The Viewfinder

With Digital Transformation, It Is Better To Go Smart Than Go Big.

Digital is everywhere! You can’t go through a single day without the digital evolution touching your life in some capacity. Whether you are working remotely on “the edge” via your handheld device, analyzing data at your desk or buying a product or service from the comfort of home you are having a “digital moment.”

The ubiquitous reach of digital is likely one of the reasons why according to Gartner CMOs will spend more money than CIOs on technology. However, and while marketing assumes greater responsibility for managing digital initiatives regarding external customer interactions or touchpoints, these same touchpoints must also be managed within the enterprise as well with employees.

All this to say is that digital transformation cuts a broad and significant swath across the enterprise both internally and externally, and determining on which area to focus first is a matter of strategic importance.

Going Smart Not Big

In his seminal book Good To Great, Jim Collins talked about the fact that when it comes to transforming your organization, there is no big bang or “single event.” Transformation according to Collins is a cumulative process of smaller events. In this context, his Flywheel analogy resonates because success in the digital age is not achieved via an overarching, one-time undertaking, but has a result of a successive series of progressively smaller, strategic initiatives.

In other words, the companies that are most successful with digital transformation take on smaller more strategic projects through which they build a progressive transformation strategy that has the necessary agility to respond to diverse, often changing needs and new technological advancements. With this deliberate approach organizations gain increasing traction leading to increased buy-in that in turn will drive the success of future initiatives, hence the Flywheel.

Conversely, when an organization adopts a “big bang” approach in which there is an attempt to satisfy an over-arching digital mandate, they lose the ability to gain traction from building off of a series of smaller, incremental wins. As a result, initiatives either stall or revert to the way things were done in the past as demonstrated by the number of companies who after making a move to the cloud repatriated their data back to their traditional IT infrastructure.  Check out this article from November 2018 which references an IDC report on repatriation.

A Hybrid Approach

The perception that digital and cloud are synonymous is misleading and is, in my opinion, a contributing factor regarding the inclination that some organizations have towards swallowing big digital projects as opposed to building incremental strategic wins. In situations such as these, it is important to recognize that the cloud is not the end point, but is a key component of a hybrid strategy that delivers seamless connectivity between different platforms that provide the agility to meet real-world needs with minimal infrastructure redirection. Think of it in the context of it being easier to turn a smaller fast boat than it is to turn a big cruise ship. Which one of the two is the most nimble and able to respond to a changing sea?

This last point is particularly important because I believe that while you can’t plan for change, you have to be prepared for change, and said preparation means having the agility to respond quickly and reliably in a fast-paced digital world.

Join my team and me at Activate Digital 2019 as we will be sharing in greater detail Nutanix’s hyper-converged infrastructure approach to digitally transforming your organization.

Use the following link to reserve your space today!

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