At Gartner Symposium/ITxpo this year, one reoccurring theme that seemed to circulate through many of the sessions was the idea of Digital Transformation. In a Wall Street Journal interview session that I attended at the conference, Gerri Martin-Flickinger, CTO of Starbucks, defined Digital Transformation as the connection and orchestration of systems, data, and processes to enhance the user experience. When many of us think business transformation, we think about business processes and how the CEO, COO, and CFO may navigate the organization through such a transition. IT is rarely thought of as at the forefront of driving transformation in the organization, but with the right tools and expertise, IT has the potential drive innovation and guide your organization to a total Digital Transformation.
A recent Gartner research study, titled How to Achieve Digital Business Excellence by Mastering Pervasive Integration, highlights the need for interconnections between business processes, on-premise & cloud/hybrid environments, IoT components, IT systems, and more. If organizations want to stay on top of dynamic business demands and remain aggressive in their industry, it is imperative that they implement a pervasive integration strategy into their business. An IT automation solution can be just what an organization needs to master this. In a new Case Study, we investigated D&H Distributing, a leading technology distributor of IT and electronics, on their use of automation to integrate disparate applications. With the right solution, D&H overcame integration obstacles by connecting different applications and systems throughout their business.
Almost another year has passed, and once again PowerShell has claimed the title for the ultimate scripting language of automation. PowerShell is the most popular scripting framework for Microsoft products and continues to grow in popularity due to its ability to evolve and integrate with other applications. PowerShell works with a variety of key Microsoft services and components, and the recent open source debut of PowerShell that enables the crossover of PowerShell scripts between platforms like Linux and OS X is just one example of how the product is evolving to stay competitive. Over the past 11 years, PowerShell has grown into the scripting language of choice for IT, and what most IT teams don’t know is that there is a way for them to not only improve productivity, but to drastically enhance their existing PowerShell scripts.
The Internet of Things
Have you developed your IoT strategy? The IoT (Internet of Things) refers to the massive network of devices around the world, characterized by their "smart abilities." These are devices accessorized with data-consuming and data-producing sensors that allow them to communicate with one another and with users. Perhaps the most commonly known and one of the earliest examples of an IoT connected device, is the smart phone. However, the smart phone is no longer lonely in the IoT universe, as now just about every device, from washing machines, to medical instruments, to cars, can be made "smart". The amount of devices continues to grow, as IoT innovators are constantly creating new and exciting ways for data to be transferred. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, the amount of globally connected things will reach over 20 billion. The IoT doesn't come easy though, as many organizations are facing difficulties with their IoT implementation and management. However, with the growing popularity of the IoT, it is imperative that businesses find a way to jumpstart their IoT implementation and overcome the potential struggles that they may face along the way.
In today’s massive digital revolution, the way we do business changes with each passing day. Advances in Big Data and the IoT are providing more information than ever before, and organizations need a way to stay in the know when it comes to their industry. Reading the news and following industry-related blogs are two ways most people stay up to date with industry hot topics; however, one of the most substantial developments that we have seen in the past 10 years is the evolution of social media as a business tool. Social media began as a way to connect with friends and family and has since grown into one of, if not the most, popular tools for organizations and professionals to directly reach and communicate with their audiences. Just check out LinkedIn’s official metrics—which show that business professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
IT Skills Gap
This month, an article was published in Quartz revealing new insight into the world of IT staffing. Shocking statistics regarding college grads, computing jobs, and the future of IT got us thinking about the IT resources gap, and how organizations can combat the lack of comp sci. grads and still be successful in today’s ever-growing IT and business market.
Earlier this month we published a blog post in regards to the U.S. Customs Outage. A nationwide system shutdown held up travelers across the United States, filling up airports with frustrated fliers who were unable to get where they were going due to these issues caused by a technical glitch. We also linked to a blog post we published last year, when the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines both experienced outages in the same day. We recommended that organizations “predict the unpredictable” by implementing an IT automation solution to protect them from potential technical flops. This blog post proved to be predictive in itself when this past Monday, United Airlines experienced yet another “IT issue” which forced them to cancel a dozen flights and delay many others—the outage in all affected over 200 flights.
Monday night, thousands of travelers in airports across the United States were stuck for hours, due to a technical glitch that affected U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). A nationwide system shutdown from the hours of 5 pm to 9 pm plagued airports in Miami, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale and more, lining up fliers and forcing them to wait anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours. This of course caused massive frustration among both airline employees and travelers alike. Many people were angered and shocked that in today’s uber-digital day and age, technical hiccups like these can still wreak so much havoc and have such a widespread impact. Security is a major theme in the IT industry today —but many IT and tech users are focusing all of their energy on protecting their systems from digital hackers, and failing to protect their systems from the unpredictable danger of technology malfunctions.