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How businesses can transition to the digital era

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The digital era is well and truly upon us, but it seems that many businesses are struggling to adapt to this change. Many businesses are failing to understand these new technologies and the positive changes they can bring to the table, writes Martin Walshaw, senior engineer at F5 Networks.
That’s according to a partner at Ernst & Young who, according to Computer Weekly, said that a combination of security fears and a traditional, conservative way of thinking is holding many businesses back from transitioning to the digital era.
But these new technologies will enable greater “horizontal and vertical integration” throughout the business and business functions, the article says. It adds that IoT and other smart connected devices are key to enabling new services and business models that will drive the digital era.
So what do companies need to do to get digital? Well, the first thing I think they need to do is identify exactly what their needs are, what they want out of a digital transformation project. That’ll help to determine what the end goal is and the best way to get there.
Next: Go app-centric. Apps are where your organisation’s intelligence resides and they are the very basis of what makes your business tick. Basing a digital transformation around the applications that will be used makes clear sense. Having an app-centric strategy is the best way to maintain control in a digital world, where different devices, people and locations are all in the mix.
But, following on from that, staying secure is also key in the digital era. And in fact being app-centric can help with that. If you protect that apps, you protect the data, which as I said above is where the intelligence resides for many businesses now. But in this digital era these apps are everywhere – they are on devices and in the cloud. So that means they have to be protected where they are.
Head to the cloud? Absolutely. It’s a core component of the digital era and is what ties it all together. Cloud is how you get the flexibility the digital era requires, as well as the agility, scalability and speed.
Finally, adopt a digital first mindset. This may actually be the most difficult piece of advice here to implement. Changing the culture of a business is not an easy task, but many workers will hopefully already be on board when the transformation happens.
Across all these little nuggets of advice, it’s clear that IT’s role in helping a company to transition to the digital era is key, from education to managing to keeping things secure.