Speaking at this year’s Fujitsu Forum in Munich, my colleague Brad Mallard sounded a warning for businesses: don’t get digital and digitalisation mixed up.
“Digital is about ones and zeroes,” he said. “Digitalisation is the means to transform your company to thrive, or survive, in the digital age.
“It’s about people and collaboration. Really, [digitalisation] is business transformation – and not a technology product.”
This is a key distinction to make. What’s clear is that Hybrid IT has a huge role to play within ‘digitalisation’ as it starts to firmly shape the agenda in many boardrooms.
Businesses want to be more agile, and enjoy greater flexibility. They want to use new technologies such as the internet of things, and big data. Increasingly we’re going to see applications in technologies such as machine automation and even full-blown artificial intelligence.
Cloud of course is the foundation for all of this. But properly embracing Hybrid IT isn’t a journey from A to B. Instead it’s an overarching philosophy which allows you to embrace newer fast IT, while best leveraging existing legacy systems.
The tip of the digital iceberg
We’ve reached a tipping point for digital adoption, linked to volume of devices. It’s estimated 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by the year 2020, and this will change everything.
It’s fair to say digital transformation is driving growth in cloud services at an irresistible rate. According to analysts at NetApp, half of all workloads will be running on either public or private cloud by 2021. That’s nearly double the amount of today.
But this growth of cloud creates complexity. The cloud can be a disparate and fragmented space – and it makes this new world of fast IT highly desirable but difficult to achieve.
While investment cycles have shortened beyond recognition, it’s become difficult to reduce development cycles in parallel – owing to this complexity.
That’s why we see cloud platforms (such as Fujitsu’s K5) as the foundation for digital transformation, working in a Hybrid IT environment.
Being able to make the link between existing legacy systems, with a multitude of public and private clouds, means businesses can fail (or succeed!) fast, and do it cheaply.
Being able to collaborate becomes key – and this idea of ‘co-creation’ was one of the main themes from this year’s Forum.
That’s why the emergence of Openstack, with a common set of standards, is so important. It guarantees interoperability between different vendors and services, and it opens up new worlds of possibilities between different platforms and customers.
Hybrid IT is the basis for all of this – what organisations need to do is acknowledge this new mind-set, and then they can digitise with confidence.
Watch: check out our interview with Mark Phillips 90 days on from the launch of Fujitsu’s K5 platform