Driving Digital Transformation

“Everything’s fine today, that is our illusion.” – Voltaire

What if you could start with a blank canvas when it comes to crafting technology solutions for the business problems you face? Van Gogh says that a blank canvas stares back like some imbecile and that the artist must dare to act and put something on the canvas. Many feel held back by legacy systems and infrastructure and are reticent to change. Change is a word that we not only have to get used to, but embrace. Isn’t transformation by its very definition, change? Most today are facing a radically different environment due to the disruptive nature of digital transformation. In the face of this change, take charge and be an agent for change. Here are some things that have to change to be that agent for change and align yourself to the value possible through driving digital transformation.

  1. Change How We Think
    Too many IT leaders or people who use technology to solve problems approach technology as the objective, not the method. The objective becomes “install a new version of the ERP” or “move to Office 365”. They are obviously good decisions, but what is the objective? Tie your objective for technology to solving a business problem or adding value to your organization. Only when you have aligned your objective to what your organization needs can you start seeing technology as a method that must fit within an overall ecosystem of business processes and technologies to deliver value. Don’t limit your thinking, expand your objectives which will expand your perspective and create opportunities to leverage technology in new ways.
  2. Change How We Deliver
    I used to work at Crestar Bank. One of my first days on the job, I went into the computer room. The place was almost empty. Imagine a floor of a large building built out to be a data center with raised floor, power, air, the works. The room was empty because the bank had just replaced the IBM mainframe with a Hitachi mainframe that took up a tenth of the space. Just in the few years I worked at the bank, systems started becoming more distributed, but it all was still the responsibility of the bank to purchase, deliver and manage. No matter who you work for, you will continue to face limitations with technology you host. You will always be limited by space, power, whatever. It is a constant struggle to continue to overcome these limitations. We have access to virtually unlimited capacity through cloud services. Don’t let pride in technology limit your options. Take advantage of cloud technologies where appropriate. Incorporate the cloud into your ecosystem.
  3. Change How We Pay
    It seems like technologies have been paid for out of capital expenditure budgets forever. New technical resources like the cloud are paid out of a different mindset. Where before we had to budget and hope to recoup our expenditure over a period of time (ROI), today we can consume and pay for exactly as much as needed (Consumption). Yes, it is different, but change requires different. Consider how valuable it would be to have a predictable cash flow that follows demand in lock step as opposed to the “bubble” expenses we once dealt with through capital expenditure. There are financial implications to capital expenditures, sure, but the advantages of predictable and scalable expenses that follow demand are potentially transformative.
  4. Change What We Do
    If you see your job like a utility provider; you keep the lights on the systems, up, etc., then you are limiting the impact that digital technology can have on your organization. If you are just keeping the lights on, then you are only justifying your existence. In order to add more value to your organization, you have to look for ways to be more collaborative and to partner with your organization’s business units to add value through technology. Be an active listener and participant in helping them solve business problems. If you are able to become a valued partner, you will have greater influence and can actually help your organization use technology to create competitive advantage and transform thinking about how process and systems work together to add value.

Driving digital transformation begins with changing the way we think about how business problems are framed, solved, paid for and changing our role in bringing this technology to the table as a method to adding value and not as an objective. Get deep within the organization to understand problems. Let THInc.IT help you see how leading digital transformation through managed change can be a positive force driving innovation and value creation.