneeded roadblocks to success. Moreover, today organizations are operating in an increasingly complex IT reality – they are not simply choosing between the cloud and on-premise, but instead among many alternatives and must find software that supports a mixed (hybrid) infrastructure for optimum flexibility vs. being shoehorned into a path dictated to them by an outside vendor.
Is information insight necessary to compete and deliver value? Of course it is. With new ways to capture data (e.g., IoT) and advancing technology to understand it, organizations that place a premium on predictive analytics are bound to learn more about unmet customer needs, under-funded parts of the business, emerging business models and more. This can naturally help organizations better drive the top line.
Is protecting identities, applications and data critical? No question; and perhaps even more so during a period of transition as previously established standards are processes are stress tested. We all know that the cost for a breach can be significant, and fines and sanctions for not protecting data can be material – particularly as privacy regulations like GDPR are cropping up around the world today. But the hidden costs of lawsuits, impact to brand and even shareholder value can be more material.
Must an organization start over with a fresh IT strategy? Not necessarily. Not only is starting over with a “rip and replace” mindset costly, but it also can take added time and present new risks to the organization (e.g., breaking down tried-and-true business processes). In many cases, an organization has made significant investments in IT that are enabling real benefits; ripping out these systems may degrade the ROI on those investments and put critical revenue (or cost savings/risk mitigation) at risk. A more prudent approach is to look for opportunities to modernize existing technologies first, and only when there are no other viable options available should one look to replace from the ground up. This best allows organizations to concurrently run and transform their business, and to do so on their own terms.
Is adopting a collection of point solutions the best approach to digital transformation? Rarely. While “best of breed” was a popular buzzword a few years ago, it is now losing steam, particularly when placed in the context of something as big and complicated as digital transformation. Bolted-together point solutions often require too many technical handoffs (and are unable to leverage common analytics) that end up yielding too much in terms of hidden costs and risk. A better solution for such a complex problem is a set of integrated technologies underpinned by a common analytics ecosystem.
After careful consideration of the opportunity, our customers’ core needs, and answers to the above, Micro Focus took a number of deliberate steps in the past few years to bring together the core technologies, domain expertise and partner strategy to ensure our customers achieve lasting success with their digital transformation strategies.
Central to this strategy are four key pillars around which the company has organized, built its portfolio to date, and plan to invest in over the long run in terms of R&D, M&A and more:
Enterprise DevOps — Micro Focus solutions unleash the power of DevOps across the hybrid IT landscape, quickly bringing innovative ideas to life at the pace of business to securely deliver high quality software and services faster.
Hybrid IT Management — With Micro Focus solutions, organizations can leverage their existing investments and combine them with new hybrid IT agility, bridging traditional and transformational IT services from mainframe to mobile, from corporate to cloud.
Predictive Analytics — Micro Focus helps leverage machine learning to transform unlimited volumes of data into accurate, actionable, automated insights at the speed of your business. Be in position to make predictions and influence business outcomes quickly and efficiently with comprehensive and relevant real-time intelligence.
Security, Risk, and Governance — Micro Focus provides the industry’s broadest set of integrated security, risk, and governance solutions, with an analytics-driven approach to securing what matters most – identities, applications and data.
Together, these four solution categories – we call them our focus areas – will deliver the speed (enterprise DevOps), agility (hybrid IT), information insight (predictive analytics) and protection (security, risk & governance) that are the core pillars of a digital transformation strategy. Further, our product development DNA is to put our custom ers at the center of our universe and build technology that supplements their current investments and processes, so they do not have to rip and replace. And finally, because they are delivered by the seventh-largest pure-play software company in the world with broad portfolios and expertise spanning all four areas (and underpinned by advanced analytics), we believe we are uniquely suited to help our customers succeed and achieve their digital transformation objectives in 2019 and beyond.
Happy new year to you and yours. We are looking forward to a prosperous new year, and believe we have made the investments necessary to help ensure that is the case. We look forward to working with you to the same end.