By Chris Butler April 10, 2015
Business agility: The Never-Ending Story of IT organisations
There’s a new buzz word about town; business agility.
If a business not only wants to survive, but to thrive, then it must become agile; must be able to respond immediately to market changes; must be able to take advantage of those changes.
It is still all about gaining a competitive advantage over corporate rivals; it always has been and always will be. But it’s the way that businesses go about it that is forever evolving.
Information Technology is the lifeblood of any business and IT departments and organisations play a crucial role in the readiness of any company to evolve with market demands.
Just five years ago it would take weeks, months even, to construct and deploy new IT applications and systems. Now businesses want new applications ready and working immediately; they count in hours and minutes, not weeks and months. Mobile and cloud technology is at the heart of this change and the impetus for the demands of consumers to want more, for less, more quickly.
Technology has come a long way in recent years, however, and thanks to the highly-virtualised world of IT we now live in, these slashed time frames are achievable.
It is not only time frames being squeezed either, budgets are also falling. IT managers are required to deploy systems immediately and at low capital expenditure with very little on-going costs too.
Converged infrastructures, where components are clustered together to optimise their use and output, and virtualisation – creating a virtual version of a system, server, network or storage – has aided these advances. Prebuilt solutions and cloud-based computing helps to cut costs and enables companies to redeploy IT manpower elsewhere. In a time when employee numbers are down, being able to make more use of the staff a department has will always prove beneficial.
This greater efficiency also helps companies to concentrate on another important factor driving all the changes. That is improving relationships with customers and suppliers and interdepartmental information flows.
As mobile technology grows so does the amount of data companies are able to collect. IT departments need to work out how best to collect, store and use all of this available data to ensure that they can carry on providing the support that a business needs, when it needs it.
IT departments will always be at the forefront of any push to make a business as agile as possible, so they will always need to be one step ahead of the rest in the Never-Ending Story of IT workloads.