This is the second blog in our insights-based series dedicated to designing an IT infrastructure for the digital workplace.
One of the greatest challenges IT architects face in today’s digital economy is mapping workflows to corresponding workloads. These workloads need to be scaled correctly and supported with appropriate service levels, sometimes on infrastructure not controlled directly by the IT organization. According to Gartner:
Around 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside of a traditional centralized data center or hub and they expect it to be 75% by 2025.
This intensifies the stress on IT infrastructures and creates challenges in increased costs, skill gaps, and location optimizations. Gartner also says:
2/3 of companies compete primarily on customer experience
If your IT infrastructure is unable to optimize data exchanges in the digital transformation era, it puts customer experiences at risk. Even worse, you may not get a second chance to provide a positive experience. Studies show that customers are likely to totally abandon a brand after one bad experience. This is why data exchanges and workflows are critical components in a digital workplace.
Planning for zones of data exchange
Put your business requirements at the top of your priorities list. If you make it a priority and not an afterthought, your infrastructure design can optimize revenue, risk, and regulatory workflows. Enterprises need to plan zones of data exchange that blend with a digital workplace's needs. For example, the banking industry needs mobile banking optimization, and the healthcare industry needs effective communications between patient and provider.
To optimize these processes in an IT infrastructure, you must start with an established digital workplace rule that users are distributed and not centralized.
As discussed in the Digital Workplace Transformation blog, traditional architectures aren’t compatible with digital transformation and data gravity. They cannot address the performance, scalability, or security issues found within the digital workplace. In your business, it creates performance bottlenecks. For your consumer, it impacts the quality of experience.
So, the design has to evolve – but evolve in practical ways. Focus your infrastructure on a location-based design to enable the correct engagement model for not just customers, but also partners and employees.
Identifying the participants in your distributed workflows
You can’t have an optimized digital workplace infrastructure without defining the users, apps, data, and things that participate in your distributed workflows. You have to approach the design with users and their behaviors in mind. This is imperative if you want to avoid the performance and security issues that plague legacy remote work architectures.
If you’re going to understand the essential and required performance characteristics of the digital workplace, identifying your supported workloads will go a long way.
Document all data requirements to ensure compliance with any regulatory issues and ensure that all dependencies are satisfied before any digital workplace deployment decisions are made.
It’s important to note that workloads and workflows are just two of the critical components in a broader digital workplace infrastructure plan. Addressing them requires organizing and executing a plan for zones of data exchange by:
- Documenting locations
- Determining workflows
- Building a workflow operational profile
Plus, you have to organize and execute a plan for identifying workflow participants by:
- Documenting users
- Documenting applications
- Documenting workloads
To help you take the necessary steps to achieve the optimization of workflows and data exchange, we created a design guide for business strategists, technology leaders, IT architects, and anyone responsible for the design and implementation of technology solutions. It provides a fully-defined workflow and data exchange action plan within a complete roadmap for a Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx).
In next week’s blog, we’ll discuss workloads and their performance attributes. However, you can get an early jump on those insights right now by accessing our Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx™) Design Guide for the Digital Workplace.