Mainframes In A Digital World: Updating The Platform

Assessing and updating workhorse mainframes for the digital era isn’t a straight-through process. Here’s our guidance on how to move forward and reap rapid returns say T S Lakshmi Narasimhan and Niranjan Kulkarni, Cognizant Application Modernization Architects.

Part 1 of this series revealed how and why concerns around operating cost, skill sets and time required for new releases are prompting organizations to reevaluate the venerable mainframe platform against more digital-first compute environments. There are many reasons that businesses have decided to clutch long and hard to the mainframe and its many advantages.

These include a relatively low total cost of ownership for large enterprises with a significant number of users and transactional workloads; robustness, reliability and security built from many years of fine-tuning; and the complexity of business-critical applications.

Most of our midsize and large clients opt for this path, understanding that retention brings its own set of challenges amid today’s digital-first mandate. These include how to modernize monolithic, difficult-to-change legacy applications, usually with their data locked in silos, and increase speed of delivery. Companies must be willing to add open application programming interfaces (APIs) and integrated DevOps processes, and to selectively re-platform applications.

There are also skills shortages that will only worsen as proprietary applications continue to age. Irrespective of this, there is also a need to maintain legacy applications and continuously adapt them to digital shifts that put customer experience at the very center of the organization. Application teams must be willing to adopt cloud-native, hybrid application development models that will ease the skills shortage in the longer run.

Going forward, the mainframe platform will retain its value and long-term viability as these business modernize IT service delivery for the digital era. But achieving this requires enterprise-wide leadership and commitment to an adaptation process.

Tackling the problem

The updating process begins with an assessment of the company’s mainframe portfolio. This extensive phase comprises both quantitative (questionnaires, bug logs, etc.) and qualitative (stakeholder interviews, workshops, etc.) input. Mainframe applications are assessed for their potential alignment with digital; their flexibility and agility; and ways in which they are underperforming or failing to serve the business. Operating costs around mainframe infrastructure, maintenance and complexity are noted.

The assessment culminates in an analysis of the mainframe’s architecture and app integration; the company’s technology stack and infrastructure; the company’s code and data; nonfunctional requirements; pain areas and needs; and its digital/tools infrastructure.

With the analysis complete, needs and weaknesses are prioritized, culminating in a series of recommendations (from either a third party or the internal group spearheading the project), a roadmap to achieve goals, and cost estimates. There are two primary modes of updating:

1.   In-platform modernization.

This enables mainframe applications, data and processes to participate in the digital ecosystem. It is accomplished through services such as

  • “APIzation” (that is, the concept wherein multiple applications, both internal and external, can interact with and obtain data from one another based on an agreed-on set of inputs/outputs)
  • User interface modernization
  • “DevOpsification” that automates the software delivery lifecycle process, bringing in process agility
  • Technology stack standardization using accelerators like language conversion tools

2.   Right-platforming.

This entails re-platforming and re-architecting qualified workloads and applications, potentially into the cloud. Solutions include services such as re-hosting, rewriting, a hybrid of the two, and replacing. Of these options, the best fit is selected based on the assessment outcome. We have a set of our own accelerators, built over time through our work with clients, to accomplish seamless implementation of both in-platform and re-platform modernization.

Typically, large mainframe organizations will adopt a combination of these options, with the key factor being a given application’s strategic value to the business. The approach outlined above essentially involves transforming the traditional mainframe into a digital mainframe.

We advise clients to use this approach primarily to protect their investment in mainframe assets and reuse, both across the enterprise and with partners. Additional drivers could be simplifying the overall mainframe estate; eliminating disappearing technologies and skills (Assembly language, for example); and of course improving agility.

Off-platform modernization, by contrast — that is, migrating a workload from the mainframe to a distributed environment, whether on premise or in the cloud — is typically aimed at reducing operating expenses; aligning with a larger enterprise cloud strategy; eliminating risks related to the aging mainframe workforce; and moving to a cloud-based pay-by-use mode.

Modernizing to increase agility

In one engagement, we worked with the world’s largest package delivery company with a legacy IT portfolio (think mainframe, IBM’s Virtual Storage Access MethodSun’s J2EE, SQL Server, and so on) that was used to support online users for tracking or changing delivery instructions, with strict service-level agreements (SLAs) in place to propagate instructions to other systems.

With the influx of mobile channels for customers to convey and manage delivery instructions, this legacy process became cost-prohibitive to scale — and was deemed too rigid for the digital-first age.

The client sought to adapt the systems that its customers use to view the status of shipments and provide alternate delivery instructions. The goal: develop an IT strategy to modernize the app portfolio to newer, digital platforms — all built atop an architecture that provided greater agility in anticipation of the future’s inevitable (but nearly impossible to anticipate in detail) changes.

In the assessment phase, we workshopped and analyzed client data to gain an understanding of the existing product and application portfolio. In collaboration with the customer, we envisioned a future architecture that retained the legacy system’s capability and strength in operationalizing the delivery instructions well within SLAs, but decoupled systems of engagement (that is, customer-facing interfaces) and defined them on modern digital and agile platforms. Deliverables included a strategy and roadmap.

We helped the client team demonstrate that it can save $50 million in cumulative spend over three years, for a transformation investment of $12.5 million. The project was approved by senior management and is underway.

Moving to the cloud

Often, organizations seek to shift to the cloud for a complex blend of strategic, operational and cost reasons. This was the case for a leading telecom provider in the US. This client sought to move its existing ordering application from the mainframe to a Java microservices-based architecture hosted on AWS. This was one component of a larger strategic initiative to generally improve the IT infrastructure and move legacy applications to modernized platforms.

Beginning with the assessment phase discussed above, we gathered data on business and technical requirements. We also extracted the client’s business rules. This allowed the client to split the application portfolio into individual functionalities, then migrate them using a phased approach.

With data migration also a key concern for the client, we designed and implemented an approach to migrate data from DB2 to Apache Cassandra (an open-source distributed database) while ensuring that any data updates in Cassandra were available in DB2 until the applications were fully migrated.

Throughout the engagement, for each functionality that was moved off the mainframe, we designed and created new interfaces to ensure a smooth handshake between the new world and the prior mainframe functions. After the project is complete, the client expects the following results:

  1. A complexity reduction of approximately 30%
  2. Alignment with the overall enterprise cloud strategy
  3. Improved customer experience
  4. Better performance, scalability and flexibility
  5. A reduction in total cost of ownership

To learn more, visit the Digital Strategy section of our website or contact us.

Narasi leads the Mainframe Application Modernization Practice at Cognizant. He has over 28 years of experience across application modernization,

Niranjan is a Mainframe Modernization Architect with over 18 years of relevant experience in delivering IBM Mainframe & Legacy modernization projects. He has significant experience in stakeholder management and has worked on a range of business processes and models across banking & financials, healthcare, manufacturing and insurance industries. He can be reached at Niranjan.kulkarni@cognizant.com

Source: https://www.forbes.com

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More contents:

How Entrepreneurs Are Capitalizing on Digital Transformation in the Age of the ‘New Normal’

How Entrepreneurs Are Capitalising on Digital Transformation in the Age of the 'New Normal'

The Covid-19 pandemic has carried a significant impact on the rate in which businesses are embracing digital transformation. The health crisis has created an almost overnight need for traditional brick and mortar shopping experiences to regenerate into something altogether more adaptive and remote. While some businesses are finding this transition toward emerging technology a little tricky, it’s proving to be a significant opportunity for entrepreneurs in the age of the “new normal.”

Astoundingly, data suggests that digital transformation has been accelerated by as much as seven years due to the pandemic, with Asia/Pacific businesses driving forward up to a decade in the future when it comes to digital offerings.

With entrepreneurs and new startup founders finding themselves in a strong position to embrace modern digital practices ahead of more traditional companies, we’re likely to see a rise in innovation among post-pandemic businesses. With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look into the ways in which digital transformation are benefiting businesses in the age of the new normal:

Fast, data-driven decisions.

Any digital transformation strategy needs to be driven by data. The emergence of big data as a key analytical tool may make all the difference in ensuring that startups take the right steps at the right time to ensure that they thrive without losing valuable resources chasing the wrong target audience, or promoting an underperforming product.

Enterprises today have the ability to tap into far greater volumes of data than ever before, thanks largely to both big data and Internet of Things technology. With the right set of analytical tools, this data can be transformed into essential insights that can leverage faster, more efficient and accurate decisions. Essentially, the deeper analytical tools are embedded in business operations, the greater the levels of integration and effect that may have.

By incorporating more AI-based technology into business models, it’s possible to gain access to huge volumes of big data that can drive key decisions. The pandemic has helped innovations in terms of data and analytics become more visible in the world of business, and many entrepreneurs are turning to advanced AI capabilities in order to modernise their existing applications while sifting through data at a faster and more efficient rate.

Leveraging multi-channel experiences.

Digital transformation is empowering customers to get what they want, when they want, and however they want it. Today, more than half of all consumers expect to receive a customer service response within 60 minutes. They also want equally swift response times on weekends as they’ve come to expect on weekdays. This emphasis on perpetual engagement has meant that businesses that aren’t switched on 24/7/365 are putting themselves at a disadvantage to rivals that may have more efficient operations in place.

The pandemic has led to business happening in real-time – even more so than in brick and mortar stores. Although customers in high street stores know they’re getting a face to face experience, this doesn’t mean that business representatives can offer a similar personalised and immediately knowledgeable service than that of a chatbot or a live chat operative with a sea of information at their disposal.

Modern consumers are never tied to a single channel. They visit stores, websites, leave feedback through mobile apps and ask questions for support teams on social networking sites. By combining these interactions, it’s possible to create full digital profiles for customers whenever they interact with your business – helping entrepreneurs to provide significantly more immersive experiences.

Fundraising via blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology is one of the most exciting emerging technologies today. Its applications are far-reaching in terms of leveraging new payment methods and brokering agreements via smart contracts, and while the use cases for these blockchain applications will certainly grow over the coming years, today the technology is already being widely utilised by entrepreneurs as a form of raising capital through Initial Token Offerings (ITOs), also known as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

As an alternative to the use of traditional banks, venture capital firms, angel investors or crowdfunders, ITO tokens can be made available for exchanges where they can trade freely. These tokens are comparable to equity in a company, or a share of revenue for token holders.

Interested investors can buy into the offering and receive tokens that are created on a blockchain from the company. The tokens could have some practical use within the company where they can be spent on goods or services, or they could purely represent an equity share in a startup or project.

There are currently numerous companies that use blockchain technology to simply and secure its operations. From large corporations like HSBC’s Digital Vault, which is blockchain-based custody platform that allows clients to access details of their private assets to small education startups like ODEM, which aim to democratize education.

Another company that’s pioneering blockchain technology within the world of business is OpenExO, which has developed its own community-driven utility token EXOS, to help build a new transformation economy that helps companies to accelerate, democratise and internationalise their innovation.

Salim Ismail, OpenExO founder, is the former Yahoo technology innovator who developed the industry of Exponential Organizations. He has become a household name in the entrepreneur and innovation landscape, and now he launches the blockchain ecosystem that includes Fortune 500 companies, cities and even countries.

Reaping widespread rewards.

Although digital transformation could begin with a focus on just one facet of a startup, its benefits can be far reaching for employees, consumers and stakeholders alike. It could limit the mundane tasks required of workers, offer greater levels of personalisation for consumers and free up new skills to be developed in other areas of a business.

This, in turn, helps to build more engaged and invested teams that know the value of fresh ideas and perspectives. Although the natural adaptability of entrepreneurs makes the adoption of digital transformation an easier one to make than for established business owners, the benefits can be significant for both new and old endeavours.

The pandemic has accelerated the potential of emerging technologies by over seven years in some cases, the adoption of these new approaches and tools can be an imperative step in ensuring that your business navigates the age of the new normal with the greatest of efficiency.

Dmytro Spilka

By: Dmytro Spilka / Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP – CEO and Founder of Solvid and Pridicto

Source: How Entrepreneurs Are Capitalising on Digital Transformation in the Age of the ‘New Normal’

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Critics:

Digital Transformation (DT or DX) or Digitalization is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.

One aspect of digital transformation is the concept of ‘going paperless‘ or reaching a ‘digital business maturity’affecting both individual businesses and whole segments of society, such as government,mass communications,art,health care, and science.

Digital transformation is not proceeding at the same pace everywhere. According to the McKinsey Global Institute‘s 2016 Industry Digitization Index,Europe is currently operating at 12% of its digital potential, while the United States is operating at 18%. Within Europe, Germany operates at 10% of its digital potential, while the United Kingdom is almost on par with the United States at 17%.

One example of digital transformation is the use of cloud computing. This reduces reliance on user-owned hardware and increases reliance on subscription-based cloud services. Some of these digital solutions enhance capabilities of traditional software products (e.g. Microsoft Office compared to Office 365) while others are entirely cloud based (e.g. Google Docs).

As the companies providing the services are guaranteed of regular (usually monthly) recurring revenue from subscriptions, they are able to finance ongoing development with reduced risk (historically most software companies derived the majority of their revenue from users upgrading, and had to invest upfront in developing sufficient new features and benefits to encourage users to upgrade), and delivering more frequent updates often using forms of agile software development internally.This subscription model also reduces software piracy, which is a major benefit to the vendor.

Digitalization (of industries and organizations)

Unlike digitization, digitalization is the ‘organizational process’ or ‘business process’ of the technologically-induced change within industries, organizations, markets and branches. Digitalization of manufacturing industries has enabled new production processes and much of the phenomena today known as the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, machine to machine communication, artificial intelligence and machine vision.

Digitalization of business and organizations has induced new business models (such as freemium), new eGovernment services, electronic payment, office automation and paperless office processes, using technologies such as smart phones, web applications, cloud services, electronic identification, blockchain, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies, and also business intelligence using Big Data. Digitalization of education has induced e-learning and Mooc courses.

See also

How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Main-Picture-1024x683-1.jpg?resize=840%2C560&ssl=1

Digital will separate the winners from the laggards in the hypercompetitive, post-pandemic business landscape, says Ben Pring, Managing Director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. We undertook a global, multi-industry study to understand how businesses are preparing for this future and here’s what we found.

COVID-19 changed digital from a nice-to-have adjunct to a must-have tool at the core of the enterprise. The pandemic forced businesses to reassess how they strategize and execute their digital ambitions in a world that has migrated online, possibly for good in many areas. Those that did not prioritize digital prior to the pandemic found that procrastination was no longer an option — the digital landscape is hypercompetitive.

The Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally to understand how they are putting digital to use and what they hope to achieve in the coming years.

The CFoW found that digital technologies are key to success in the coming years and uncovered six key steps that all organizations can take to more fruitfully apply to gear-up for the fast unfolding digital future:

  • Scrutinize everything because it’s going to change. From how and where employees work, to how customers are engaged, and which products and services are now viable as customer needs and behaviors evolve rapidly.
  • Make technology a partner in work. Innovations in AI, blockchain, natural language processing, IoT and 5G communications are ushering in decades of change ahead and will drive new levels of functionality and performance.
  • Build new workflows to reach new performance thresholds. The most predictable, rote and repetitive activities need to be handed off to software, while humans specialize in using judgment, creativity and language.
  • Make digital competency the prime competency for everyone. No matter what type of work needs to be done, it must have a digital component. Levels of digital literacy need to be built out even among non-technologists, including specialized skills.
  • Begin a skills renaissance. Digital skills such as big data specialists, process automation experts, security analysts, etc. aren’t easy to acquire. To overcome skills shortages, organizations will need to work harder to retain and engage workers.
  • Employees want jobs, but they also want meaning from jobs. How can businesses use intelligent algorithms to take increasing proportions of tasks off workers’ plates, allowing them to spend their time creating value? This search for meaning stretches beyond the individual tasks of the job to what the organization itself stands for.

Here are a few key findings from our research:

Redesigning the workplace is just the beginning: The virus will force enterprises to ask more strategic questions.

A mesh of machine emerges: While IoT is beginning to take hold, few respondents have piloted 5G projects. But over time , the mesh of machines created by IoT and 5G will serve as the foundation for news levels of functionality and possibility.

The 3As-AI , automation and analytics are the engines of digitization: To make the future of work happen, the 3As are emerging as a sophisticated and complex set of tools more deeply embedded in processes.

To learn more, read our whitepaper “The Work Ahead: Digital First (to Last)” or see the full Work Ahead study series.

Ben Pring leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and is a coauthor of the books Monster: A Tough Love Letter On Taming The Machines That Rule Our Jobs, Lives, and Future, What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business. In 2018, he was a Bilderberg Meeting participant. He previously spent 15 years with Gartner as a senior industry analyst, researching and advising on areas such as cloud computing and global sourcing. He can be reached at Benjamin.Pring@cognizant.com

Source: How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

.

Critics:

Digitalization  is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.

One aspect of digital transformation is the concept of ‘going paperless‘ or reaching a ‘digital business maturity’ affecting both individual businesses and whole segments of society, such as government,mass communications,art, health care, and science.

Digital transformation is not proceeding at the same pace everywhere. According to the McKinsey Global Institute‘s 2016 Industry Digitization Index, Europe is currently operating at 12% of its digital potential, while the United States is operating at 18%. Within Europe, Germany operates at 10% of its digital potential, while the United Kingdom is almost on par with the United States at 17%.

One example of digital transformation is the use of cloud computing. This reduces reliance on user-owned hardware and increases reliance on subscription-based cloud services. Some of these digital solutions enhance capabilities of traditional software products (e.g. Microsoft Office compared to Office 365) while others are entirely cloud based (e.g. Google Docs).

As the companies providing the services are guaranteed of regular (usually monthly) recurring revenue from subscriptions, they are able to finance ongoing development with reduced risk (historically most software companies derived the majority of their revenue from users upgrading, and had to invest upfront in developing sufficient new features and benefits to encourage users to upgrade), and delivering more frequent updates often using forms of agile software development internally. This subscription model also reduces software piracy, which is a major benefit to the vendor.

Unlike digitization, digitalization is the ‘organizational process’ or ‘business process’ of the technologically-induced change within industries, organizations, markets and branches. Digitalization of manufacturing industries has enabled new production processes and much of the phenomena today known as the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, machine to machine communication, artificial intelligence and machine vision.

Digitalization of business and organizations has induced new business models (such as freemium), new eGovernment services, electronic payment, office automation and paperless office processes, using technologies such as smart phones, web applications, cloud services, electronic identification, blockchain, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies, and also business intelligence using Big Data. Digitalization of education has induced e-learning and Mooc courses.

See also

 

The 5 Biggest IT Mistakes Companies Make And How To Avoid Them

Young woman working at home

A new study released by research firm Gartner shows that employees are nearly two times more likely to pretend to be working when their employers use tracking systems to monitor their output. Gartner surveyed more than 2,400 professionals in January 2021.

Across the world, IT professionals are in charge of an increasing number of servers and data coming in from disparate sources, and they’re using way too many monitoring tools to make sense of it all. The Reducing Complexity in IT Infrastructure Monitoring: A Study of Global Organizations report by the Ponemon Institute sheds light on the challenges of troubleshooting and monitoring cloud and on-premises environments.

  • 24% said the handling of scale and complexity of IT infrastructure has improved
  • 29% said the ability to easily deploy and maintain server monitoring technologies has improved

The survey also found that while a significant percentage of IT practitioners are in charge of monitoring over 50 servers, only 33% felt that they could ensure performance and system availability with their current toolset. So how can IT effectively manage increasingly complex, hybrid environments, and what are the major missteps IT organizations can correct to build a more efficient approach to infrastructure monitoring and troubleshooting?

Here are some of the biggest IT mistakes companies of all sizes make — and how to avoid them.

Problem #1: Too Many Tools

Seventy percent of IT professionals in the survey said that using data to determine root cause slows them down — ingesting and normalizing data of differing formats and types is tedious and unmanageable, and it’s difficult to make real-time decisions. This is often because companies use too many monitoring tools for single layers of their IT stack, such as networks or applications, which creates silos and inefficiencies. When data lives inside one tool but can’t access or communicate with data confined to other tools, IT practitioners lose context on what’s happening in their environment because they’re seeing only a part of the picture.

The Solution: The solution to too many tools and disparate data is a single, scalable monitoring tool that provides end-to-end operational visibility into hybrid environments.

Problem #2: IT and Business Friction

As digital business infrastructure increases in complexity, IT teams feel more pressure than ever to reduce business-impacting incidents. When IT systems fail, the ramifications go beyond the immediate financial loss of downtime — a business could lose customers and jeopardize its reputation, a harsh reality that keeps IT teams up day and night. According to Ponemon’s research, 61 percent of IT professionals say that lack of system availability and poor performance creates friction between IT and lines of business.

The Solution

In addition to a solution that allows IT to find the root cause to identify service interruptions, IT and business need to work together to design business and technical requirements in tandem.

Problem #3: No Way to Easily Identify Root Cause

Across the globe, IT professionals spend their days identifying and fixing server environment problems. Indeed, the Ponemon survey found that the top two challenges of troubleshooting, monitoring and cloud migration are:

  • Lack of insights to quickly pinpoint issues and identify the root cause
  • Complexity and diversity of IT systems and technology

When IT can’t find and fix issues quickly, it has a direct effect on the business.

The Solution: For IT to quickly fix problems, they need a monitoring tool that can surface an issue’s root cause with an alert about where and why something is wrong. Issue resolution time can be cut in half with a monitoring solution that correlates metrics and logs, and provides visualizations of alerts, trends and logs in one place. Making sure your monitoring tool can enable those types of actions and resolution planning is critical for success.

Problem #4: The Wrong Skills to Manage Application Complexity

When Ponemon asked IT professionals about the biggest risks to their ability to troubleshoot, monitor and migrate to the cloud:

  • 55%  said the increasing complexity of applications running on infrastructure
  • 44%  said a lack of skills and expertise to deal with application complexity

As infrastructure grows and evolves, it becomes increasingly difficult for IT teams to successfully manage, monitor and troubleshoot systems. Couple that with an IT skills gap that makes it difficult for organizations to attract and retain qualified talent, and it becomes clear why IT teams feel nonstop pressure.

The Solution: To effectively troubleshoot, monitor and migrate to the cloud, you need a solid plan that takes future growth into account is necessary for smooth IT operations. Business and IT need to work together to create an IT environment roadmap, followed by a talent strategy that aligns to that plan. Be sure to:

  • Identify skills gaps and adjust hiring
  • Identify and train qualified employees for advancement
  • Include succession planning for inevitable changes

Problem #5: Lack of Visibility Throughout Cloud Migration

Sixty-eight percent of IT practitioners said that ensuring application performance and availability throughout cloud migration caused the most stress. Over half said both cost and the inability to monitor and troubleshoot applications were their biggest pain points.

As infrastructure increases in complexity, the core responsibilities of IT to monitor and measure remain the same. So how can IT achieve infrastructure visibility and workload insights when performance data spans diverse environments?

The Solution: It’s critical to monitor performance across hybrid architectures with a monitoring solution that collects and correlates data from every location. Full visibility is needed throughout the migration process, so choose an end-to-end monitoring tool that allows you to establish a pre-migration baseline, mid-migration insights and post-migration success.

Before cloud migration, measure the baseline user experience and performance, and define acceptable post-migration levels. To accurately validate a migration’s success, use the same monitoring tool throughout the migration process. A unified tool can analyze centralized data and provide better insights from dashboards and reports.

For more of the biggest IT mistakes and solutions and examples of companies that have solved the problem check out: 8 Biggest Mistakes IT Practitioners Make and How to Avoid Them.

Splunk Inc. turns data into doing with the Data-to-Everything Platform. Splunk technology is designed to investigate, monitor, analyze and act on data at any scale.

Source: The 5 Biggest IT Mistakes Companies Make And How To Avoid Them

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More Contents:

How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

Digital will separate the winners from the laggards in the hypercompetitive, post-pandemic business landscape, says Ben Pring, Managing Director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. We undertook a global, multi-industry study to understand how businesses are preparing for this future and here’s what we found.

COVID-19 changed digital from a nice-to-have adjunct to a must-have tool at the core of the enterprise. The pandemic forced businesses to reassess how they strategize and execute their digital ambitions in a world that has migrated online, possibly for good in many areas. Those that did not prioritize digital prior to the pandemic found that procrastination was no longer an option — the digital landscape is hypercompetitive.

The Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally to understand how they are putting digital to use and what they hope to achieve in the coming years. The CFoW found that digital technologies are key to success in the coming years and uncovered six key steps that all organizations can take to more fruitfully apply to gear-up for the fast unfolding digital future:

  • Scrutinize everything because it’s going to change. From how and where employees work, to how customers are engaged, and which products and services are now viable as customer needs and behaviors evolve rapidly.
  • Make technology a partner in work. Innovations in AI, blockchain, natural language processing, IoT and 5G communications are ushering in decades of change ahead and will drive new levels of functionality and performance.
  • Build new workflows to reach new performance thresholds. The most predictable, rote and repetitive activities need to be handed off to software, while humans specialize in using judgment, creativity and language.
  • Make digital competency the prime competency for everyone. No matter what type of work needs to be done, it must have a digital component. Levels of digital literacy need to be built out even among non-technologists, including specialized skills.
  • Begin a skills renaissance. Digital skills such as big data specialists, process automation experts, security analysts, etc. aren’t easy to acquire. To overcome skills shortages, organizations will need to work harder to retain and engage workers.
  • Employees want jobs, but they also want meaning from jobs. How can businesses use intelligent algorithms to take increasing proportions of tasks off workers’ plates, allowing them to spend their time creating value? This search for meaning stretches beyond the individual tasks of the job to what the organization itself stands for.…Read More……

Ben Pring leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and is a coauthor of the books Monster: A Tough Love Letter On Taming The Machines That Rule Our Jobs, Lives, and Future, What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business. In 2018, he was a Bilderberg Meeting participant. He previously spent 15 years with Gartner as a senior industry analyst, researching and advising on areas such as cloud computing and global sourcing. He can be reached at Benjamin.Pring@cognizant.com.

Source: How To Embrace The Post-Pandemic, Digital-Driven Future Of Work

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Critics:

One of the biggest misconceptions about digital transformation is that it is all about technological change. With companies feeling an urgent need to transform digitally, technology is considered to be the panacea for business problems and a way to speed up transformation.

But while technology is an important part of digital transformation, it can only deliver benefits if it is procured as part of a wider plan.

The issue is that those making the decisions to implement technology for the sake of technology may be focusing on the process of changing their business, rather than targeting their ultimate goals.

In fact, the majority (71 per cent) of IT leaders say their business is so fixated on digital transformation that the projects may not deliver tangible benefits, according to 2019 research from database company Couchbase.

Caroline Carruthers, former chief data officer at Network Rail and Lowell, believes that understanding the problems the business is trying to solve or the value it is aiming to generate is crucial.

“Otherwise, how do we know we’re not cutting a square hole [with technology] rather than a circular one? People hear buzzwords and want a quick fix; it’s engrained that we want things faster, while advances in consumer technology have meant people expect the same from business technology. However, the problems are far more complex,” she says.

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