Outdated IT systems and lack of internal digital skills are problems for many companies wanting to embrace digital transformation. The benefits associated with digital transformation – increased agility, lower costs, faster time to market etc. – quickly widens the gap between those that have successfully transformed their technology and those who’s legacy IT infrastructure is holding the business back.
Investing in and improving your company’s IT infrastructure is the only way to bridge this gap, but how do you get the best ROI and ensure that you future proof your technology so you’re not in the same position in 10-20 years?
Here I share tips for attaining digital transformation and resolving legacy IT infrastructure challenges:
Tips for resolving the legacy IT infrastructure challenge
#1: Align IT infrastructure with business goals
Approach technology as an enabler, not as a purely operational function that exists only to service the business in the present. Look at what the business’ future goals are and what IT can do to help achieve those goals. Then explore how you can get to that point, what gaps you have and what steps need to happen to get there. This will help you invest strategically rather than reactively, lowering costs long term and future proofing that investment.
#2: Migrate to the cloud in steps
Cloud computing offers many benefits and ultimately can solve the problem of legacy IT infrastructure for good. But for many businesses migrating all systems and business operations to the cloud in one go is a recipe for disaster. A gradual migration whether over weeks, months or years minimises disruption and delivers better results.
Explore hybrid models and creating a separate environment for new technology and replacing obsolete systems, which is built on as required. Don’t get rid of a legacy system if it’s not broken, unless there are clear cost drivers to support a cloud replacement.
#3: Encourage stakeholder buy-in
The people who use your IT systems can be a significant barrier to a successful digital transformation. If they’re not on board, for example they can’t see the point of changing systems they’ve used for years or are resistant to learning new skills, your new model could struggle to get support.
Many companies get good results by recruiting ‘digital champions’, tech-savvy employees in different departments who understand the benefits and can communicate these to other staff. They can help employees see the benefits on a personal level too, not just for the company, such as improving their workflow, time management etc.
Train staff to ensure they have the right skills to get the full benefits of digital transformation. Make sure your IT service desk can also provide excellent technical support, it’s a good opportunity to review your capacity and skills to align these with new systems and requirements.