Explore how to evolve IT infrastructure for cloud.
IT infrastructure, also called technology infrastructure, is what enables a company to build and run the applications that underpin its business. It includes compute, network, workplace, data platform and edge capabilities. Traditional infrastructure primarily concerns hardware, data centers and servers that are manually configured, managed and maintained.
With modern cloud infrastructure, applications and data are accessible from anywhere. Thus, it includes a mix of cloud environments, on-premise data centers and edge computing devices all connected by enterprise networks. This flexibility requires a dynamic infrastructure engineering discipline that integrates innovation, automation and optimization.
As technological advancements accelerate, the platforms driving business value must keep pace. Otherwise, the business loses market share and competitive advantage. Cloud computing is one such technology. Once seen as a single static destination, cloud is now known to be a continuum of capabilities and technologies. Because of cloud, technology has never played a greater role than it does today—helping companies deliver profitable growth, create innovative experiences and operate in a responsible, sustainable way. Now—and especially because of the pandemic—connectivity is required anywhere and everywhere.
IT infrastructure is the foundation that allows companies to seamlessly operate in the cloud. It enables businesses to build exceptional experiences that leverage new cloud technologies for consumers and employees.
However, there’s tremendous pressure on IT departments to enable ever greater innovation, speed to market and financial flexibility. Existing IT infrastructure and bandwidth is often rigid, expensive and hardware-oriented.
There are several major components that modern IT infrastructure needs to run seamlessly, including:
New digital technologies like infrastructure as code (IaC) are creating new opportunities for rapid and agile innovation. When infrastructure is optimized for the cloud, businesses have access to greater innovation and agility. Additional benefits happen in the modern workplace. In today’s “work anywhere, anytime” world, many employees associate their employer’s culture with a computer screen. That’s when IT adaptability, innovativeness and responsiveness become differentiators in workplace culture.
Understandably, many organizations feel daunted by the prospect of unwinding their businesses from legacy infrastructure and commercial commitments, even in the face of cloud opportunities. In the worst cases, IT performance can actually deteriorate in the cloud. Why? Because the infrastructure, processes and skills supporting it can’t keep pace with new digital business requirements.
To get the most out of the cloud, companies need to overhaul their traditional IT infrastructure. In the process, they will need to tackle five common barriers:
Traditional approaches to infrastructure are limiting companies’ ability to adapt, innovate and compete. And the longer the delay, the bigger the problem. A new way forward is needed. That means shifting away from “keeping the lights on” approaches. What’s needed instead is an intelligent, software-defined infrastructure focused on continuous innovation, automation and optimization.
Achieving this transformation requires a new approach—and a solid foundation on which to build. That’s true whether your goal is unlocking business value and innovation today or preparing for tomorrow. The key to success? Understanding that every organization has a different starting point on this journey. Each organization needs to define what its own barriers are—and chart its own path to innovation and value.
Accenture uses a stabilize-optimize-transform approach to systematically break down these barriers.
The best part? The timing of each step is flexible. So, a business can realize the benefits of stability and optimization today—then start a transformation at the time of its choosing.
Ideate, innovate, change the world, repeat. Be part of a team of talented people using design thinking to create experiences that transform businesses and make headlines.
What is IT infrastructure and why is it important?
IT infrastructure, also called technology infrastructure, is what enables a company to build and run the applications that underpin its business. It includes compute, network, workplace and data platform capabilities.
What are the components of IT infrastructure?
Four components of IT infrastructure will ensure it is ever ready to thrive in the Cloud Continuum now and in the future: on-prem data centers, hybrid/multi-cloud environments, edge computing devices and enterprise networks that employ software-defined networks and/or 5G.
How does IT infrastructure support innovation?
Software-defined, intelligent infrastructure makes rapid experimentation in the market possible because it is cheaper, easier to deploy and thus faster in the cloud. Traditional IT infrastructure often is not compatible with innovations from service providers like Microsoft Azure, Google and AWS.
How can businesses modernize IT infrastructure for cloud?
These changes are enabled by new operating models, new skills and new ways of working optimized for cloud, software-defined networks, modern workplace, data architecture and infrastructure engineering.