Any fan of late night TV is surely familiar with the infommercial. These programs are everywhere touting the latest gadget or gizmo. “Don’t touch that dial!” announcers proclaim. Following simple steps, any viewer is sure to transform their lives with the newest product. Unfortunately, real life is a little more complex than that. True success demands a solid commitment, a great deal of trial-and-error, and proper implementation. Just ask any CIO.

Digital Transformation is changing how companies do business. Customers expect more from highly agile and knowledgeable partners. Fortunately, the surge of available data makes it possible to effectively predict demand, analyze market trends and serve customers in new ways. Yet unlike the most powerful infomercial, there’s no easy process. In most cases, this transformation is constructed on a tested and reliable model – often taking into account the following trends:

Hybrid IT: Most CIO’s are unwilling to abandon legacy infrastructures. Built on disparate and de-centralized technology, unfortunately these constructions are likely to hinder flexibility and scalability. Hybrid IT is a good first step on the transformation journey. Mixing at least one external option in addition to legacy components, hybrid models can aggregate, unify and scale services – and do the same for their functionality. In fact, Gartner Group estimates nearly 75 percent of all enterprises are on the road to adopting Hybrid IT. And while some choose to go it alone or team with multiple providers, a significant competitive edge is realized by aligning with a best-of-breed provider – simplifying IT infrastructure design and delivery, and fully supported by the expertise to drive agility, high performance and security.

Colocation: Hybrid IT is certainly the overarching goal, but how do you get there? It’s expected the data center outsourcing and colocation market will break $33 billion before end of this decade – translating into operational square footage of 176.5 million. Unlike traditional hosting, Colocation permits customers to own their servers, routers and other hardware. Scalability and reliability are bolstered by the provider managing core elements like cooling, power, bandwidth and security. This minimizes upfront investments and quickly aligns for ever-changing customer requirements. But prior to teaming with a partner, it’s critical to investigate their reliability metrics and approach to multi-layered security. Both are gating factors in delivering seamless customer service, while minimizing exposure to security and compliance breaches.

Hybrid Cloud: Cloud is at the core of reliable Hybrid IT environments. This “best-of-both worlds” approach mixes on-premises private clouds alongside public cloud services. Full orchestration across the two platforms allows for adaptability as computing needs and costs change. Typically, sensitive or highly critical workloads remain private, while dynamic and rapidly changing workloads take advantage of the public infrastructure. The most successful Hybrid Cloud deployments exploit centralized management with built-in governance, orchestration and automation. Solutions like Runner and Elastic Box streamline automation and accessibility across public, private and on premise devices. This permits users to quickly provision, interact and modify IT environments – accelerating automation, collaboration, and provisioning.

Security and Compliance: Even the best hybrid implementations are hindered by poor security control and processes. Analysts project the average cost of data breach has surpassed $4 million per incident. A holistic IT Security strategy considers everything from design and implementation to ongoing management. A support system for this infrastructure, the security ecosystem proactively identifies network, data, application and enterprise threats – assessing and categorizing risks and vulnerabilities to keep core data safe. Reliable security partners help incorporate strategies that work, featuring elements such as E-mail Defense, DDoS Mitigation, and PCI Compliance. Providers including CenturyLink can deliver added protection with Managed Security Services – an integrated approach for identification, protection and response.

While there’s no easy approach to the Digital Transformation, the best strategy – fully supported by technologies like hybrid cloud, colocation and managed security – can make the journey a bit easier. So, don’t touch that dial! Act now and contact one of our experts before time runs out.

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