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What is a Digital Platform Conductor?

Learn how a Digital Platform Conductor reduces the complexity, risk, and cost of any IT infrastructure transformation.

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As your enterprise IT environment grows more complex and distributed, you’ve likely added more and more systems and point solutions to your tech stack. But, because they don’t interact, instead of simplifying IT transformation programs, these disparate tools add complexity. It's time for a new approach.

Consider leveraging the benefits of a digital platform conductor (DPC). A DPC connects to and orchestrates all your existing disparate tools and systems allowing you to unlock and analyze the data held across your entire environment, eliminating risk and millions of dollars in inefficiencies while enabling a more agile process to respond to business needs.

What is a Digital Platform Conductor?

A digital platform conductor (DPC) tool connects to and orchestrates existing enterprise infrastructure management tools across any domain. It analyzes the IT environment and defines the rules for change, based on that data, using AI, machine learning, and intelligent automation, to implement those changes. By integrating a DPC tool, infrastructure and operations (I&O) managers can gain a holistic view of their environment and understand how it is currently working, how future changes will impact that environment, and how and when those changes should be made so that users and business are not adversely impacted.

Essentially a DPC bridges the gaps created by your disparate infrastructure management tools to:

  • Unlock the data held by all your IT tools and systems, leveraging rules to aggregate and normalize the data and provide you with an accurate view of your environment.
  • Analyze this data to improve IT programs and mitigate risk.
  • Orchestrate your IT service management tools.
“DPC tools coordinate the various infrastructure tools used to plan, implement, operate and monitor underpinning technology and services for applications and digital products.”

– Gartner




Components of a DPC

Why Is a Digital Platform Conductor Needed?

Cloud infrastructure investment is on the rise and companies are moving toward a hybrid infrastructure with assets on-prem and across multiple clouds, supporting a more distributed and remote workforce. As a result, IT operations managers are turning to a mix of tools to manage this environment – CMDB’s, ITSM’s, Access Management Systems, HR records and many other repositories. But with a growing number of digital transformation project requests hitting their doors, often the sheer number of those tools are adding to the complexity of their environment and their tasks.

To tackle these new project requests successfully alongside existing IT programs, they need to increase agility. But with this growing number of disparate tools, it’s becoming harder for them to get a clear view to correctly assess the impact of any changes and roll-out projects and programs with any confidence that they won’t impact end users or the business.

The reason for this is that because the tools don’t interact, most of the work is completed manually. That means teams of people pulling data from their tools and consolidating it into a spreadsheets, then validating data and filling gaps talking with end users and managers. This can take months and when complete, it’s already out of line with business moves and changes – and often incorrect due to human error.

But the manual effort doesn’t stop there – because of the disparate nature of IT tools – even once teams have a view of their environment, every step of the way requires much more effort and time. It’s no wonder that IT teams are falling behind project requests when so much time is spent poring over spreadsheets to analyze data, then manually scheduling rollouts, communicating with end users, testing, creating rollout waves, and compiling reports for project stakeholders.

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Either something has to give, or teams need to find a way to become more agile – and that’s where a digital platform conductor comes in. Using a DPC tool you can understand the value you are getting from your installed base of technologies today, and what you need to do to optimize performance. With many more digital transformation programs heading your way, you will be able to assess the benefits more easily, roll-them out more efficiently and manage all your stakeholder expectations more effectively.

Digital Platform Conductor Benefits

But over and above time and cost savings, think about the risks that can occur when you rely on manual processes. If you can’t be sure your data is relevant and error-free, you could be facing huge issues. What if, during an OS update, you take out access for customer-facing staff or other critical business activities? If you’re working in a high-stakes financial environment, then it could cost your business millions if not billions. And damage to the company brand and reputation can be even more far-reaching.

If you’re manually managing IT assets and you aren’t working from valid data, you can also open yourself up to compliance issues or other risks. Asset security, for example, is of course vital throughout the ITALM process if you don’t want to risk data leaks – even when assets are technically no longer in your hands.

One large investment bank engaged a IT asset disposition (ITAD) vendor to remove customer data from decommissioned computer equipment, but when it was found that the data hadn’t been removed correctly it was the bank that was hit with a lawsuit.

By using a DPC tool you can de-risk any IT program, identifying potential risks and dealing with them before you begin your project rollout. The ability to see how changes impact your environment will give you more control as your program progresses, allowing you to tweak plans and deal with any anomalies before they become issues. The ability to adopt widespread automation will drive greater accuracy and predictability into your programs ensuring nothing is missed.

As well as eliminating risks and millions of dollars in inefficiencies you’ll also make your business leaders happy. Using a DPC, you’ll not only be able to complete programs on-time and on-budget, but you can begin to make headway on the digital transformation projects.

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What is a DPC Used for?

Anywhere Operations

Gartner refers to anywhere operations as an IT operating model ‘designed to support customers everywhere, enable employees everywhere and manage the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructures’. By the end of 2023, Gartner expects that 40% of organizations will have applied anywhere operations to deliver optimized and blended virtual and physical customer and employee experiences.

IT operations managers must continue the move toward a distributed IT environment and focus on a digital-first approach, to support end users accessing services from anywhere. They should also enhance physical spaces, allowing end users to use their devices to seamlessly interact with the environment – whether that’s making it easier for teams and individuals to collaborate and book office workspaces more easily or leveraging information within the environment to help them navigate unfamiliar buildings.

A digital platform conductor offers the agility IT managers need to manage anywhere operations and enhance the digital experience for all their end users, by:

Automating endpoint operations

A DPC allows you to leverage more accurate data about the IT environment to make intelligent decisions about how to optimize the endpoint environment, while reducing the risks traditionally associated with programs such as Windows servicing and hardware refresh programs.

Adapting infrastructure to new ways of working

IT teams can often be held back by technical debt as the technologies and processes they put in place to enable business growth, are now impeding it or creating siloes. A DPC tool allows you to get the best value from your technology by assessing how it is being used, providing the guidelines for change, and orchestrating tools and automating workflows to make those changes.

Enhancing end user productivity and collaboration

Using a DPC tool you can enhance project communications so users better understand why a program is being introduced and what they can do to avoid issues. You can implement self-service capabilities to give users more control over how and when programs are deployed to them. You will be able to deploy collaboration tools more efficiently to enhance the way teams work together remotely and you can better equip helpdesk teams to answer end user queries more effectively.

Optimize cloud and edge infrastructure

Leverage your view across the environment to make better decisions on how you transition to the cloud or to implement a multi-cloud strategy to better support your distributed end users.

Improve the digital experience for end users

By implementing a DPC tool you can monitor how your environment is working in real-time to see where you need changes to enhance support for end-users. And as more digital transformation project requests head your way, you can make better decisions about how and when to implement them.

Asset Lifecycle Management

Today’s IT asset management teams are managing more devices than ever before. With a mixture of end user and employee-owned smartphones, tablets, and other devices, as well as traditional workstations and laptops it is becoming ever more challenging to understand where devices are, how they are being used, what they are accessing, and who is using them. But it’s essential that you know this to understand the costs of your assets across their lifecycle, keep systems updated and data secure to ensure the highest performance for end users and remain in compliance with regulations governing your industry.

By leveraging a digital platform conductor, you can implement agility in your IT asset lifecycle management:

  • Gain a clear view of all your assets, and how they are used, to maintain security.
  • Incorporate IT financial management (ITFM) tools to track costs across the asset lifecycle and tie them to the departments that are using them.
  • Better identify assets nearing end-of life to begin asset refresh and IT asset disposition (ITAD) programs.
  • Integrate OS updates such as Windows servicing in your asset management program and roll them out more efficiently and effectively to office-based and remote workers.
  • Better understand how new asset purchases will affect your environment and how to optimize use of those assets.
  • Save costs and avoid penalties by aligning software licenses to usage.
  • Make better decisions on new asset acquisitions to align with business growth.

IoT (Internet of Things)

As companies connect more devices and machines at the network edge to leverage operational data and automate and enhance processes, the IT asset management role is going to become even more complex. While ownership for the connected assets may be seen to be outside of IT, the role of keeping data secure remains firmly within IT. Managed traditionally that means more conversations with business teams to understand how assets are being used and where to get information on them, but with a DPC, you can streamline that process:

  • Reduce the effort of auditing your environment by automating communications to department heads to make them understand the importance of keeping IT in the loop of new IoT activity.
  • Connect to tools and databases managing IoT devices and applications to integrate them into your holistic view so that you can see how future program changes will impact them.

Hybrid Digital Infrastructure Management

Hybrid digital infrastructure management (HDIM) is the process of monitoring and optimizing the IT environment across domains. To avoid risk, it’s imperative that IT operations managers can break through the siloes created by disparate tools to allow them to holistically analyze their environment to optimize usage and understand where to make future investments.

A digital platform conductor tool will allow you to aggregate data from all ITSMs, cloud and data center management platforms and more, so you can make better decisions on your hybrid digital infrastructure going forwards to enhance performance and maintain security and compliance.

Improving IT Servicing Delivery

A Statista survey published at the start of 2021 showed that 71% of CIOs and IT leaders surveyed expect automation to take on a larger role in service delivery. They want to work with service providers that use automation tools so that they can leverage those capabilities without investing in those tools themselves.

Gartner sees asset-based managed services to be ‘an increasingly popular category of managed services’. For IT service providers, leveraging a digital platform conductor tool will allow them to:

  • Gain a view of a customer’s environment more quickly to provide more accurate cost estimates and establish credibility during the sales process.
  • Manage projects more effectively to avoid the overruns and issues that eat into revenue.
  • Enhance the service they provide to customers.
  • Incorporate customer changes more efficiently and enhance project reporting.

Use ReadyWorks to accelerate all your IT transformation programs

Using a digital platform conductor, you will be able to streamline all your IT transformation projects to do more, with less effort and in less time. A DPC tool will allow you to understand how your current environment is performing, and how and when you should make changes to enhance performance. It offers the confidence to know that you can roll out changes without impacting end users or the business and will ensure that IT changes don’t get in the way of innovation.

ReadyWorks is a digital platform conductor that will connect to all your tools, systems, platforms, and repositories in a matter of days and allow you to better understand how your entire IT environment is performing. ReadyWorks leverages intelligent automation, allowing you to automate workflows, simplify tasks and accelerate all your IT transformation programs. Schedule a demo to find out more.