The IT world as we know it is changing.
There’s a digital transformation taking place today in which customers are demanding new forms of engagement across numerous touch points. My fellow chief technology officers (CTOs) are at the very heart of the growing push to develop new applications that will allow companies to support new business models and capitalize on the promise of an exploding digital economy.
One of the first concerns we have is whether or not our organization’s hosting environment meets industry standards and has sufficient elasticity to support the development of new applications at the speed required by the business, and in as cost effective a means as possible. We’re not unsympathetic to the CAPEX and OPEX pressures our CIO partners face, but our successes largely rest on the reliability and scalability of the infrastructure that is available to us.
To address this need, CTOs may choose to outsource to a cloud-based infrastructure rather than utilize an internal IT organization; however there are many advantages to keeping applications on premise. In some cases, a hybrid mix of both on premise and cloud-based infrastructure may be the best approach depending on the complexity of the application.
An internal infrastructure may hold some important advantages over public cloud. Because the latest applications are dependent on enabling services such as authentication, when something goes wrong it is vitally important to have critical insights into the performance of the entire network in order to rapidly identify whether it’s a problem with the application code or if it’s an issue with the platform. In short, increased visibility leads to reduced mean-time-to-knowledge (MTTK) and faster mean-time-to-repair (MTTR).
One of the keys to achieving better visibility into network performance is through the use of analytic information. The right kind of intelligence can provide CTOs with critical insights that reliably predict how demands on service will grow, allowing them to anticipate the need to scale. So, for example, if an application is being developed that relies on multiple tiers, e.g. a Web front-end, application servers and a central database, analytics can reveal any bottlenecks, which in turn can uncover any fundamental architectural flaws before they become a serious handicap.
As digital transformation becomes more and more pervasive, greater cross-connectivity and integration across applications will be required. Whether it’s from social media or the Internet of Things (IoT), CTOs will need to gain a better understanding of how information is being exchanged between services. The applications being developed will rely on far larger amounts of disparate data sources than in the past, which will put a premium on holistic visibility and service assurance across all services and their infrastructure.
As new technologies increasingly reshape the customer experience, CTOs will be at the forefront of developing these applications and will be tasked with managing all the interdependencies that ensure their success. Obtaining deep insights into the network and application environment will be vital.
Digital transformation is definitely changing the face of the IT world, and CTOs have the unique opportunity to help mold those changes.