Fear holds many businesses back from fulfilling their true potential, but Steve Young believes that there is a brighter future for enterprises if leaders can overcome the “pain of change”. Find out more here.
Businesses are constantly evolving. In the last 20 years, the backup industry has moved through a number of transitions from mainframe to distribution, distribution to cloud, and cloud to kubernetes. However, these transitions come with a price, and it’s not just financial. Increasingly, customers are talking about the ‘pain of change’ – the perceived effort of changing from one solution to another.
Many business leaders think that if they don’t have the time or money to invest in new technology, they can just stay with their existing tech and nothing should go wrong. However, as the industry continues to evolve, the biggest loss that most experience is a result of doing nothing.
The Dilemma of Fragmentation
While many leaders can find change intimidating, it’s a necessity to evolve and improve their business. Most organisations today are constantly looking to adopt new technology – due to the pandemic, implementations had to speed up to enable employees to continue working despite the sudden switch to remote work. Where the focus was predominantly on solutions that would keep the business going now rather than preparing for the future, many IT teams are finding that their systems are fragmented as they avoid retiring their legacy technology, and instead add to and patch systems to prolong their use.
Businesses are also having to cope with a range of new threats that have the potential to shut down all operations. Ransomware attacks in the UK, for example, increased by a staggering 233% in 2021. To combat this, IT leaders are increasing their investment in data protection and cybersecurity strategies to ensure their business can prevent and recover from any future attacks.
This can be as simple as staying with the same type of technology, but starting again from scratch to build a futureproof environment, rather than pushing forward with a fragmented one which limits your flexibility, can be just as damaging. However, it can also be argued that there’s little point in adopting the exact same processes just on a different technology – this might save money and may improve end user experience, but it won’t provide any of the benefits of truly adopting new technology: transformation, competitive advantage, and innovation.
Making the Change
There are more drawbacks to avoiding the pain of change than senior leaders might think. While you don’t have to experience the effort required to transition to a new system, this is really the only positive. The existing technology won’t be able to evolve as your business grows, you might not be able to achieve all of your business goals, and – most obviously – you can’t take advantage of any new technologies being developed. Whether this is through your current vendor, or elsewhere.
While implementing new technology requires investment, training, and a limited amount of downtime, by doing nothing, businesses risk losing competitive advantage and operational and cost efficiencies. There is a vast number of innovative technologies today that, when implemented, can help to drive businesses forward and enable them to provide better services and products for their customers. From artificial intelligence to virtual reality, and the Internet of Things to Software-as-a-Service, fearing the pain of change can prevent businesses from utilising the hottest technologies on the market.
Adopting new technology doesn’t have to be a painful experience, and it doesn’t have to mean making an unnecessary change. All businesses will change or add vendors to their solutions portfolio at various points in time depending on requirements – what’s important is that existing technologies are innovative in their own right, and continue to align to current and future business demands.
When making these changes, time is a major factor, but businesses shouldn’t be tempted to simply ‘lift and shift’ their applications and data, with the plan to enhance their systems later. Bite the bullet and make the changes your business needs in one transition period.
While implementing new technology requires investment, training, and a limited amount of downtime, by doing nothing, businesses risk losing competitive advantage and operational and cost efficiencies.
Senior Director, Commvault
How Vendors Can Be the Painkillers of Change
Vendors are typically a crucial element of the pain of change – but as much as they can be part of the problem, they can also be the solution. Vendors can help to alleviate their customers’ pain of changing from older systems to newer alternatives by working very closely with them throughout the transition, identifying the current challenges and the ultimate outcomes that the customers desire. Technology is a facility, not a goal. Vendors need to support their customers with technology to achieve their business goals.
There are a range of vendors today that can help with an even wider range of solutions – one of the important things to consider when choosing a new vendor to work with is experience and capability breadth and depth: a vendor that has the capabilities to span all workloads will rarely come across a scenario that it hasn’t seen and solved before, especially if they have the portfolio to cover all challenges.
Equally, good vendors will know that no two customers are alike, and that it’s vital to tailor every transition plan to each individual customer, that covers design, control, implementation, and post-implementation support that provides confidence in the outcome.
The goal is to consolidate the technology in use – most businesses will have more than one solution, so the aim is to bring it all into a secure, regulated, and controlled platform to make it simple and easy to integrate with existing or new internal tools, e.g. security or automation. Leveraging the tried and tested market leaders will help the customer de-risk projects, timelines, costs, and outcomes. It will also help reduce the time to value, which is music to the boardroom’s ears.
Ultimately, the end goal of vendors is to make the pain of change as painless as possible. Change inevitably causes disruption to some degree, but working with trusted vendors with innovative and wide-ranging portfolios is one of the main ways that businesses can reduce the pain of updating their systems, and move forwards into a smarter, more digital future.
ABOUT OUR GUEST WRITER