Today, businesses must constantly reinvent themselves to stay one step ahead of the competition. Entire industries are being transformed in the blink of an eye.
Take banking for example. In 1969, the ATM changed retail banking forever. The modern ATM isn’t completely irrelevant today, but customers want more. They want mobile banking, virtual currencies, instant trading, improved security and more.
Banking is being completely reinvented. In a recent study conducted by A.T. Kearney and Efma, 85 percent of executives surveyed said that mobile is the cornerstone of their digital strategy going forward, as mobile becomes most customers’ first touch point.
Today’s financial services leaders are being tasked with how to redefine the traditional brick and mortar bank branches. That’s no easy task. I recently spoke with a Senior VP of Infrastructure at one of the world’s largest banks, and something he said really resonated with me: digital transformation requires agility.
His organization is in the midst of a digital transformation – one that involves adding technology in the datacenter, and driving applications and services to the cloud.
The way I see it, there are three layers to this digital transformation.
- First is the business transformation. The financial services industry must reinvent itself. It’s simple. If banks are slow to change and adapt to new technologies, they’ll lose customers to the banks that value agility, efficiency and transformation. Digital is no longer a project. Digital is a core value.
- And if banks want to adapt to and adopt to what’s next, they’ll need fast and flexible deployment of these new technologies like Cloud, SD-WAN, NFV, IoT and More. Agility requires infrastructure transformation.
- And if we peel back the onion even further, we see the need for management transformation. What good is a shiny new dynamic infrastructure if I don’t know how to optimize my data and make changes as necessary? In a diverse and complex infrastructure, operational insight is critical.
The thought of moving banking applications to the public cloud may seem blasphemous (hello, security!), yet equally inevitable. It won’t necessarily be user data making the journey from the datacenter to the cloud, but it could someday be pieces of the application tied to social media or graphics that make the move. Leaders can’t make these kinds of decisions without operational insight, especially when the industry is moving at lighting fast speed.
I think Benjamin Franklin was on to something when he penned this brief poem in Poor Richard’s Almanack.
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
One small change really can have a ripple effect. One small detail can lead to something of great importance.
Here’s the big picture: Business transformation is needed to stay relevant in 2016 and beyond. Infrastructure transformation is needed to support the business transformation. And Management transformation is needed to understand and navigate the infrastructure transformation.