Two Converging Technological Paradigms and Offer Bottom-Line Value To Any Organization

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Agile Development: Article

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.


DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the conference tracks for CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York.

DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City.

Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.

A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: info@dxworldexpo.com.

2018 Conference Agenda, Keynotes and 10 Conference Tracks

DXWordEXPO New York 2018 and Cloud Expo New York 2018 agenda present 222 rockstar faculty members, 200 sessions and 22 keynotes and general sessions in 10 distinct conference tracks.

  • Cloud-Native | Serverless
  • DevOpsSummit
  • FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event
  • CloudEXPO - Enterprise Cloud
  • DXWorldEXPO - Digital Transformation (DX)
  • Smart Cities | IoT | IIoT
  • AI | Machine Learning | Cognitive Computing
  • BigData | Analytics
  • The API Enterprise | Mobility | Security
  • Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO 2018 New York cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 200 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor brings together the world's leading companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail.

As your enterprise creates a vision and strategy that enables you to create your own unique, long-term success, learning about all the technologies involved is essential. Companies today not only form multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures, but create them with built-in cognitive capabilities.

Cloud-Native thinking is now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector.

CloudEXPO is the world's most influential technology event where Cloud Computing was coined over a decade ago and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals.

FinTech Is Now Part of the DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO Program!

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.

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 22nd CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City will find fresh new content in two new tracks called:

  • FinTechEXPO
  • New York Blockchain Event

which will incorporate FinTech and Blockchain, as well as machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning in these two distinct tracks.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: info@dxworldexpo.com.

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. DXWorldEXPOCloudEXPO are pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program.

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are accepting speaking submissions for this new track, so please visit Cloud Computing Expo for the latest information or contact us at info@dxworldexpo.com.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: info@dxworldexpo.com.

Download Slide Deck ▸ Here

Only DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO bring together all this in a single location:

Attend DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO. Build your own custom experience. Learn about the world's latest technologies and chart your course to Digital Transformation.

22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO, taking place November 11-13, 2018, in New York City, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: info@dxworldexpo.com.

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

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. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.

Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Speaking Opportunities Here

Sponsorship and Speaking Inquiries: info@dxworldexpo.com.

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

Sponsorship Opportunities

DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO 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 on 4,5 million article pages 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: Unmatched editorial coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 100,000 plus Twitter followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

Secrets of Our Most Popular Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact info@dxworldexpo.com.

Sponsorship Opportunities Here

Download Slide Deck:Here

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 22nd International DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is now open.

Secrets of Our Most Popular Faculty Members ▸ Here

Submit your speaking proposal Here or by email info@dxworldexpo.com.

Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here

About DXWorldEXPO LLC

DXWorldEXPO LLC is a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based trade show company and the creator of DXWorldEXPODigital Transformation Conference & Expo. The company produces and presents CloudEXPO, DevOpsSummitFinTechEXPO Blockchain Event, the world's most influential conferences and trade shows.

More Stories By Charles Araujo

Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He is a regular contributor to CIO.com and has been quoted or published in Time, InformationWeek, CIO Insight, NetworkWorld Computerworld, USA Today, and Forbes.