Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Aruna Ravichandran, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Making the Digital Enterprise a Reality | @CloudExpo #DigitalTransformation

Digital transformation has moved beyond a mere buzzword and is getting harder and harder to dismiss as just another fad

Guest post by Intellyx Principal Analyst Charles Araujo

The reason I believe digital transformation is not only more than a fad, but is actually a life-or-death imperative for every business and IT executive on the planet is simple: there will be no place for an "industrial enterprise" in a digital world.

Transformation, by definition, is a metamorphosis from one state to another, wholly new state. As such, a true digital transformation must be the act of transforming an industrial-era organization into something wholly different - the Digital Enterprise.

Digital transformation has moved beyond a mere buzzword and is getting harder and harder to dismiss as just another fad. As it is becoming accepted as a business imperative, however, organizations are struggling to understand what it actually means to execute a digital transformation effort.

For most people, digital transformation is an abstract concept - an idealized rallying cry, but not much more. One purpose of Intellyx's Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap is to represent what transformation actually looks like.

But as you can see when you download it, simple and linear it ain't. So the question remains, how do you actually execute against this thing?

One of the reasons I was so excited to join Intellyx was because I share so many of the beliefs and approaches Jason Bloomberg has been espousing. Still, what fun would it be if we agreed on everything?

One of his points I take issue with (although I'm sure not the last) is this idea that digital transformation has no end (as he described most recently in the Cortex Digital Transformation: Moving Deck Chairs on the Titanic?).

I agree that far too many digital transformation efforts are of the "small," finite variety that Jason describes, and that as a result they will dangerously leave their organizations no better off in the long run than when they started.

By the same token, however, I believe that it is equally as dangerous to attempt to execute a true, large transformational effort without an end-state goal.

Beware, however, of considering digital transformation to be an end unto itself. Simply stating that you are executing a digital transformation may now be sufficient to bolster your standing in the industry, with your peers and your board, to be sure - but the idea that "it's the process that counts" will limit your ability to actually execute a meaningful business transformation.

The Goal of Transformation: Becoming a Digital Enterprise
The reason I believe digital transformation is not only more than a fad, but is actually a life-or-death imperative for every business and IT executive on the planet is simple: there will be no place for an "industrial enterprise" in a digital world.

Transformation, by definition, is a metamorphosis from one state to another, wholly new state. As such, a true digital transformation must be the act of transforming an industrial-era organization into something wholly different - the Digital Enterprise.

The problem is not the act of setting a goal, thereby establishing a digital transformation as a finite change. The problem with the small transformations that Jason describes are that they are not, in fact, transformative. They are driven by a change in state rather than in a change in fundamental capability and orientation - which Jason describes as making change a core competency in the organization.

This problem is akin to claiming that you've "transformed" your military bomber by adding new navigational instruments, versus undergoing a metamorphosis which changes that bomber into a fighter jet - something altogether different with a fundamentally different set of operating capabilities and attributes.

When a true transformation occurs, it becomes almost impossible to compare the new to the old. But that doesn't mean there is no end state. While I do agree that one of the capabilities of the digital enterprise is its ability to remain in a constant state of change, it is still a capability that organizations must explicitly develop.

Designing for Digital: The Roadmap
Establishing a goal of becoming a Digital Enterprise and requiring that it develops a fundamentally different set of capabilities and orientations is critically important, because these steps lay the foundation for how to execute the transformational effort.

The Digital Enterprise is not simply an industrial-era organization with a new layer of technology laid on top of it, but enterprises generally don't have the luxury of starting from scratch either. The reality of executing a transformation requires that the new emerges out of the old.

As a result, your team must come along for the ride, as they must transform their sure and steady bomber into a fast and agile fighter jet - while it's in flight.

Having a goal as transformative as becoming a Digital Enterprise is both important and powerful, because it helps overcome the inevitable resistance to this audacious demand.

Yet, while it is true that defining capabilities of the digital enterprise include its agility and constant adaptability (and in that sense, the constant state of transformation that Jason describes), from a very human perspective the entire endeavor simply sounds overwhelming.

Dealing with the overwhelming nature of digital transformation is why it's so critical to develop a compelling vision of the future that we can break down into digestible morsels. Those morsels may, in fact, be a set of small, finite transformations.

The trick is that we must design them to deliberately create an organization with the specific capabilities we require - to transform the bomber into the fighter jet.

Our Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap helps to map out these capabilities. It shows the transformation from an enterprise suffering under the burden of a siloed operating model and inflexible, legacy applications that poorly align with customer needs.

In its place: an enterprise in which horizontal self-organization is the predominant operating model, where the core principles of velocity and scale drive the business, and intelligent, on-demand software power its business processes - all aligning with the fundamental goal of meeting customer needs and desires.

The Three Dimensions of Transformation

To accomplish these audacious goals, business and IT executives must recognize that digital transformation occurs across three distinct, yet intertwined dimensions: organizational structure, technology, and culture. They must then create an environment which will allow the metamorphosis to occur.

One of the great misconceptions about digital transformation is that it is all about technology. Even when someone refutes that point and proclaims that their digital transformation is really a business transformation, they almost never describe any fundamental change to their business or operating model other than to the technology-centric processes that power it.

In contrast, true transformation into a Digital Enterprise occurs simultaneously across all three dimensions of the organizational model: organizational structure, technology, and culture.

Put another way, you must simultaneously transform the structural (the physical makeup of the plane), the mechanical (how everything is connected and operates together) and the mission (the shared vision of how to operate the plane and to what end).

This three-dimensional change, of course, is much harder than merely transforming any single dimension. It requires that no one part of the transformational process proceed faster than the other dimensions can support, which requires massive amounts of coordination and communication.

But can you imagine the transformation of a bomber into a fighter jet while in flight happening any other way?

The true danger of executing small, finite transformations outside the context of a grander, bolder, strategic transformational effort is having one dimension moving too far ahead of another. The end result: corporate inertia kicks in, and the elements of the organization left behind will claw the transformed dimension back into its "rightful place," ensuring that no permanent business transformation ever occurs.

The Intellyx Take

Digital transformation represents a fundamental shift in how business is done and how technology is leveraged to create competitive advantage. However, such transformation is enormously difficult, and most organizations that believe that they have already transformed are almost certainly mistaken.

Digital transformation, after all, is not an end unto itself. It's not a convenient way to get funding for a pet project, and it's certainly not something to check off the list and then continue with business as usual.

The one and only purpose of a digital transformation effort is to change your organization into something fundamentally different: an organization that moves at velocity, scaling on-demand to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.

By Charles Araujo, Principal Analyst, Intellyx. Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Milan Nykodym.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, will provide a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. Together we will solve a machine learning problem and find an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intellige...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Though cloud is the future of enterprise computing, a smooth transition of legacy applications and systems is critical for seamless business operations. IT professionals are eager to start leveraging the cost, scale and other benefits of cloud, but with massive investments already in place in existing infrastructure and a number of compliance and resource hurdles, it can be challenging to move to a cloud-based infrastructure.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.