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Deconstruction of #DigitalTransformation | @CloudExpo #IoT #AI #ML #DX

The complex idea behind digital transformation is that technology has created a fundamental shift in how organizations operate

The Deconstruction of Digital Transformation
Guest post by Intellyx Principal Analyst Charles Araujo

The complex idea behind the term digital transformation is that technology has created a fundamental shift in how organizations operate. The consumerization of technology - and the customer empowerment it created - has upended the traditional operating paradigm of organizations moving it away from a capital and process-centric model to a customer-centric one.

The need to digitally transform your organization is now - or at least should be - a strategic imperative. The fact, however, that the term digital transformation is now a bona fide buzzword has obfuscated its importance.

The problem is that we create buzzwords because we need a simple, shorthand way of communicating what is otherwise a complex idea. In the process, however, the deeper, underlying complexity of the idea is often lost, and the term becomes merely symbolic.

Digital transformation has reached this symbolic point in the cycle where it has begun to lose its real meaning. This loss of meaning poses a significant risk to organizations that now must execute and sustain a digital transformation effort.

As we have written about extensively, the greatest risk is that organizations perceive digital transformation principally as a technology-driven effort. It is not. It is, first and foremost, a business transformation.

But beyond that fundamental re-centering, people who seek to lead their organizations on a transformational journey must deconstruct digital transformation and recognize its distinct, yet intertwined components.

It's Not One, It's Four
The complex idea behind the term digital transformation is that technology has created a fundamental shift in how organizations operate. The consumerization of technology - and the customer empowerment it created - has upended the traditional operating paradigm of organizations moving it away from a capital and process-centric model to a customer-centric one.

While technology has fueled the demand for transformation, the essence of the transformation is much broader and more holistic. It effectively requires that organizations transform virtually all aspects of their operational models, management structures, and go-to-market strategies.

Such a transformation is not solely - or even primarily - about technology. In fact, successfully executing and sustaining a real digital transformation requires that the organization perform four distinct, concurrent, intertwined and continuous transformations: Cultural, Business/Operating Model, Skills, and Technology.

Transformation #1: Cultural
Each of the four transformations that must occur is equally important. An organization will not succeed in its digital transformation efforts without being successful in each of them. However, there is an argument to be made that the place to start is with your cultural transformation as it is really about resetting the social contract within the organization.

Most organizations, however, do not start here - and many never tackle it at all. The reason: it's the hardest and most ambiguous of the four transformational efforts.

The reason that you should execute your cultural transformation sooner rather than later, however, is because the greatest threat to your transformational efforts is organizational inertia. Transformation is just a pretty word for "we're changing everything!"

A culture is essentially a set of established (albeit generally unwritten) social norms, and therefore, a transformational effort almost always represents a cultural threat.

Your organization will work insidiously against your transformational efforts - often without anyone realizing what is happening. Because of this risk, you must deliberately and explicitly execute efforts to transform your culture into one that is open to constant change, reorienting it around the customer so that it can continually adapt to what will be a never-ending flow of shifts in the market and customer expectations.

Much has been written elsewhere about the mechanics of cultural transformation, but the key message is that you cannot successfully execute a digital transformation without a discrete and significant effort to transform the organization's culture.

Transformation #2: Business/Operating Model
One of the key tests of whether or not you have embarked on an actual digital transformation journey or are just executing a technology project is whether or not you are disrupting your core business and/or operating models. As we wrote about previously, if everything still seems to work the same as it always has, it's a pretty good bet you're not transforming anything.

The reason for this is that digital transformation is a reorientation away from a business process focus to a focus on the primacy of the customer. Industrial organizations centered their operating paradigm around efficiency, scale, and optimization - all to create mass-produced products (or services) for a mass-market as economically as possible.

Digital transformation is about upending this model and shifting the focus to the customer. Digital enterprises must, therefore, center their operating paradigm around the ability to adapt to changing customer demands and expectations, to creating mass customization and to developing new customer-focused innovations.

While the look and feel of the business and/or operating model transformation will, by necessity, be different for each organization, the lack of such a transformation will be a clear signal that no real transformation is occurring.

Transformation #3: Skills
A digital transformation effort can be exciting. But it will also be scary and threatening to many people within your organization. This fear will exist because as you continue on your transformational journey, it becomes abundantly clear to everyone that the skills that have gotten them to this point in their career will be insufficient to carry them forward into the future.

This skills gap is clearly apparent for those within IT as they grapple with an avalanche of new technologies, strategies, and approaches. But the skills challenge will extend far beyond the boundaries of IT. Staff from throughout the enterprise will need to adapt to the new expectations of the organization's transformed business and operating model.

In addition, as organizations continue to embed technology deeper into every business process and every customer interaction, the responsibility for understanding, selecting and managing it will become a core part of everyone's job description.

This democratization of technology ownership will put pressure on non-IT staff who must learn whole new domains (and try to keep up with their constant state of change), but it will also create an identity crisis for IT staff who have to get comfortable giving up control.

As a result, transformational leaders must execute a direct and strategic effort to transform the skills of their employees throughout the enterprise. Organizational leaders, however, must closely align this skills transformation with the other domains as they will guide the skills necessary in the transformed organization.

Transformation #4: Technology
The final transformational component is the technology transformation itself - the part with which organizations are generally the most comfortable. However, that comfort can create risk.

As I wrote about in my last Cortex, an over-focus on the technology part of a digital transformation can create digital blind spots that will undermine the effort.

Moreover, it is critical that organizations only execute the technology transformation in the context of the business objectives and not just for technology's sake. An alignment to the business and operating model transformation is an excellent way to ensure that this mistake doesn't happen.

The Intellyx Take
Executing a digital transformation is serious business. For too many organizations, it has simply become a catch phrase they use to imply that they are doing something notable, important and worthy of funding.

The reality is that executing a high-profile, splashy "transformational project" is relatively easy. Performing the type of deep, lasting, fundamental change that is the essence of digital transformation is much harder.

To succeed, you need to address the transformation of the organization at all levels - discretely, but also simultaneously. If you are willing to do this hard work, however, you can affect the lasting change that is necessary to remain relevant and lead your organization into this exciting future.

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.

Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with 20th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2017 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!

Sponsors of Internet of @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 75,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

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Register For @DevOpsSummit ▸ Here via EventBrite

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
Track 3. DevOps, Containers & Microservices 
Track 4. Big Data | Analytics
Track 5. Industrial IoT
Track 6. IoT Dev & Deploy | Mobility
Track 7. APIs | Cloud Security
Track 8. AI | ML | DL | Cognitive Computing

Delegates to Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 20th International Cloud Expo June 6-8, 2017 in New York City and October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 20th International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

Our Top 100 Sponsors and the Leading "Digital Transformation" Companies

(ISC)2, 24Notion (Bronze Sponsor), 910Telecom, Accelertite (Gold Sponsor), Addteq, Adobe (Bronze Sponsor), Aeroybyte, Alert Logic, Anexia, AppNeta, Avere Systems, BMC Software (Silver Sponsor), Bsquare Corporation (Silver Sponsor), BZ Media (Media Sponsor), Catchpoint Systems (Silver Sponsor), CDS Global Cloud, Cemware, Chetu Inc., China Unicom, Cloud Raxak, CloudBerry (Media Sponsor), Cloudbric, Coalfire Systems, CollabNet, Inc. (Silver Sponsor), Column Technologies, Commvault (Bronze Sponsor), Connect2.me, ContentMX (Bronze Sponsor), CrowdReviews (Media Sponsor) CyberTrend (Media Sponsor), DataCenterDynamics (Media Sponsor), Delaplex, DICE (Bronze Sponsor), EastBanc Technologies, eCube Systems, Embotics, Enzu Inc., Ericsson (Gold Sponsor), FalconStor, Formation Data Systems, Fusion, Hanu Software, HGST, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), Hitrons Solutions, IBM BlueBox, IBM Bluemix, IBM Cloud (Platinum Sponsor), IBM Cloud Data Services/Cloudant (Platinum Sponsor), IBM DevOps (Platinum Sponsor), iDevices, Industrial Internet of Things Consortium (Association Sponsor), Impinger Technologies, Interface Masters, Intel (Keynote Sponsor), Interoute (Bronze Sponsor), IQP Corporation, Isomorphic Software, Japan IoT Consortium, Kintone Corporation (Bronze Sponsor), LeaseWeb USA, LinearHub, MangoApps, MathFreeOn, Men & Mice, MobiDev, New Relic, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), New York Times, Niagara Networks, Numerex, NVIDIA Corporation (AI Session Sponsor), Object Management Group (Association Sponsor), On The Avenue Marketing, Oracle MySQL, Peak10, Inc., Penta Security, Plasma Corporation, Pulzze Systems, Pythian (Bronze Sponsor), Cosmos, RackN, ReadyTalk (Silver Sponsor), Roma Software, Roundee.io, Secure Channels Inc., SD Times (Media Sponsor), SoftLayer (Platinum Sponsor), SoftNet Solutions, Solinea Inc., SpeedyCloud, SSLGURU LLC, StarNet, Stratoscale, Streamliner, SuperAdmins, TechTarget (Media Sponsor), TelecomReseller (Media Sponsor), Tintri (Welcome Reception Sponsor), TMCnet (Media Sponsor), Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, Veeam, Venafi, Violin Memory, VAI Software, Zerto

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

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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).

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