Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Jason Bloomberg, Bob Gourley

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 T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up 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. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...