In the northern hemisphere, the scorching days of summer are starting to end, the kids are heading back to school, and we’re starting to think about family vacations coming up in the fall. And in many companies, the planning cycle for the new financial year – and with it the questions around digital transformation – is also accelerating. What should really happen? What can we avoid? What will be our strategy for the new year? Can we afford it? So many questions, so much drama around two well-known words in IT: digital transformation.
This is not a new struggle. In the early days of digital transformation, organizations were pulling out all the stops. But they quickly discovered that removing one technology and replacing it with another was almost never a recipe for success. (Seventy percent of all digital transformations fail according to McKinsey.) Then the pandemic hit. Organizations have been forced to transform many of their systems — at least to some extent — to accommodate new remote employees, new market trends, and buying habits that changed almost overnight. What they discovered, again, was that they couldn’t just put in and replace their existing systems. There was too much intrinsic value in the computer systems they already had. But they could adapt and minimize much of the drama that presented itself.
Reduce the drama of digital transformation
How can organizations avoid the stress and drama of digital transformation? Of course, the answer is unique to each organization. Ultimately, the business will demand solutions for customers that are timely, cost-effective, and deliver long-term value. There are some prominent themes that organizations reviewing their digital transformation strategy for the coming year should consider:
How fast can you release?
In digital transformation, software that brings value to the business is usually at the center of change. You must be able to evaluate software development at every stage. It’s a constant game of “Can we transform what we do fast enough to have a chance of giving our customers what they want. and to get a positive return on our investment.
Value stream management, a relatively new discipline in the IT world, helps CIOs increase the value of software delivery at every stage of the process. It provides transparency throughout the software development lifecycle and gives key information to the business about what is being developed and when it will be available. You can more easily discover obstacles, risks and inefficiencies, and make decisions based on real-time facts. These are essential answers you need as you race today and transform to keep pace with your customers. To learn more, read “What is Value Stream Management.”
Speaking of value, transform, modernize or both?
Some organizations have deep historical value in their technology, including hardware, coding languages, and applications. The value that these contribute to the success of the business cannot be overridden. But they need to be able to interoperate with newer technologies, like the cloud, to be able to deliver the new features customers demand today.
Modernizing these legacy systems and applications is a critical step to being able to interact with emerging technologies. You need to understand your individual business needs and goals to determine the best modernization path to take. Finding a partner with deep experience and a proven framework can help you determine the best way to move forward and interact with systems that rely on the cloud, modern languages, and new applications. To learn more about modernizing legacy systems, read “What is application modernization? »
An important and ongoing requirement for IT teams is to maximize the effectiveness of existing tools, processes, and people to reduce the drama of transformation. Technologies that can help with this are software robotics – also known as robotic process automation – and artificial intelligence.
Every action that can be automated saves an organization time and money and has the potential to increase customer satisfaction. Plus, you can better manage risk with increased control over policy governance, respond to customer needs using virtual agents, and even improve event correlation to identify root causes faster. Software robotics and artificial intelligence can remove manual processes prone to human error and help identify areas of concern that need to be addressed. To learn more about these technologies, read “What is artificial intelligence.”
Trust wins loyalty
Data – both organizational data and customer data – are important topics for digital transformation. Companies don’t want to make headlines for the wrong reasons. And customers are increasingly paying attention to companies working to protect their data. Transformation can be a time of vulnerability for organizations in both domains.
Finding ways to reduce risk and build resilience across the enterprise is an underlying fact of digital transformation. Areas such as attack surface visibility, priority threat detection, and access management are all critical to building resilient, threat-resistant organizations. To learn more, read “What is cyber resilience?”
No crystal ball needed
Another consideration for data is the value it brings to an organization. But there are so many, in so many different formats, and its sheer size all presents processing challenges. Mastering structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data, wherever it resides, is a fundamental step in your transformation journey.
Once you have a way to master all your data, wherever it lives, and whatever its size or format, you can accelerate the business and technical insights you need to deliver an exceptional customer experience. and stay ahead of the competition. For an example of the types of insights you can generate with your data, read “What is Behavioral Analysis? »
The ubiquitous cloud
One digital transformation technology that has come to the fore in all of the considerations mentioned earlier is the cloud. Whether private, hybrid or public, all digital transformation technologies make it fundamental. As established businesses look to take advantage of the cloud, there are some important questions to consider. How can we use and manage the cloud? What are the cloud-related privacy issues? What are the costs associated with the cloud? For an introduction to the cloud, see “What is Cloud Orchestration?”
Drama is coming – but be prepared
The bottom line is that drama can be good or bad. When it’s good, it can actually help you focus on both business and IT goals to stay ahead of the competition and even absorb unpredictable changes. If you move forward without understanding the unique needs of your institution, you could end up as one of the unfortunate failures of digital transformation. So do your homework, ask questions, and set yourself on the path to digital transformation success.
Eric Varness is the Marketing Director of Micro Focus.