Digital transformation is on the minds of many businesses – they are rethinking how they deliver digital experiences. Is your application truly ready for the modern digital world? Are you looking to engage customers, empower employees or improve operations? Going forward, the majority of interactions with customers, employees and partners will happen through apps and other digital channels. The ability to develop, maintain and scale high-performing apps will be key to staying competitive. But, for many there is a widening gap between the digital needs of businesses and the capabilities of the IT departments that support them.
For businesses, rapid innovation is needed to rollout new business models, optimize business processes and respond to regulations. Yet, 72 percent of the IT budget is dedicated to keep-the-lights-on functions, which doesn’t leave a whole lot for new projects. In addition, employees need on-the-go connections to their line-of-business systems, making the demand for mobile apps often far greater than the support IT can offer. On the reporting front, employees need fast access to data to make decisions, yet IT may not be able to meet the demand, and the endless churn of building reports diverts IT resources from new development.
Some key challenges are keeping IT departments from bridging the gap:
- Aging IT infrastructure requires large capital expenditures and also affects operational costs, efficiency and reliability. It also involves considerable efforts to maintain security, auditability and regulatory compliance.
- A lack of IT agility slows deployment of new services and makes IT operations costly and time consuming to manage.
- Legacy applications can be highly IT dependent. They result in long release cycles and maintain monolithic and highly coupled architecture Low application performance and slow time-to-market can compromise business agility.
Modernize your app with Azure
With our clients, we’ve found that modernizing applications with the Microsoft Azure platform is an excellent approach to overcome these challenges and accelerate the journey to digital transformation. Azure enables you to modernize your legacy applications by using containers, serverless computing and other Azure services. This enables you to deliver innovation, customer insight, faster app delivery, scalability and cost savings to your organization.
As part of your digital transformation, you can take a path towards Azure that fits the needs and pace of your business. Your modern apps can start on IaaS resources and then take advantage of PaaS, containers, and Azure’s serverless resources to enable innovation. Modernizing your apps will allow your business to:
- Engage customers: Leverage the cloud to deliver value faster and respond to changes driven by customer needs. By using flexible resources, Azure helps you deliver early and often. Implement functionality that helps you understand how your customer uses your application, so you can deliver better experiences faster.
- Enable employees: Azure enables teams to use “hypothesis-driven development” techniques to try out different business models and workflows, iterate quickly and deliver innovation. Through digital transformation, teams can create new efficiencies and get quick access to data that will empower them to make decisions about the business and your customers.
- Transform products: These leaner and quickly-evolving applications will lead the way to a new business model that keeps you ahead of your competition. Your digital transformation can enable your customers to get a more customized experience from your products, take control of how the product is used and get access to options not easily implemented with older, monolithic applications.
- Optimize operations: Gain operational insights on how your app runs and how it is used. Expand or decrease resource usage to meet demands. Reduce scale times to minutes or even seconds. Use Azure’s integrated analytics to find problems before your customers do.
By choosing Azure for your modernization needs, you can scale instantaneously, minimize support infrastructure and reduce ongoing daily maintenance. You can run your Linux, Java and PHP web applications on Azure. You can improve your back-end by connecting and simplifying systems to create a user-centric front-end and improve the employee experience.
By running your entire application stack on Azure, you’ll be able to develop and deploy applications faster shortening the project delivery time, achieving true agility. Azure supports both Microsoft and open source components allowing you to run virtually any application using your data source, with your operating system, on your device.
Take the next step toward digital transformation
As a deeply connected partner with Microsoft, Lighthouse can help you succeed with the Azure platform. Success starts with an assessment of your current environment and opportunities for improvement. We’ll help you make the move toward digital transformation with Microsoft’s App Modernization Assessment Program.
This program is a quick 5-day assessment of your traditional apps. Lighthouse will assess your applications based on a variety of factors, including how your application is structured, how complex it is, how secure it is and even how ready it is for cloud integration. Reach out to Lighthouse to modernize your applications and better integrate your business into the digital world. Let’s get started.
 Data source: Forrester IT Survey, 2013