Secrets of Digital Leaders: How IT Contributes to Digital Success


In today’s hypercompetitive business environment, a high-functioning IT organization delivers significant competitive advantage. The most advanced enterprises see IT as a service-driven organization that plays a critical role in improving top-line revenue, driving innovation, and delighting customers. These organizations, which IDC refers to as digital leaders, consistently behave differently than their less accomplished peers in several ways.

What are these Digital Leaders doing differently? What are the compelling business reasons to adopt their strategies? Explore this compelling IDC White Paper which analyzes the survey results of 800+ enterprises globally, revealing their winning behaviors and best practices.

Some key findings include:

1) IT goals focus on empowering people

The focus of information technology (IT) is on empowering people, both employees and customers. Today’s IT departments understand that fact. Improving employee productivity and efficiency is a top priority and drives IT investment strategies.

Enterprise IT executives believe they carry a mandate to empower the developers driving digital transformation and the people who depend on the systems they oversee, not just employees but also the enterprise’s customers. They view their initiatives as enabling their organization to deliver better experiences to these people, as well as enhancing their efficiency and productivity.

Four of the 6 strongest IT motivators are business-needs-oriented, with the top motivator being to drive employee productivity. While security and operational cost reduction remain in the top six, other areas IT seeks to improve include business responsiveness, customer experience, and data-driven business outcomes, all of which involve the timely delivery of resources to the developers of experience- and data-driven applications.

 2) Mature organizations seek an appropriate infrastructure mix

Enterprises are proactively considering which infrastructure types are best for their individual workloads and what their optimized overall profile of infrastructure types looks like. They actively choose from traditional IT infrastructure and a diverse set of hybrid cloud options, matching infrastructures to use cases and development requirements in the way they feel makes the most sense.

Over the past three years enterprises have reduced their use of traditional on-premises infrastructure in favor of cloud alternatives, and they expect this trend to continue. Within the available cloud alternatives, private cloud solutions that still provide dedicated resources are growing fastest in share of compute resources. This growth indicates that respondents want more dedicated resources and to complement and extend shared infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) resources they are already using.

 3) Leaders proactively optimize workload location

To get to an optimal balance of workloads on shared and dedicated cloud-based environments as well as traditional on-premises environments, Leaders are more thoughtful about workload placement at time of development and at time of deployment. 

They are also more confident in their ability to move workloads when and where appropriate. The maturity of this continual workload optimization is a hallmark of IT organizations’ sophistication and maturity.

According to IDC research, 60% of enterprises in this study have moved workloads or are seriously considering moving them from shared public cloud environments onto dedicated infrastructures, a strong signal of their desire to rebalance workloads to get an appropriate distribution, matching workload needs with the performance characteristics of specific infrastructure types. Leaders are much more active than Laggards in moving workloads throughout their IT infrastructures to suit their needs. They are more likely to deploy digital services to edge locations, consolidate datacenters, and leverage cloud.

 4) Leaders lean heavily on cloud architecture

A “cloud-first” strategy is one where the organization approaches new projects with the default stance to run them on a hybrid cloud architecture (whether shared or dedicated) unless they find a compelling reason not to. It doesn’t simply mean moving everything to public cloud infrastructure. Leaders are much more likely to adopt this more sophisticated version of a cloud-first strategy than any other group, with Explorers and Laggards highly unlikely to use this approach.

Click here to explore the entire topic of Digital Leaders and read all IDC’s findings.

This story, “Secrets of Digital Leaders: How IT Contributes to Digital Success” was originally published by

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