Global industries are transforming more rapidly than ever before. Sparked by the digital age, businesses can gain significant advantage by aligning now for new customer requirements and fast-moving market conditions.

There’s no denying action must be taken. In an exclusive study conducted by 451 Research, the Enterprise Digital Transformation study provides insight into how, why and at what pace organizations are preparing for the digital future. Among the findings:

  • 49 percent of enterprises do not have a formal digital transformation strategy
  • 23 percent are working on siloed digital projects, but without an overarching strategy
  • 19 percent are still in the planning stages
  • 7 percent currently have no ongoing digital transformation strategy

While there’s no “how-to” manual on transitioning for this digital revolution, there are certainly guidelines to be followed. From our team of experts, here are the Top 5:

  1. Embracing Data

Data is the very engine driving Digital Transformations. It’s estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of information are produced every day – with 40 zettabytes of data making up the digital universe by 2020. It’s effective analysis of this information allowing businesses to better track customer behavior and predict market trends. CIOs must begin aligning data strategies now to effectively extract actionable insights. Beyond mere business intelligence, it’s critical to explore new tools and Big Data Services that can streamline and integrate data, guarantee information quality and governance, and power predictive analytics.

  1. Going Hybrid

Agile organizations are built on flexible, scalable IT infrastructures. With a changing business climate, today’s networks must be engineered to scale on demand, respond to new market requirements, and operate efficiently. Oftentimes, legacy environments are just too slow and unwieldy to adapt for the digital age. And while not every business is right for full cloud deployment, the technology can (and should) be used to inject much-needed agility into existing infrastructures. Solutions such as Cloud Managed Services can flexibly manage business-critical applications around-the-clock with near-zero downtime. This enables CIOs to keep more strategic assets in-house and drive highly proactive IT.

  1. Software-Driven

In an effort to accelerate flexibility and innovation, global IT is increasingly adopting Software-Defined Networking (SDN) to build anytime, anywhere networks. The next evolution of private networking leverages software to automate ongoing configurations of edge routers and push traffic over a mix of private, wireless, and broadband network access. This software-driven infrastructure allows CIOs to create a network with the ability to keep pace with increasingly dynamic application environments. Partners like CenturyLink are well-equipped to ease this transition with SD-WAN offerings, combining network design and management expertise – alongside leading software controls and the ubiquity to handle any connection type across vendors.

  1. Keeping It Safe

Data security is one of the most important issues IT leaders face, especially with the proliferation of digital environments. By 2021, experts predict total damage resulting from cybercrime will reach $6 trillion per year. This devastating impact is a strong reminder to prepare for infrastructure and information attacks at all levels. Strategic Managed Security offerings can accurately and continuously reduce the impact of malicious threats – spanning the full range of threat prevention, threat management, incident response and analysis services. By keeping operations running at peak performance through comprehensive security, IT leaders can dedicate more resources to higher-priority initiatives – while reducing inefficiencies across the organization.

  1. Business-Driven CIO

Digital Transformations aren’t just about technology. The “nuts-and-bolts”, backroom CIO is long gone, and leaders must now align for a new role as business executive. Instead of responding to IT system failures, today’s CIOs should spend more time with business leads in problem-solving, analyzing new markets and pinpointing technology gaps. This means finding the right team to automate current IT environments to guide seamless deployments and power enhanced agility. Strategic partners like CenturyLink are increasingly playing a bigger role here, helping technology executives rise above the day-to-day.

Change isn’t easy, but there are times when it’s absolutely necessary. And while our Top 5 list is by no means comprehensive, it’s certainly a good place to start. Time to kick-start your digital transformation.

Reach out to our team of experts to see how to take the next step.

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