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The Digital Transformation: essential steps and considerations

The risks and consequences of not keeping up-to-date with IT trends can mean: being out-of-sync with customer preferences; lack of data, for monitoring and predicting behavior and sales; lower employee retention, and simply not being able to compete.

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With that in mind, HP Cloud Evangelist Christian Verstraete addresses the issue at heart: “How do you transform your organization into a digital enterprise? First, you have to check off four activities and technologies: cloud, mobility, social media and Big Data. Once you've tangibly embraced those, you're on the path to digital enterprise-hood.”

 

According to a Gartner study on Digitization, while “checking off” these activities, you must view them through the lenses of strategy, leadership, structure, talent, financing … and almost everything else. No one ever said it was easy! But even incremental changes can bring about large dividends.

 

Let’s take a further look at Christian’s advice to CIOs looking to embrace digital practices:

  • Build a Digital Experience: It all begins with the user experience. But keep in mind the user can represent customers, employees, partners, suppliers, etc. Ask yourself: 1.) What does the user want to do? 2.) What interactions will I need with my backend systems and information to give them what they want? Listen to Patrizio Buda, CIO of Valentino Fashion Group, describe how he adjusted the user experience to meet customer needs and increase value.
  • Take advantage of the Cloud: If you under-provision, you run the risk of cutting your customer’s experience altogether, and if you over-provision you will incur hefty, and unnecessary costs. Christian says it perfectly, “Building the backend so it can scale-up and scale-down as required resolves the problem.” He continues, “That is why cloud computing and mobility are so closely linked. You’ll have to look at which portions of your applications receive the user requests and build or transform them so they can scale-up and down, and use load balancers to spread the demand.” Thus allowing the application to deliver an exceptional experience—your original goal.
  • When migrating to the Cloud, think mobile: What typically drives the transition to the Cloud (be it private, managed or public cloud)? “Datacenter consolidation, need for more responsiveness and agility.”  This transition often requires transforming applications (optimally, mobile-enabling them in the process) so they take full advantage of the Cloud.

Remember, “All industries in all geographies are undergoing a radical digital disruption – a ‘digital dragon’ that is potentially very powerful if tamed, but a destructive force if not. This is both a CIO’s dream come true and a career-changing leadership challenge.” (Gartner)

 

Graphic: “Executive Summary: Taming the Digital Dragon” Gartner

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