CIO Straight Talk - Issue 3 - 67
not take place by
software or social
That’s a fairy tale.
will not take place in a
vacuum; it will be built
on existing systems.
At the most basic level, optimizing your IT
infrastructure will generate savings and unlock
value that can be redirected toward new
technology initiatives and innovation. A major
obstacle for a company trying to transform itself
into a customer-centric organization is flat or
reduced technology budgets. By optimizing its
current operations, the average company should
be able to cut its infrastructure budget significantly, freeing up funds for the new initiatives.
One characteristic of an optimized IT infrastructure is its alignment with business processes.
Such alignment will, among other benefits,
increase a company’s speed to market. A retail
chain that wants to open ten stores in a quarter
might face a nine-month wait in terms of IT
planning and readiness. With a more flexible
infrastructure, it will be able to get there in
three months or less.
In the coming years, companies will be able to
detect changing customer needs in near real
time, interact with customers consistently, and
change product offerings on the basis of this
feedback. Cloud computing, mobility, and big
data will present IT organizations with new
options for rapidly deploying and scaling online
applications and business services. What will
separate the corporate winners from the losers
will not be whether they’re big or small but
whether they’re fast or slow.
But first, the savviest IT organizations will pause
and take the time to look back, rethink their
existing infrastructure, and rebuild it for the
CIO Straight Talk
Smart companies will take a different approach,
looking back before leaping ahead to ensure that
their existing infrastructure is optimized to
exploit the new technologies. Transformation will
not take place by implementing the latest
analytics software or social media platform.
That’s a fairy tale. Real transformation will not
take place in a vacuum; it will be built on existing
systems. Those systems will have to provide a
foundation that ensures cost-effective operation
and can accommodate and enable speed, agility,
and scale. No matter how forward-looking the IT
industry is, it cannot afford to ignore the past.
An optimized infrastructure will also enable
enterprise IT to scale vertically and horizontally
depending on demand, making it a better
foundation for the new customer-centric
technologies that will drive corporate competitiveness in the future. There’s no CEO in the
world who isn’t demanding that IT address big
data analytics. Everyone is excited about
in-memory processing. But the potential benefits
won’t be realized if a robust infrastructure isn’t
in place that can be ramped up or down at will.
Sadagopan Singam is a Global Vice
President for Enterprise Transformation
Services at HCL Technologies. He blogs
regularly at http://123suds.blogspot.com
and tweets @suds. He can be reached at