Hitachi Data Systems EMEA

Transform to thrive through intelligent investment in technology

Blog post   •   Feb 11, 2016 14:53 GMT

The growth of the digital economy and internet of things are driving an unprecedented rate of change in the world.

Societal and industrial norms are being rewritten, and businesses must transform to remain relevant, stay ahead of the competition and thrive in a digital future.

Business leaders recognise the make or break importance of technology investments in this context. As a result, IT now has a seat at the board table, transforming it from a controlled, pragmatic, cost-centric support function to a visionary and service-led growth centre. In this evolving role, the IT leader is responsible for navigating vast choice in technological innovation, as well as complex compliance challenges and fast-changing business goals to meet the organisation’s needs.

To understand how businesses are progressing towards digital transformation, we commissioned research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, among 200 UK IT decision makers. Interestingly, 90% of IT leaders feel their business is unable to rapidly adapt to industry changes, leaving just 19% fully prepared for the digital future.

So what’s holding UK businesses back? Our research found that 93% of UK IT leaders are concerned about where to place strategic investment in technology and 75% are unable to make informed investment decisions, driven by a lack of clarity on business strategy and access to business data.

It’s clear that with so much choice available, but little reliable information on which investments are going to pay off the long run, IT leaders are left hamstrung and unsure as to where to place their bets. The result? A state of innovation inertia, with nearly half (47%) of IT leaders admitting they wait to see what others invest in successfully before taking the plunge themselves.

Waiting for competitors to innovate is a dangerous tactic. But with 59% of IT leaders feeling that many new technologies are over-hyped, it’s clear that technology can only help drive growth if IT leaders are fully informed on the business’ long-term needs.

IT leaders have to be aligned to business strategy and know the organisation inside out. Well call this business-defined IT. By driving closer partnerships with business leaders, leveraging the wealth of intelligence in corporate data assets, and taking a holistic view of the business, IT leaders can start to understand which investments will address their core business challenges, whether that’s improving productivity or finding new revenue streams.

Without these relationships and insights, IT leaders will simply be innovating for the sake of innovation. Caught in the overwhelming hype of quick-fix solutions, they’ll be unable to connect the technologies the business needs today with those integral to its future.

To navigate digital transformation, IT leaders need a technology partner that can provide a long-term perspective. What are the critical investments you need to make now to secure a bright future, and what are the business insights you need to inform those decisions?

At Hitachi Data Systems, we recognise that digital transformation can’t happen all at once. By taking a holistic, balanced and data-driven approach to identifying the innovations most impactful today and in the future, businesses can accelerate their journey towards sustainable digital success.

Through our solutions portfolio, deep industrial heritage, and strategic vision around Social Innovation, we’re helping deliver the transformational insight businesses and societies need to thrive. We call this the Internet of Things that Matter, that is the things, trends, challenges, and opportunities having the biggest impact on business and society. That could range from finding more effective cancer treatments with the Hitachi Proton Beam Therapy System, installing water treatment systems where natural supply is limited, or simply looking to improve workplace efficiency.

With Gartner predicting nearly 21 billion connected devices by 2020, the opportunity to guide decisions through data-driven insights will only grow. We recently acquired Pentaho and oXya, which enhances our existing expertise in information management and big data optimisation. This, combined with our knowledge in implementing a business-defined strategy and software-defined infrastructure enables our customers to enhance legacy applications while pursuing next-generation applications, driving simplicity, insight and agility.

In this age of cyclical disruption, driven by technology, IT leaders are under increased pressure to set up their organisation for long-term success. While change is always challenging, at HDS we’re excited by the opportunity to offer our expertise, services and solutions to help our customers transform to thrive.