The Key to Digital Transformation

It’s a refrain that has been repeated throughout the ages: The pace of technological change is so fast, how can anyone keep up?

Most of the changes that have taken place have helped mankind do what we had already been doing, only better. But today’s technological change is not only moving at a faster pace but is having a more profound effect on the way we communicate, socialize and basically live on this planet Earth.

For the enterprise, this is leading to a fundamental shift in attitude toward technology and the digital data transformation it enables. No longer is simply keeping up to date with the latest tools and systems an appropriate driver for new technology deployments. Instead, organizations are being forced to adopt change as a core concept of any new architecture – the underlying assumption being that the systems being deployed, and even the rationale for deploying them, will be gone before you know it, so you need to build for both the current use case as well as the next, even if you don’t know what it is yet.

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Few organizations have come to grips with this reality, says ZDnet’s Dion Hinchcliffe. At the average enterprise, more than 80 percent of the IT budget is still devoted to maintaining legacy infrastructure, and hardly anyone is receiving the proper training in DevOps, machine intelligence and data analytics that will define next-gen data technology. What’s needed, he says, is a renewed commitment to digital adaptation through broader adoption of open APIs, agile development and excellence coupled with a steady drive to break those models of excellence almost as soon as they are achieved. In very short order, enterprises that do not learn to adapt will be outperformed by those that do.

Data and infrastructure are only the basic underpinnings of what should become a top-to-bottom revamp toward adaptability, according to ServiceSource CEO Chris Carrington. In the age of “Digital Darwinism,” change will affect the most critical customer and revenue relationships, which means the enterprise needs to maintain flexibility not just in infrastructure but in people and processes as well. In total, there are five key areas that should embrace broad adaptability: data, organization, processes, technology and measurement. As Darwin himself noted, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

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