Ready or not, digital transformation is here. Enterprises that embrace it can quickly breathe new life into business processes, products, employees and customers. Industries that don’t, or fail to leverage it fully, will quickly find themselves way behind the competition. But where does an organization start? We know it’s happening, and we know it’s important, but articulating the starting point can be challenging. Right up front, there are some important expectations to set:
Digital transformation isn’t easy. While it would be nice to flip a switch and magically transform into a digitally-driven organization, the reality is it’s not simple. Innovation requires a range of projects, projects that include optimizing core business operations, bringing on new technologies and creating new customer experiences. To accomplish these monumental tasks requires an overarching strategy comprised of many prioritized projects, and loads of patience.
IT and business alignment is a must. The impact of digital disruption is driving significant IT and business-level changes. This includes platforms and architectures, as well as budget and development priorities. As a result, it’s imperative that the business and IT be tightly aligned in this journey, and from this alignment will come the strategy required for real success.
Don’t forget the people at the center of digital transformation. Digital transformation is more than a technology initiative. You can’t forget about the roles that company culture and processes play. This will need to be addressed with clear communication of the vision, collaborative planning, change management, process development and adoption strategy.
So, you understand it’s not going to be easy. Where do you go from here?
Here are some tangible steps to get you on your way:
Understand your current environment. Before you can truly start implementing a successful digitization initiative, you have to clearly understand your current state. It’s critical to document your infrastructure, the applications running on that infrastructure, the interconnections and dependencies, as well as articulate the business use case for each application. By documenting each piece of technology and its role in the business, prioritization can then take place of where it makes the most sense to start the transformation journey.
Build a long-term strategy based on smaller projects. When developing your transformation plan, time to value and speed of execution is key, so it only makes sense to build your transformation plan as a series of smaller projects happening in tandem across the organization. This takes the pressure of a huge undertaking off the IT team and gives them opportunities to enjoy success on a regular basis, all while incrementally moving the dial towards real transformation.
Collaborate with line of business (LOB) owners. Given the incredibly high stakes surrounding digital business, it’s more important than ever for IT to work closely with their LOB peers. Not only will this aid in long-term adoption, but also in the prioritization of projects that will have immediate impact on the business.
Embrace hybrid IT. As you embark on implementing the technology vision, you want to take advantage of the latest apps and data — yet you have to maintain the workloads and processes that run your business today. A hybrid IT approach is where you’ll find the best of both worlds, where you can still maximize the performance, cost and agility of applications, while matching each application and workload to the right IT platform.
Focus on business outcomes, not just execution. Although the public cloud has proven to be an incredibly viable execution venue for the majority of workloads, it’s not always the best choice. So it is critical to focus on the specific outcome when determining the right execution venue for both legacy and new applications and workloads.
Partner with the best. With so many different technologies hitting the market, it’s incredibly difficult for any organization to truly know that one versus another is the best fit for their environment. A seasoned partner can be an invaluable asset in guiding your decision. In addition, they know that making the right choice of technology is only part of the challenge, as integrating it into your current applications and workloads without creating new complexities and risk is critical.
Keep security front and center. As critical systems and business processes become modernized, it also opens the door to risk. The same power that enables these technologies to radically transform business processes also brings the potential to cause gaps in security and loss of information if not properly secured. Security posture assessments should be a critical part of any digital transformation initiative.
We are in an era of digital revolution.
Competitive advantage depends on maximizing the enterprise digital infrastructure and business applications to glean faster insights from data leading to real-time decisions. Every organization is becoming a software company, whether they know it or not. But those that recognize it and are digitally transforming themselves to embrace multi-cloud, advanced analytics, IoT, and the power of AI and machine learning to derive insight from that data are the ones that will be here tomorrow.
As your business becomes more complex and the pace of digital change continues to increase, the role of technology in your organization is more critical than ever before. The OneNeck team of experts can provide real value on projects ranging from technology deployments to full ecosystem design, implementation and management. We will provide you with independent, unbiased evaluations and recommendations with an eye toward future-proofing to ensure the technology you implement today doesn’t limit your organization tomorrow.
OneNeck has expertise leveraging a broad range of technologies and services that will help you operate more efficiently. We provide an end-to-end, technology-independent approach that includes a large portfolio of hybrid IT offerings across infrastructure, cloud, data center, applications and managed services. This approach enables organizations to transform their services, improving their speed to market, enhancing customer experience and establishing them in the forefront of the competitors.