Defining a Cloud Transformational Strategy – A Cloud Journey Realized

5 min read

Leveraging the power of enterprise digital transformation

Transformation is hard

This was one consistent theme highlighted throughout the panel discussions and speakers’ sessions during the Digital Convergence Conference on September 19, 2018. When starting a digital transformation, there will be internal/external forces that will require organizations to reevaluate and adjust their transformational strategy as new disruptive technologies continue to emerge.

What is the Digital Convergence Conference? It’s the place where senior buy-side executives, influencers, business, and thought leaders come together to learn, connect, and pave the way for true digital transformation within their organizations. As organizations begin to shift focus from cost savings to creating more value for business, customers, and employees, the nature of relationships between enterprises and their digital technology partners will move from contract terms and SLAs to one of collaboration and co-innovation.  These areas will be key as organizations continue to evolve and define their digital transformation strategy.

What’s driving the need for Enterprises to transform and modernize in the era of digitalization?

I had the opportunity to present as one of the keynote speakers during the event in New York. During my keynote, I spoke about “Defining a Cloud transformational strategy – A Cloud journey realized.” I focused on what’s driving the need for Enterprises to transform and modernize in the era of digitalization. I continued by posing this question to the audience: What’s driving digital transformation? I socialized that digital disruption and the evolution of technology are forcing organizations to modernize legacy systems. These rapid changes are requiring organizations to shift to an agile model to enable them to keep pace as disruptive technologies continue to emerge.

Considerations before a Cloud transformation journey

I continued to highlight some of the key things an Enterprise should consider before pursuing a Cloud transformation journey:

  • The importance of defining the vision and ensuring the messaging has been agreed upon by all key stakeholders and cascaded throughout the organization.

  • How you should define the organizational transformation strategy at the macro level but execute at the micro level by defining 1) minimal viable products (MVP) to achieve agility and faster visibility and insight to baseline transformation and 2) key performance indicators (KPI’s) so you can adjust accordingly.

  • Continue the execution and transformation journey in MVP stages based on KPI’s from lessons learned in previous MVP and industry best practices.

  • Be agile and open to adjusting your transformation strategy based on organizational shifts and industry disruptions.

Where should the Enterprise transformation start?

While the previously outlined key considerations are important, defining and executing the vision is an essential part of any digital transformation. The question that most clients struggle with is: Where should the Enterprise transformation start? The process of digital transformation works to align technology with the business stakeholders’ desired outcomes. As a best practice, IBM leverages Enterprise Design Thinking to help clients align the transformation strategy with the business stakeholders’ goals and objectives. Enterprise Design Thinking allows the business to define and establish a shared vision for innovation that guides the design and development of solutions to meet that shared vision.

I closed my session by outlining a few key takeaways that clients should consider:

  • Digital disruption is changing how business does business.

  • As part of a digital transformation journey, hybrid cloud is critical to enable clients to accelerate the digital transformation for businesses to achieve both flexibility and control.

  • Digital transformation is not about leveraging technology, it’s about changing the way we do business and transforming the organizational culture.

In the age of Cloud, change is a constant

In conclusion, digital transformation is not a trivial undertaking for any enterprise organization looking to transform and modernize their legacy systems and processes. I’m often asked by clients: How long does an enterprise digital transformation take? The answer to that question is that it depends on the maturity of existing processes, the level of change, technology, culture, and other external inhibitors.

I will close with this quote: “In the era of digital transformation and the constant evolution of new technologies, the only question that should be asked—will you disrupt or be disrupted?” In the age of Cloud, change is a constant.

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