Many businesses and IT vendors are talking about digital transformation and modernization. With so much chatter, it can be difficult to find clarity and choose the right way forward for your own business. Digital transformation is the way business is evolving. It enables you to take advantage of digital technologies, so you can innovate faster, increase efficiency and improve the entire customer experience. A wave of digital transformation is already taking place in the Middle East, and it is being spearheaded by government initiatives and disruptive businesses. Analysts find the region is headed for the biggest technology revolution of our lifetime, with a trillion-dollar economic impact. The businesses that act now will naturally gain competitive edge sooner and mature faster. However, you can’t digitally transform your business without a solid, modern foundation – and many businesses are choosing software defined data center (SDDC) infrastructure as their IT foundation for change. In this post, we’re cutting through the noise to help you to understand what SDDC is, know the current trends, and learn how SDDC can accelerate your journey to digital transformation and cloud. You’ve got to modernize to transform First, let’s discuss why IT modernization and digital transformation are so often talked about in the same breath. Digital transformation is about rebuilding the business around digital technologies. For example, you might: Use cloud-based digital workspaces to enable teams to collaborate anywhere Connect multiple big data sources to gain real-time insights that speed decision-making Building cloud services that improve the employee and customer experience Can you do any of those things with outdated servers, slow data storage and a network that isn’t ready for cloud? No, you cannot. You need the right infrastructure if you want to digitally transform. Modern infrastructure is the foundation of the digital business. That’s why you’ve got to modernize to transform. And, as Gartner puts it, “the future of the data center is software-defined”. What is a software-defined data center (SDDC)? The best way to understand SDDC is perhaps to compare it with traditional infrastructure. Traditional servers, storage devices and networks could only be used in limited ways. For example, they might: Only be manageable with built-in software from the vendor Only work with other devices from the same vendor (in the case of storage and networks) Need to be provisioned and configured manually, device by device Never evolve past the features they shipped with This meant that data centers took a long time to deploy and manage, and could not evolve quickly alongside the changing needs of the business. But in the software-defined data center, each piece of hardware has a layer of software virtualisation. This software “defines” how the device is managed and what it can do (within the limits of the hardware). There is also an extra software layer that orchestrates management of all the devices together. This means you can: Automate data center deployment and management tasks Integrate hardware from multiple vendors through standardized interfaces Pool compute, storage and networking resources from many different devices and dynamically allocate them to different workloads In short, SDDC makes managing the data center much faster and easier through automation. And it gives businesses much more control and flexibility in how they use and evolve IT resources. How does SDDC support digital transformation? SDDC makes business sense for many reasons. It saves money through simplified management. It also supports growth with its infinite and flexible (i.e. vendor agnostic) scalability. Both these benefits are useful in digital transformation projects. Yet it is the power to rapidly adopt new digital innovations that is perhaps most relevant. To reiterate — In the software-defined data center, all hardware resources are virtualized. These abstracted pools of compute, storage or networking can then be allocated to whatever workloads you need. This fuels truly agile innovation – because you are free to adopt the latest applications, cloud services and other technologies. You are free to digitally transform your business, and keep on transforming as your needs and the market evolve. Ready to learn more? There’s a lot more to know about digital transformation and software-defined data center approaches. For example, which SDDC vendor should you choose? How can you design the right solution to meet your digital transformation goals, and support it in the long-term? GBM is here to help you answer these questions and more, with our in-house experts, local project experience and the ability to integrate end-to-end SDDC solutions from a wide range of our leading technology partners. If you have questions or want to discuss your digital transformation goals, please contact me.