Traditional data centers are simply too rigid, slow and difficult to adapt to meet the requirements of the new digital business age. By contrast, organizations that focus on transforming their IT environment complete three times as many IT projects ahead of schedule, are four times more likely to report excellent levels of IT process automation, and are seven times more likely to view IT as a profit center and competitive differentiator.

With so much at stake, many organizations start their efforts to transform by moving toward a software-defined infrastructure (SDI). This usually involves designing new cloud-native applications and deploying workloads to public cloud platforms. However, that doesn't mean data centers are a thing of the past. The vast majority of IT workloads are still hosted in enterprise-owned or co-location data centers. And when you factor in the explosive growth of business-critical applications and data, it becomes clear that these data centers will remain essential to progressive, digital-centric planning.

Research by SUSE shows that 95 percent of IT leaders believe SDI is the future for the data center. Today, most organizations have already virtualized and consolidated the resources in their data centers. They are now ready to take the next leap, toward a private cloud—converting those data centers into the SDI needed to deliver the same fast, responsive, automated, scalable and efficient environment they have come to expect from the public cloud.

All of this means that future-focused business and transformation strategies will need to address a multimodal IT world: one that encompasses traditional data centers, SDI and cloud environments.

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