In the last year, many companies have wondered exactly what the digital transformation really looks like. The answer, as with all IT initiatives, depends on the scope of the ambition, the leadership skills and the maximum degree of impact on the business.
However, we have seen a pattern emerge: Those with transformative aspirations find that plans to boil the ocean rarely meet their goals, while carefully planned and targeted initiatives often pay more than even the imagined initial initiators.
The latter is especially true for initiatives that reform fundamental processes. Transformation generally involves moving from one fixed state to another, however digital transformation best involves a journey from inflexibility to a «permanently agile» condition. Getting there can mean making new advances in programming, infrastructure, or the Internet of Things. However, the greatest rewards come from reinventing workflows to adapt to continuous change and to establish mechanisms that continuously measure results.
In an effort to examine the state of digital transformation from all angles, we brought together all five IDG B2B web publications (CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, and Network World) to reevaluate this long-running mega-trend, with each article reflecting the letter of on each site.
Lead writer Clint Boulton, whose insightful case studies are a CIO basis, has contributed 6 success stories to the digital transformation, summarizing strategic efforts and transformational benefits for companies as important as Anheuser-Busch InBev, McKesson and Johnson Controls. If you didn’t know that Budweiser manufacturers have an innovation lab in Silicon Valley that involves artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things, now you know.
Computerworld Senior Reporter Matthew Finnegan brings us Making Connection: The Role of Collaborative Applications in Digital Transformation, describing how collaborative platforms break down silos that block significant organizational change. The connections that Finnegan describes are the end of transformation, where new interactions and broad participation create a breeding ground for innovative ideas.
However, as any security professional will tell you, the greater the organizational change, the greater the risk of opening a new security vulnerability. CSO contributing writer Stacy Collett asks What is the role of security in digital transformation? And it offers a strong answer: insufficient in many cases, especially in those where the desire to demonstrate early results outweighs anything else. The good news is that the industry seems to be learning from its mistakes as companies learn to «add security to the speed of digital transformation,» according to Collett.
It is worth noting that the very notion of «agility», the concept behind the most significant transformations, dates back to the emergence of agile software development methodology 20 years ago. In Get Started with CI / CD, InfoWorld contributing writer Bob Violino reveals Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD), the contemporary manifestation of the Agile approach, in which both incremental code implementation changes and media code delivery is automated. end-to-end, with testing at every step of the way. Among other things, CI / CD allows stakeholders to examine new applications as they are built, rather than waiting for a final result that may not have been available.
Last but not least, Zeus Kerravala, a strong collaborator of Network World, talks about How to cope with the impact of digital transformation on networks, which argues that transformative technologies such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things and Wi-Fi 6 have created the network. more critical than ever, especially the edge of the network. Kerravala believes that this expansion will ultimately require the widespread adoption of software-defined networks, which is the only way to provide agility to adapt to the constant demand for change. Automating memory tasks, such as that provided by intent-based networks, will be at stake. And with more terminal sizes, network professionals will have to make sure that, as Kerravala puts it, «the network itself acts as a security platform.»
We hope that this collection of information from IDG collaborators and expert collaborators will provide a valuable reference for those mapping their own initiatives. The digital transformation has taught us that those who try to change too much too quickly are doomed to failure. But that doesn’t mean you can’t think big, as long as you understand that part of your goal is to lay the groundwork for a change you haven’t thought about yet.