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A guiding framework for digital transformation

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Guiding framework digital transformationThis is the second blog post in a series on cloud adoption and transformation, following the release of The Cloud Adoption Playbook. You can read Moe Abdula’s introduction to the series here.

“Think, transform, thrive.”

This is a framework we use to help clients scaffold their organization-wide cloud adoption and digital transformation. We help our clients implement a strategic roadmap that balances their current investments and future technologies.

In applying this prescriptive framework, we ensure agreement for major issues such as key measurements of success, and the appropriate talent, capabilities and management systems they should employ. “Think, transform, thrive,” is both a philosophy as well as a clear set of phases and actions. It’s a way of thinking that frames the necessary steps to reach successful digital transformation. Because digital transformation is an iterative journey, the framework is also iterative:

  • Think and envision the transformation to establish your overall strategic intent. This step is the most important one. You must determine what goals the business wants to achieve, keeping those goals in mind as you embark on the transformation journey.
  • Transform and implement a new way to work, then make your strategic intent a reality. Deliver results that can be measured against the goals defined during the “think” phase. Revise as necessary and build confidence to continue scale success throughout the organization.
  • Thrive on new foundations to realize the strategic outcomes at scale and over a sustained period (typically, three to five years). The framework seeks to build organizations that are successful over the long run, which means going beyond moving a single project to the cloud or transforming a single development team.

We have released a video to discuss more about this framework, which you can watch here.

Of course, cloud adoption and digital transformation are more complicated than three keywords, phases or steps. Transformation involves much more than technology alone; people, process, information and culture are other important factors.

How to overcome cloud adoption challenges

Cloud adoption and digital transformation come with challenges and exacerbate friction in existing constructs, which must be addressed for successful outcomes.

Some possible areas of friction include:

  • Moving to the cloud requires migration and modernization decisions to determine the best fit for existing applications and data.
  • Needing the right talent to fuel innovation, usually requiring organizational-culture upgrades to support new ways of working to achieve the intended velocity of change.
  • Encountering risks as tool selections made for traditional enterprise application development may not be the right ones for development for the cloud.
  • Requiring a development methodology that is suited for both cloud-enabled and cloud-native development, as well as enabling management and delivery in a multicloud model at scale.
  • Facing operational challenges in integrating, managing and securing off- and on-premises applications and data as a consistent whole.

To overcome these challenges, organizations must do the following:

  • Practice new forms of agile engagement and organizational alignment.
  • Rethink and renegotiate relationships with providers.
  • Establish new foundations (in terms of methods, tools and skills) to propel transformation.

Your guide to cloud adoption and digital transformation 

When Moe Abdula and the team started writing The Cloud Adoption Playbook, we looked to build off the success the Cloud Garage Method team had already created, with hardened patterns, architectures, toolchains and practices. In capturing insights from various client engagements, especially the frame of reference and the practical distillation of these insights within that frame, we aimed to implement structure and rigor, while keeping the guardrails of the frame simple. The resulting framework is meant to accelerate and replicate sustained transformative success in organizations while reducing the risks associated with such profound change.

Throughout the The Cloud Adoption Playbook, we return to the framework in several ways: as a way of understanding projects and the entire cloud adoption journey, as a set of dimensions that embody successful digital transformation, as a list of steps to significantly improve the chances of success in adopting cloud and as a shortlist of must-take actions by those embarking in a transformation journey.

Order an e-book of The Cloud Adoption Playbook through our publisher here.

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