By Willem Hendrickx, Senior Vice President EMEA at Riverbed Technology

The speed of change in enterprise technologies over the last five years has been astonishing. Trends such as social, mobility, cloud, and Big Data have disrupted existing business models. These new technologies represent a significant opportunity for businesses to innovate, improve efficiency, and provide differentiated customer experiences in highly competitive marketplaces. The challenge, however, is to ensure that repeated adoption of the ‘next big thing’ and next-generation applications delivers maximum benefit and optimal value to the business.

The promise of improved business performance and other such benefits are being undermined by infrastructures unable to support leading-edge technology. As a result, expensive applications that are being deployed across the business are often failing to maximise their potential. When application performance suffers, so does business performance.

With expectations surrounding what can be achieved through transformational IT projects high, how can CIOs transform their IT infrastructure amidst the fast-paced change of the technology landscape?

Infrastructure and optimization is imperative
As more diverse and varied applications are added to the network, IT infrastructures are becoming increasingly convoluted. This churn can cause issues if your infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle leading-edge applications. This disparity becomes even more prevalent outside of IT, where business executives are demanding new technologies but aren’t tuned into the underlying infrastructure concerns.

Having the right infrastructure and optimizing your network and application infrastructure are critical to improving application performance. Our recent ‘Transformers’ research found that Transformer organizations – those that drive strong IT/business results – are more likely to have reviewed various aspects of network provisioning in the last 12 months over non-Transformer organizations. Transformers are also more likely to have already completed or are currently implementing a data centre consolidation or optimisation project (77%) compared to non-Transformers (49%).

Don’t ‘leak’ value
Our ‘Transformers’ research also showed that new technology deployments now account for 25% of technology spend. Yet while the importance of maximising technology spends is evident, in practice, new technologies introduced are falling short of their expectation.

To address this, learn to calculate the value of technology including focusing on agility (responsiveness), customer satisfaction, and employee productivity to connect technology to business innovation. In addition, leverage network and application management tools to ensure efficiency of applications, and to locate problems before end users even notice.

Embrace location-independent computing
Today, applications can be located anywhere – data centres, local offices, the “cloud” – and employees and customers are located everywhere. Location-independent computing is the ability to turn distance and location into a competitive advantage by giving IT organizations the flexibility to host applications and data in optimal locations while ensuring flawless application performance and the best user experience. Organizations that embrace location-independent computing are able to better leverage global resources, radically reduce the cost of running their business, and maximize employee productivity.

For more information, click here to download The Transformers report – an EMEA-wide study on how effectively businesses are embracing and optimising the value of new technologies.