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How You Can Gain Competitive Advantage When Every Other Business is Digitally Transforming

The call for traditional businesses to embark on a ‘digital transformation’ journey has been heard for well over a decade and counting. However, in the mid-2000’s, organisations didn’t have any great incentive or compelling reason to really push for digitisation. The initial wave of digital transformation (DX) merely opened the way for enterprises to bring in technology to improve productivity and simplify internal processes, with less focus on fulfilling the needs of the customer.

That meant even if companies didn’t digitally transform post-haste, they could still perform well if they had their processes in order and an exceptional group of personnel to keep the business moving forward.

How things have changed since then. Besides enabling the business to run more efficiently, digital transformation is now about meeting (and exceeding) customer demands because it’s much easier for customers to simply move on to the next competitor if you fail to deliver.

Now, with the rapid pace of technological advancements and emergence of “born in the cloud” companies, businesses that are set in the old ways are definitely feeling the pressure from competitors that are much more agile and quicker at responding to change than they could ever be. Furthermore, the competition is no longer local; it is global.

It’s an overused adage, but businesses that are resistant to change will be left behind and forgotten. Hence, more and more businesses are now realising the fact that they have to become digitally- and data-driven.

IDC estimates that the majority of organisations (over 70%) will have a digital transformation strategy in progress by the year 2020. That means simply having a DX plan won’t be good enough because that’s what every other organisation is also counting on. Therefore, a business that wants to stay ahead of the competition has to transform more effectively than its competitors.

One way to achieve this is by making sure that you have IT infrastructure and operations in place that are able to reliably reduce the need for human intervention, offer the greatest degree of process automation and provide nonstop availability to data and its insights.

That last point, availability, is especially important because according to Veeam, data availability and reliability are a prerequisite of IT transformation, which plays a critical supporting role to digital transformation.

From a data protection and availability perspective, Veeam suggests that there are three ways that the effectiveness of a solution can be measured:

  • SLA Attainment – IDC recommends that organisations should continuously monitor and work on improving SLAs in accordance with business needs over time. The most often-used metrics to measure SLAs are Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Reducing RPO means data loss can be minimised while reducing RTO means less downtime, or more importantly, critical systems can be recovered in a much shorter time frame.

  • Personnel Efficiency – Data is growing at an accelerated pace, but organisations typically have to manage this growth of data with the same number of personnel. Therefore, implementing the right infrastructure that can significantly reduce the rate of backup failures will also decrease the amount of time managing them. As involvement with data availability operations go down, your staff will have more time to focus on more productive tasks that can benefit the business.

  • Cost Management – Data growth costs money. The problem is, data growth is not only outpacing IT staff growth, but also the increase of IT budgets, which according to IDC, is only growing at an average of 1%-3% a year, compared with a 40% data compound annual growth rate. Having the right data availability and reliability solution in place can result in huge savings in terms of reduced labour time spent managing failed backup jobs, quicker restore operations and large reductions in planned downtime costs (IDC research puts the average cost of downtime at $10,818 per minute).

Once a business has laid a strong foundation in the form of a fast and reliable backup solution that ensures the availability of its data, it can confidently work towards improving and accelerating every other aspect of its digital and IT transformation journey. This can only be achieved by pursuing the close-to-zero SLA, and improving data protection operations and data availability.

Interestingly, Veeam has engaged IDC to conduct an independent survey of Veeam users to explore the impact that the Veeam Availability Platform solutions have made in terms of SLA improvement, operational improvements and infrastructure costs.
To download the full IDC white paper, click here.

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