To stay competitive in today’s digitally driven market, the modern enterprise must keep pace with end users’ expectations. Customers and employees alike want access to information anytime, anywhere, giving them the flexibility to work, shop, bank, and live on their own terms. While most forward-looking organizations are making strides to deliver this remote access—largely by moving to a hybrid IT model—many are still limited by the state of their back-end infrastructures.
All companies today, regardless of industry, must see themselves as information companies. This means that their IT infrastructures, especially their back-end infrastructures, must be organized to maximize the data at their fingertips. Enterprises running across several systems may struggle to manage and control data, unable to consolidate their data repositories in a consistent way that ensures access, and thus, ROI. Before rushing to expand their digital footprints though, enterprises need to enable seamless management of the vast amount of information flowing throughout their organization—both in the cloud and on-premise. This starts with an enterprise building an IT platform that optimizes the intricate web of legacy and modern systems so it can understand what data exists in the back-end infrastructure and where it came from.
By deploying the right tools, brands can both retain the data they have in their back-end infrastructure and place it in a modern delivery system that fuels the mobile, flexible, and scalable access that users demand. Such an IT platform operates on four core functionalities, each of which bring enterprises closer to using their data in a modern way, no matter where it lives or moves.
Four Core Functionalities
- Flexible Deployment - Enterprises need to build an IT platform tailored for the mobile end user. To provide remote access, organizations need the ability to deploy applications and deliver content where and when it’s needed across a large footprint—whether that’s on-premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. By leveraging content services and data intelligence tools, enterprises can choose their deployment based on their business needs and the needs of their applications. For example, some applications may deploy more securely on-premise, whereas other applications that require far-reaching access may function more optimally in the cloud. Flexible deployment helps enterprises to both optimize application functionality and leverage cloud as a resource more strategically—positioning their business for the future while migrating information from the back-end infrastructure at their own pace.
- Cloud Optimized - Despite many enterprises racing to “go cloud,” many still lack a cloud-optimized IT infrastructure. Transitioning or extending their IT ecosystem to a cloud model too quickly—especially without fully understanding or integrating the back-end infrastructure first—ultimately leaves enterprises with information silos, gaps in data collection, inefficient resource usage, and lost insights as data flows through applications, devices, and repositories. Instead, organizations need a cloud-optimized IT platform that enables the flexible use of applications and business processes for end users across the entire IT estate. Web-scalable, granular, multi-tenant services allow enterprises to build information-based applications and deliver content efficiently across their evolving digital footprint. As more remote devices are added to their networks, enterprises can still control the level of service end users have access to and manage their data repository to enable data mining that drives organization-wide business decision making and planning. By leveraging an optimized back-end infrastructure to power the cloud movement, enterprises can reduce overprovisioned IT resources, costly capital expenditures, and operational inefficiency to deliver the high performance that mobility requires.
- Standards-Based API - To future-proof and unite their IT infrastructure, enterprises should expose their services and applications through standards-based APIs. APIs empower IT developers to monitor and utilize remote resources through specific standards that enable different technologies to work together regardless of disparate platforms or databases—while appearing local to developers. Not only does this help to integrate and standardize a hybrid IT environment, but it can also connect into broader expansion tools that continually maximize applications. By integrating a uniform set of APIs, enterprises can build applications more easily, connect them, and provide standardized access across the entire estate using the same approach. As APIs become increasingly common, enterprises that implement them will have a leg up on modernizing and integrating their back-end infrastructure with the rest of their IT ecosystem.
- Mobile First - The modern IT platform must be designed for a workforce accustomed to connecting with information and business processes 24/7 across a range of devices. While many enterprises may default to a mobile app platform, savvier organizations will optimize the entire IT infrastructure to enable remote access for applications both on-premise and in the cloud, from any device. A mobile-first approach helps organizations to consider the structure of content more strategically, leveraging information management tools to ensure that the appropriate chunk of data is delivered to the right device. This proper delivery is especially crucial when it comes to compliance. Data intelligence tools and content services can fuel powerful governance strategies as end users move farther away from the data they’re accessing—especially on personal devices that are not connected directly within the organization’s private network. As information flows to workers potentially around the world, a mobile-first approach allows IT teams to ensure governance at a device level, controlling access depending on the location and the security of the device accessing it. Enterprises can optimize their back-end infrastructure by building access around portal technologies that manage information and workflow within defined policies. These can create a one-stop access point to apply and manage a single set of rules and policies globally. This enables organizations to provide a single framework that brings applications together regardless of where they’re running—empowering IT teams to centrally manage access and streamline business processes for end users
Is the IT Ecosystem Ready?
Before organizations can deliver on the demands of end users, they need to ensure their IT ecosystem is up to the task. Rather than dismissing legacy systems, the ideal IT platform, powered by the right tools, optimizes enterprises’ applications, APIs, information repositories, software, and servers both on site and in the cloud—bringing them, and their data, into the modern age, rather than leaving value on the table.