CenturyLink was a Premier sponsor at this year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in October. The event explores new ways of thinking and offers the trusted insights and guidance IT leaders need to lead their organization with confidence.

It was clear from the conversations at the event that the journey of digital transformation is top of mind. C-level executives are concerned their journey is not happening fast enough and if they don’t pick up the pace they will be left behind. Technology innovation is the next step to gaining a competitive edge and providing new ways to reach customers.

Here are a few of my key observations from the Symposium:

Cloud: Coordinate Success

Cloud services have become an enabler to any digital transformation strategy, allowing organizations to connect to their clients faster and more efficiently. Every organization is in some stage of the cloud journey, but how do they get to the next step or become a hero in the previous step?

The journey begins with a number of questions: which workloads do I migrate? What cloud is best? How does it affect my users? And what is the risk of migration? Questions continue during deployment, operation and optimization – What is the best way to deploy? What are my priorities? How do I ensure security? How do I monitor? Do I have the right staff knowledge? And finally, how do I make this more efficient and cost effective?

The challenges and questions of this lifecycle are never-ending. Organizations need partners to support them through the lifecycle – partners that can help no matter what the challenge is, such as; migrating workloads to the cloud, planning what to move, or finding the correct technical staff.

Digital transformation calls for organizations to be more agile, letting you keep up with your competition. An effective cloud strategy enables this transformation.

Security and Risk: Build a Resilient Business

Security threats are bigger than ever, with more bad actors ready to hack organizations for personal gain. It is top of mind for all C-level executives and part of board-level discussions. Today, organizations need to develop a full thought process evaluating all the potential vulnerabilities and security gaps. This will ensure the correct policies and procedures are in place to handle a breach, as a breach is not if but when.

Companies need to prioritize the points of vulnerability by putting some thought behind what is important to your specific organization – what are the biggest threats to my business, what information do they want and how do I protect that data?

Prioritizing your security activities, technology, processes and procedures around those vulnerabilities is the key. How do CIOs do this when they can’t afford or find the security talent? They need good partners to help them do the work. Once an organization understands their key threats, they can prioritize the workflow to ensure a safer environment.

Cost Optimization: Run IT Like a Business

In order to innovate, organizations need to lower the costs of running the business. So how do you automate the repetitive or mundane tasks and still drive down costs?

Organizations are looking to put more in the cloud and optimize the endpoints. Edge computing, cloud and automation – tying those three things together with a flexible network can optimize the cost of delivery.

Instead of deploying platforms at branch locations, financial organizations are using edge computing to store applications and provide access to systems virtually. SD-WAN technologies with a preconfigured box are being used to securely connect to corporate networks.

It becomes a zero-touch deployment to update or open any new location, automating the delivery, maintenance and updates of the experience.

The combination of network with edge computing changes the dynamic of a business. It provides the agility to innovate at a local level and scale the business – doing more for less and providing the best experience for your customer.

Disruption and Innovation: Redefine Your Business

Chief Digital Officers and CIOs want to know how they can better innovate within their business.

How do you innovate? Where do you invest resources? Do you hire or retrain people? These are the questions asked over and over again at Gartner Symposium. More organizations are turning to partners not only to do the legacy management but also to help them innovate.

Partners like CenturyLink are providing technology information such as location-based analytics, threat intelligence and predictive analysis to help clients understand their business better. The amount of data available is overwhelming, so how do organizations use this information to better drive business and customer satisfaction?

Digital transformation is happening, but how do you make it happen faster? It is important to have a partner in your corner who allows you to focus on driving your business. CenturyLink can be that partner who will support your technology innovations so you don’t get left behind.

Take advantage of a personalized Executive Strategy Session to help identify the best strategy for your digital transformation.

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