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“Digital transformation” is the buzzword of the year for corporate CIOs and other enterprise IT leaders. But is digital transformation something your small and midsize business customers need to think about?

You bet. If not right now, then soon.

The same digital storm clouds that are disrupting big businesses are now threatening your SMB customers, too. It may be happening later and slower. But make no mistake, it’s happening.

Digitally transforming

Consider a few recent insights from leading market watchers and consultants:

> 1 in 5 Canadian enterprises will struggle to stay in business by 2020 because they fail to develop digital competencies and ignore opportunities to monetize their data. That’s according to new predictions from market watcher IDC.

> Digitizing the human-relations function is now the “top-priority initiative” for chief HR officers, according to research and advisory firm Gartner.

Organizations that get digital HR right can improve their innovative effectiveness — and increase annual revenue by up to $8,800 per employee, says the VP of Gartner’s HR practice, Brian Kopp.

> The enterprise data center is dying. So writes John Tsucalas, an account chief technologist at IT services company DXC Technology, in a recent blog post.

Because so much enterprise data is already on virtual machines (VMs), he says, running those VMs in the public cloud is just as easy as running them in a proprietary data center.

Over the next 3 to 5 years, Tsucalas adds, non-cloud private data centers will become virtual compartments in various clouds and thus be shut down except for their mainframe workloads.

SMBs, too

Think that’s all big enterprise business that won’t affect your SMBs customers? Think again.

For one, midsize customers — those big enough to have their own data centers — will face the same temptations that enterprise data centers now face. Namely, public-cloud providers that offer massive capacity at a low cost.

This is real. For example, this past May, discount airline Ryanair said it will close most of its data centers and shift everything to AWS by 2021.

As part of its 3-year plan, Ryanair will adopt AWS databases, analytics, machine learning and deep-learning services. It will also build a companywide data lake on Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3), streaming customer and business data in real-time using AWS Kinesis. Further, Ryanair plans to scrap Microsoft SQL in favor of Amazon’s Aurora database.

Even smaller businesses will feel these forces. They may not have data centers, but they're already using cloud-based services. In the near future, they'll use even more.

How long before these same digital forces drive changes at your SMB customers? If not right now, then soon.

Blog Category: 
Cloud and Data Centers