Citrix ANZ director of technical services Safi Obeidullah shares his strategies to ensure your next investment is able to quickly deliver returns.
Immediacy is the key and the bane of modern business life.
As IT has played an increasingly influential role within business, we’ve come to expect associated services be available 24-7 regardless of our location and the device we are using.
The benefits of this new world of work have been much discussed — from improved productivity to increased staff satisfaction — and we’re seeing organisations embrace new technologies, such as cloud platforms and enterprise mobility applications, enabling it.
Yet, a recent report from Citrix and Tech Research Asia suggests the benefits of business investments in cloud, mobility, and security, are yet to be fully realised. In fact, when asked about their effectiveness in supporting the business strategy, only 50 per cent of respondents stated mobility was making a difference, 40 per cent said the same for security, and only a quarter (27 per cent) believed they were reaping the complete advantages from cloud investments.
In a world where we expect immediate results, this situation has the potential to create many frustrations — especially when you consider the sizes of the investments being made.
To ensure your next investment in IT is able to rapidly deliver returns, support the overall business strategy, and meet expectations, it’s critical you make a number of important considerations along the way:
Have a clear roadmap
Careful and considered planning is the foundation upon which the most successful IT deployments are built. Similarly, IT investments having the biggest impact are those aimed at overcoming existing business challenges or enabling new capabilities, rather than simply adopting the latest solutions for the sake of it.
As such, at the outset of each new IT project, you should identify the objectives and plot out the path to achieving them. Be sure to involve your workforce in this phase to ensure the project proposed will satisfy their needs.
This approach provides a clear overview of what needs to be achieved and by when, helping keep the project on track, and effectively managing expectations around it. For smaller deployments this journey may take a handful of weeks, while for larger transformations it might span a number of years.
Future-proof your IT
Being able to respond to change is fundamental to business success today, and the same principles apply during IT projects. As such, select cloud technologies that can be quickly scaled and upgraded to accommodate evolving business needs and market changes.
As a result, you will not need to make wholesale and costly IT changes to capitalise on each and every opportunity coming to market, which could also impact employee productivity. Instead, you will benefit from being able to rapidly rollout new technologies in a cost-effective manner, allowing you to realise the rewards well ahead of those businesses slow to embrace change.
Engage the right partners
When it comes to selecting a new IT solution, you have unprecedented choice. In addition to the product itself, businesses seek guidance and support enabling them to tackle the complex IT environments.
Therefore, the partners you engage to help navigate this new world of IT are more important than ever. During your IT deployment, look to work with channel partners that are specialists in specific sectors — such as mobility, virtualisation, and networking — and which offer tailored solutions specifically designed to help businesses rapidly optimise their IT investments.
The initial business gains of your IT deployment might only be incremental at the outset. This is not a sign the platform has not worked, and nor is it a reason to immediately make another investment in a similar solution promising immediate results.
Technology is changing business, and we need to adapt to this new world as individuals too. Be sure that within your roadmap you account for this “bedding in” phase, as well as offering employees access to training and support helping them quickly get up to speed with the new offerings.
For many businesses, having the right technology in place is the difference between success and failure. As such, it’s alarming to learn the majority of organisations do not believe their IT investments are fully supporting company goals and strategies, meaning there is potentially a wealth of opportunities remaining untapped. This is bad news for all the organisations involved, as well as their employees and customers.
There’s no doubt cloud and mobility are two important pillars upon which successful businesses of the future are going to be built. It’s therefore critical to follow the four simple steps outlined to ensure your next deployment fully supports the business goals and has the desired impact on your bottom line.
“To ensure your next investment in IT is able to rapidly deliver returns, support the overall business strategy, and meet expectations, it’s critical you make a number of important considerations along the way.”
“There’s no doubt cloud and mobility are two important pillars upon which successful businesses of the future are going to be built.”
“It’s critical to follow the four simple steps outlined to ensure your next deployment fully supports the business goals and has the desired impact on your bottom line.”
“In a world where we expect immediate results, this situation has the potential to create many frustrations — especially when you consider the sizes of the investments being made.”
— Safi Obeidullah, Citrix ANZ director of technical services
Safi Obeidullah is the director of technical services at Citrix ANZ