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Digital business demands a change response rethink


DIGITAL BUSINESS SUCCESS will require organizations to take bold actions, including inventing new business models and changing the way they function, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner predicts that, by 2017, 70 percent of successful digital business models will rely on deliberately unstable processes designed to shift with customers’ needs.


“Many organizations are either beginning, or in the midst of, digital business transformation initiatives,” said Julie Short, research director at Gartner. “We expect that only 30 percent of these efforts will succeed. To be part of that 30 percent, business and IT leaders must be ready and willing to innovate rapidly from a business model, business process and technology perspective.”


As a result of business model innovation, some business processes must become deliberately unstable. Deliberately unstable processes are designed for change and can dynamically adjust to customers’ needs. They are vital because they are agile, adaptable and “supermanoeuvrable” as customers’ needs shift. They are also competitive differentiators, because they support customer interactions that are unpredictable and require ad hoc decision making to enable larger, more stable processes to continue.It’s imperative to break away from linear business processes and deploy a spectrum of standardized and variable processes to reap the benefits of digital business,” said Ms. Short. “The need for this shift is intensified by the introduction of many types of internet-connected ‘things’ into the business environment.


“Things like smart machines generate real-time information for other machines. Business processes must be designed for change to enable organizations to exploit this information. Large, stable processes that have no ability to dynamically change according to new information will not enable organizations to deliver on the promise of digital business.”


Through 2017, insufficient business process management (BPM) maturity will prevent 80 percent of organizations from achieving the desired business outcomes from their digital business strategies.


“Deficits in BPM maturity prevent change agents from delivering game-changing business outcomes from digital business initiatives,” said Marc Kerremans, research director at Gartner. “Delivering expected returns from digital business investments requires process reinvention —that is, significant innovation in how products and services are created, priced, distributed and serviced across not just one group, but often across the entire value chain.”


Digital business changes the competitive landscape, so that one-time process reinvention is not enough. Organizations must become more resilient, adaptive and creative in order to master and sustain sudden, disruptive changes, as well as longer periods of transition — and even radical transformational changes that will be more frequent, unforeseen, varied and often unavoidable. Because organizations cannot control such changes, they need to sense, recognize and quickly respond to them.


Will your DR plan deliver?


A NEW INDUSTRY SURVEY has revealed that a worrying lack of attention is being paid to disaster recovery (DR) solutions by IT managers – with over a third (34%) admitting they are only ‘reasonably confident’ that their DR solution would be successful in the event of an emergency.


The study, conducted by Timico, showed that as many as one in eight of those surveyed had either never tested their DR plans or had no idea exactly when they were last tested. Only 9% said that they reviewed and updated recovery plans once a month or more.


Tom Moores, Sales Director for Cloud and Hosting at Timico, said: “IT managers are renowned for having a lot on their plate, but when things go wrong, there’s nowhere to hide. DR plans are effectively worthless if they are not tested, reviewed and updated as there is no way to guarantee whether the back-up plan will pull through.


“From burst water pipes to natural disasters and simple human error, the threat of downtime is more likely than many people realise – which makes an unproven plan a huge risk.”


The news follows the recent launch of Timico’s Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) proposition, an affordable cloud-based solution to encourage businesses of all sizes to protect themselves from potentially damaging downtime.


Tom concluded: “Disaster recovery is an essential component of IT management, but in the past it has always been seen as a bit of a headache, with businesses having to invest heavily in duplicate equipment before they could be 100% confident and conduct thorough testing.


“With DRaaS, testing can be conducted with no disruption to the production environment. Using our cloud platform as back-up in the event of a major disruption, precious data is protected almost instantaneously until a business is ready to fail back to its primary site.”


4 www.dcsuk.info I February 2015


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