Most innovative businesses rely on superior technology and simplified delivery models to find new ways to create, capture and deliver value. Technology certainly plays a key role in facilitating innovation but we cannot forget that innovation is also about nurturing and improving performance within traditional dimensions including price, accessibility and simplicity of use. For example, the dominance of iTunes and Apple technologies has largely been based on these three principles, and an initial focus on developing user confidence in the brand and the innovative nature of the products to generate demand and promote customer loyalty.
The global economic climate has placed capital constraints on many businesses and restricted the budget available to drive innovation and growth. The focus for many companies is now on cost reduction and evaluation of current performance. But innovating to improve performance may not necessarily require capital investment depending on our approach. Moving IT services out to Cloud solutions continues to intrigue and drive our strategic thinking, although some systems can still be problematic to operate on a cloud platform for performance, stability, supportability or security reasons.
Through careful planning with cloud partners to move more defined workloads to the cloud, we can consider continuing to exploit the available capacity on legacy internal systems. IT Managers need to clearly target legacy systems, technologies and data to address the question of criticality to business operations and appropriate compliance, and help to improve our performance and optimise cost.
All too often, technology is used to answer the question of how to innovate and improve performance whilst retaining the data or accepting that new technologies can interface and duplicate copies of data, thereby increasing the workload. There is a delicate balance between the need to provide employee flexibility and workplace optimisation, and the drive to fully understand our performance and costs.
A lack of planning and control can undermine performance. IT Managers need to evaluate their current systems, applications and data and bring these into a simplified and consolidated view. Once this has been completed, the systems that are easily planned and controlled can be moved into the cloud.