Achieving IT Priorities with Interconnection

 

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The 1,000 IT decision-makers who took part in our recent Enterprise of the Future survey left no doubt what their top strategic IT priority is.

Four-in-10 respondents listed revenue growth as their “most important” future IT priority. Coming in second was employee productivity, named by 23% of respondents, followed by cost reduction and fast execution, considered most important by 19% and 18% of respondents, respectively.

The bottom three IT objectives may have finished well behind revenue growth, but each was still named the top priority by 2-in-10 respondents, making them relevant success metrics for many enterprises. Still, the greater emphasis placed on revenue growth underscores a broader shift in attitudes about IT’s increasing role in driving up enterprise earnings, which was also seen in a McKinsey & Company survey of executives. That survey found that 29% of respondents expected IT-enabled business innovation to account for more than half of their company’s increase in earnings from 2012-2017, up from 18% two years earlier.

But if the enterprise is increasingly asking IT to help propel revenue growth, it’s fair to ask exactly how. The answer is interconnection – not just to increase revenue opportunities, but to help achieve every IT objective listed by Enterprise of the Future respondents. In fact, the survey reported that by 2017, the number of interconnected enterprises is expected double to 84% worldwide, driven primarily by their need to meet these IT objectives.

The evolution of interconnection

chart3Enterprise-grade interconnection today looks much different from the connectivity of yesterday. It has to, to meet the increasing demands of the digital economy. Technology in this interconnected era gives businesses the ability to electronically collaborate at a speed, depth and geographic range that’s never before been possible. Companies must take advantage of this…their competitors certainly will.

At its most basic level, modern interconnection establishes direct and secure, physical or virtual connections between an enterprise and its customers, partners and employees. It interconnects the enterprise to people, locations, data and clouds anywhere, at whatever scale is needed, on whatever device their end users prefer.

In essence, it allows enterprise interconnectivity to be as flexible and dispersed as its end users, out to the edge of the corporate network, where it can deliver the highest quality user experience via high-performance, low-latency connections. Close proximity to direct, secure interconnection enables users to access the resources they need and collaborate among each other, partners and customers to grow their business.

The Enterprise of the Future survey showed that interconnection-dependent tactics are already a critical piece of the strategies respondents are using to reach their IT priorities. For instance, “Deploying infrastructure to support new products/offerings” was the tactic most used by respondents to enhance revenue growth, at 69%. The next most common tactics to create revenue growth were:

  • Creating new channels or strategies related to customer, partner and employee engagement, such as digital, social, mobile channels (68%)
  • Deploying infrastructure in new geographies (55%)
  • Embedding or distributing intelligence, such as analytics, data or content, across business processes, regions or locations (54%)

These same tactics are also being used, at varying degrees of frequency, to reduce costs, improve employee productivity and for fast execution.

Each tactic, in its own way, breaks the enterprise out of a data center-centric IT model in favor of the more user-centric model deployed using an Interconnection Oriented Architecture (IOA) ™. IOA inverts the traditional inside-out, on-premises data center model and replaces it with an outside-in, interconnected model that enables IT to be global and responsive in real time to the latest intelligence.

If growing revenue is the top priority, then so is freeing the enterprise from the constraints of a highly centralized IT model that’s headed toward obsolescence. But that can’t happen without interconnection.

Download the Enterprise of the Future report.