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Vertical vs horizontal thinking for enterprise IT

03 Aug 2016

According to a recent report from the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), IT organisations must change their way of thinking from traditional vertical towers, to horizontal integrations to compete more effectively.

Sonia Eland, vice president of digital marketing sales and partner eco systems for CSC, says that vertical thinking focuses on stacks and towers – which is an outdated approach to IT infrastructure.

“Horizontal connections and thinking are now essential. More business units are looking beyond their existing IT infrastructure. They’re demanding access to apps in the cloud, flexible remote working, access to external data services and more,” says Eland.

“Central IT departments therefore need to focus on horizontal opportunities more proactively and purposefully. It calls for the seamless integration of towers, or even the elimination of towers, so that businesses can deliver integrated user experiences.” 

CSC also claims that larger enterprises are particularly prone to focusing on what’s best for their technology stack, rather than what’s right for their business. 

The company also says IT environments that require significant resources to maintain are actually the inevitable result of tower-based IT procurement strategies. 

“Shifting away from this model requires a change in mindset and processes. As well as considering the best technology stack, businesses must consider the best technology ecosystem," adds Eland.

"Most businesses will need a technology partner to guide them through the process of digital transformation," she says. 

According to CSC, the right technology partner will benefit organisations in three key ways: 

  1. Opportunities: the right technology partner can open doors to an ecosystem of innovations, which let enterprises sidestep many challenges with integration, security, and data.
  2. Simplification: a single internal team is unlikely to master all the varied, complex solutions a business needs. Companies need a depth of specialised knowledge, which can best be provided by a partner.
  3. Maximisation: it is unreasonable to assume a central IT department will be aware of all the potential benefits of new technology, from wearables and operational technologies to the Internet of Things and big data. This means useful features may be missed or misused, or solutions may not be properly integrated with existing systems, leaving the organisation unable to maximise the value of their investment in new systems. 

"For these reasons and more, when it comes to technology ecosystems, doing it all yourself isn’t really a viable option any longer," says Eland. 

"The only real way forward is to choose a great partner that will minimise friction, and provide the speed of innovation and evergreen IT services required for continuous customer experience improvements, at ever-reducing costs.” 

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