Does IT Agility Equate to Business Survival?

IT Agility Key to Survival?I’ve been writing about agility within the data center and IT group recently. I truly believe the future of IT (and the business) requires that those of us in IT rethink how and what we deliver to our organizations.

While reading a white paper titled “Agile IT Empowers Business Success”, I ran across an intriguing sentence:  “If the business can’t adapt, it may not survive.“ I’d actually change that to say that, in most instances, if a business can’t adapt, it will not survive.

To enable a business to adapt, a business must take a look at a all aspects of their business. They need to look at systems, technology, processes, people and the culture of the business. While the entire business needs to be analyzed and transformed, one of the focal points for any organization should be their IT group.

In order to drive this adaptability, organization’s require both an agile business and an agile IT group, which is something I wrote a bit about last week.  In that previous post, I argue that the IT group must transform itself into an efficient and agile group in order to help the business become more agile.

I’ll go a step further and say that the IT group must be one of the leaders of the transformative change throughout the business.  Adapting to the fast-changing business environment today requires a great deal of technological agility so it makes sense to have the IT group be at the forefront of this change.

This type of transformation isn’t an easy undertaking. It requires an organization take a look at all aspects of their business including processes, technology, systems, people and culture.  While I’ll leave the ‘people’ and ‘culture’ topics for others to work through, the processes, technology and systems fall squarely in the wheelhouse of the IT group.

One of the areas that can be reviewed fairly easily for agility (or lack thereof) is the data center.  The data center is the backbone of the modern organization and, as such, plays a large role in determining how agile and adaptable the business can be. If that data center cannot provide the agility needed for today’s fast-paced environment, the business will suffer.

Some organizations are hesitant to undertake a transformative project like this due to the costs. While there can be large initial costs to replace legacy systems or build out new capabilities, these costs can usually be recouped in a short time from lower operational and management costs throughout the following years.

In order for companies to survive and thrive in the future, their data centers and their IT groups will need to be operating from an agile mindset. No longer can the CIO and IT group be comfortable in their old legacy systems and thinking – they must develop and maintain an agile approach to the business to allow that business to survive.

This post is brought to you by Symantec and The Transition To The Agile Data Center.