As COVID-19 drives a global work-from-home revolution affecting hundreds of millions of people, and as huge digital-transformation projects are still underway, world-class IT infrastructure that quickly pays for itself has suddenly become a strategic necessity that will only become more essential going forward.
Add to that the ongoing need across the globe to relentlessly boost efficiency and free up resources for innovation, and the urgent need for resilient, flexible and high-ROI tech infrastructure moves even higher up the priority list.
All of those business imperatives become impossible to achieve without modern IT infrastructure that embraces hybrid cloud, earns high marks for security, automates most low-value tasks, is easy to manage and frees up IT professionals to work on higher-value projects instead of configuring and patching brittle old systems.
At the same time, CIOs have had to suddenly reallocate large portions of their operating budgets to fund and support mission-critical WFH initiatives—so they’ve got zero interest in spending huge amounts of money on time-consuming and disruptive infrastructure upgrades whose obsolescence-meters start running the second they’re installed.
To make the challenge even thornier, the CIO and the entire company have to keep their highly strategic digital-transformation initiatives underway even as the work-from-home upheaval takes place.
Because, as uncertain as the global economy is right now amid the COVID-19 crisis, at some point the economy will pick up again and when it does, businesses will need to be ready to move at the speed of their customers.
While digital transformation can create huge new opportunities for businesses, those possibilities will become real only if those companies are able deliver superb experiences to customers at a time when customers’ demands and expectations are soaring.
The new realities of digital business include the following:
- customers want to receive exactly what they want, when they want it, and how they want it;
- customers don’t just want your business to be an omnichannel expert, they demand it;
- customers expect products and services to be more personalized, customized, and unique;
- customers expect you to know what they’re thinking while still fully respecting and protecting their privacy; and
- customers, over time, will become only more informed and demanding.
Businesses that want to thrive in the digital economy must adopt not only a digital mindset that allows them to meet those expectations, but also a digital infrastructure that makes all that wizardry possible.
In the business world of 10 years ago, such demands were scattered and arose only in truly unique circumstances—but today they’re the norm in every industry and in every region of the world.
This is the new normal—and it’s never going to revert to the good old days.
So, whether it’s fair or unfair, businesses looking to excel in these intensely rigorous conditions must have the IT horsepower, nimbleness and agility to match up with those requirements.
You’ve got to be able to blend old workhorse ERP systems with modern cloud-based CRM and HCM systems. The siloed infrastructures for database and applications that blossomed into an undisciplined sprawl over the past 15-20 years have to be unified and harmonized. The hodgepodge of IT varieties that have coalesced over time, across divisions and through acquisitions have to come together and behave like a perfectly orchestrated ballet.
And the new customer-centric business processes that are at the heart of digital transformations must be mapped out, put in place and relentlessly refined.
So it’s perfectly understandable that some business executives aren’t terribly eager to dig into the very difficult problem of magically turning all their mismatched generations of IT systems into a unified and harmonious system that can handle everything the always-on world of digital business can throw at it.
They often think that overcoming this challenge will be not only wickedly complex but also wickedly expensive and time-consuming.
And in many cases, those fears are completely legitimate.
Most infrastructure vendors would recommend a total forklift overhaul, promising you that after 6-9 months or possibly 12 months of upheaval and chaos, you’ll have a brand-new infrastructure in place. Sure, everyone will have to be trained on how to use it; sure, you’ll have to figure out how to optimize it for all your middleware and applications and databases; and sure, since it’s brand-new, you’ve got to prove it performs and doesn’t fail beyond the POC into your production environment.
And sure, it wiped out your entire budget for this year and next and forced you to put innovation projects on hold so you could fund the rip-and-replace project. That, they will tell you, is the cost of doing digital business in today’s fast-paced world.
But what if you could find an enterprise-cloud vendor that’s spent the last decade attacking this exact problem and coming up with a radically simpler, less-disruptive, less-expensive and better solution?
And what if that enterprise-cloud vendor could not only provide you with the future-proof architecture that’s optimized for hybrid cloud, but also demonstrate that this infrastructure will pay for itself in less than one year?
In about 9 months, to be precise?
Hyper-converged infrastructure leader Nutanix doesn’t buy into the myth that rip-and-replace is inevitable—quite the contrary. Nutanix believes you use common building blocks of storage and compute, tied together by software that allows you to add more when you need it and cycle out old systems without ever ripping and replacing the whole set-up. In Nutanix’s unique approach to infrastructure modernization, the software platform built for the hybrid-cloud future allows you to preserve your existing investments while also gaining the agility and flexibility required in today’s data-intensive and always-on economy.
In a research report commissioned by Nutanix, IDC conducted extensive interviews with 10 Nutanix customers to evaluate the impact of moving to Nutanix’s highly differentiated approach to helping customers create modern, flexible and easy-to-use private and hybrid environments.
The IDC research revealed some compelling results centered on outcomes that every business is looking for today via modernized infrastructure that’s optimized for private and hybrid cloud: enhanced IT agility, faster and more-efficient business operations, lower risks and lower associated costs.
IDC found that those Nutanix customers, spanning a range of industries and regions, realized an annual financial benefit or payback of $13.44 million related specifically to their investments in Nutanix technology and solutions. Stated in the research paper in terms of return on investment, that equates to a 5-year ROI of 477%.
In terms of operational effectiveness, here’s how those financial benefits and ROI achievements played out for the Nutanix customers studied by IDC:
- employees in various parts of the company were able to generate improved business results on the strength of a newly deployed IT platform that is agile, scalable, cost-effective and capable of meeting the high-performance demands of digital business;
- unplanned downtime all but disappeared, allowing employees to be more productive and preventing lost revenue typically caused by downtime;
- IT team members were able to pursue high-value projects centered on developing and deploying innovative applications for colleagues and for customers, rather than baby-sitting legacy IT systems; and
- the deployment of a more flexible and cost-effective IT infrastructure allowed each customer to cut costs associated with licensing fees paid to multiple vendors plus related operational expenses.
Beyond those impressive operational achievements triggered by the deployment of Nutanix’s modern hybrid-cloud infrastructure, IDC also noted that at least one customer cited Nutanix’s business-oriented mindset and culture as a major value-creator during and after the deployment.
“Nutanix is interested in creating and driving business value for us, while other companies focused on selling boxes. With Nutanix, the discussion was more around creating value for us,” that customer says in the IDC report.
In today’s highly tech-dependent world, that focus on “creating and driving business value” is often overlooked. But at Nutanix, it’s part of the company’s 3-part brand promise: simplicity, choice and delight.
And speaking of delight: Nutanix believes lots of business executives will be absolutely delighted to learn they can deploy modernized and cloud-optimized architecture that can pay for itself in 9 months.
This article is brought to you by Nutanix.