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Is your app modernization strategy ready for the future?

Chris Greenwood

 NetApp-vs-Dell-Cartoon-1024x576This year, the corporate reaction to the global pandemic showed conventional wisdom is no longer applicable within any business decision-making process. We saw private and public sector organizations make swift changes to their business and IT delivery models to remain operational while seeking a competitive edge in the new normal. At the same time, some organizations are also planning for a complex migration of SAP applications to the cloud.

We’ve been discussing the dream of digital transformation for years. This year, those dreams were finally forced upon us. Cloud computing has become the de-facto IT operational model. We are seeing customers adapt their application modernization planning to harness the processing power and agility offered by the cloud. True application transformation is no mean feat. It requires a foundation of reliable skill sets and a future proofed IT infrastructure to enable the lifting and shifting of mission critical, data-heavy workloads.

The stepping stones to SAP re-platforming success

Over recent months, the cultural and technological transition to support digital operations has been intense. 96% of UK enterprise decision makers, for example, told Twilio that the pandemic has sped up their company’s digital transformation plans. As SAP’s pending end of support deadline approaches, IT teams will assess the viability of existing infrastructures, and if they can work with hyperscale providers.

To rapidly realize the benefits of cloud computing, businesses require infrastructure that accelerates new projects, simplifies existing operations and future proofs growth. Striving for low-risk technological agility, organizations should be working with a technology vendor that provides the freedom to use whatever cloud or on-premise environments which delivers the business use case at any time.

As you can imagine, there is already a lot of complexity for IT teams to contend with. Probably the last thing they need right now is to be asked to upgrade their storage architecture by a vendor with an unclear roadmap. Whichever benefits are promised, it’s a fortunate IT team, to say the least, that has the time to manage that task alongside delivering essential services and maintaining business operations. Nonetheless, this is exactly what the customers of our technology rivals are being asked to do – and its left industry partners, the media, and analysts completely baffled.

A long hard look in the mirror

We know from our own experience that every technological upgrade creates an inflection point. This moment makes product vendors nervous - and their partner ecosystem and customers curious. It’s a risky moment because it provides the headspace for customers to evaluate existing technologies against the perceived value of new technologies and ask if they fit future business needs.

For the upgrade to be compelling for customers, the new vendor offering must be innovative and ready for future business needs. Kam Panesar, Infrastructure Technology Specialist at Atradius told us: “There is nothing revolutionary or new that is being proposed in the latest mid-range propositions from NetApp’s rivals as they are effectively catching up with what the market has wanted for a long time.”

For channel partners providing strategic counsel and delivery on digital transformation projects, these moments give customers a chance to work out the opportunity cost of sticking or twisting. Lee Nolan, the Chief Technical Officer from technology services provider MTI, said: “It’s worth understanding the opportunity cost to weigh up the risks of upgrading with the existing vendor or migrating to an alternative. The key issue to comprehend when making that decision is whether the existing vendor continues to invest in your chosen platform or if you are left with a stranded technology investment.”

With more headspace, it’s a good time to reflect

Your business aims to thrive as it comes out of a hurricane of transformation during a generational global crisis. IT is at the forefront of this response as it struggles to meet increasing customer-centric demands with aging infrastructure. IT planning decisions should not be rushed. And yet, the pandemic has provided some of us with an unexpected benefit – more headspace and free time that was previously reserved for airport lounges.

Although it’s positive to see our rival pushing its internal transformation process forward, it’s painful to see customers absorbing the risk, especially at this time. Those customers, while being told that their previous storage investments were overvalued, are being forced to pay for an upgrade to offset further “integration costs”.

At this point of radical change, can you identify the new needs of your business’s IT environment and confidently decide whether you’re sticking with the status quo or twisting to an alternative, tomorrow-ready solution?

If you are curious to see how we can support your application transformation goals, please visit the Dell vs. NetApp SAP HANA migration page.

Chris Greenwood

Chris Greenwood is Senior Director and General Manager for NetApp’s business in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He focuses on enhancing relationships within NetApp’s customer portfolio to deliver growth, maintaining strong sales momentum for NetApp’s Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure (HCI) offerings and winning new accounts in target sectors such as healthcare and financial services. Before taking the helm in UK&I, Chris was Senior Director for North and Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey (NERT), leading a geographically dispersed team across multiple countries focused on engaging enterprise customers and working closely with strategic go to market partners. He has also led the Nordic Region for NetApp, successfully delivering multi-year growth and penetrating many net new strategic customers with the NetApp Data Fabric proposition. Chris has over 20 years’ experience in the technology sector, working in sales and leadership roles in the Royal Navy, British Telecom, Sun Microsystems and Pillar Data. Chris is a keen sailor and active participant in Triathlon. For the past 4 years he has lived in Copenhagen with his wife and daughter, relocating to London in 2019.

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