Digital Transformation – Simplified
Part of my job is to read tons of articles, research, and studies around “What’s happening out there” so our product messaging is consistent with the industry and we speak a language our customers understand. As I go about this, there’s one thing I read and hear all the time… digital transformation.
Now, here’s the thing—digital transformation is such a broad term, you probably could put most of your IT projects under it. Since it’s become such a hot topic, all IT vendors tout their digital transformation solutions. It’s made me feel the need to pen the “Meaning of Digital Transformation” and bring my perspective, especially for the teams who work in customer-facing roles. You have to know how you connect with your customers’ priorities, and boy, the priorities are all around digital… I think I’ve typed these two magic words enough already.
So, here we go. Digital transformation projects revolve around bringing “out there and available” digital capabilities and connecting them with existing IT environment to achieve some of the following use cases.
- Create better offerings and experience for end users (I want to come up with an app to drive better customer satisfaction, added revenue, and bring a competitive edge)
- Integrating and adopting next-gen tools to help consolidate existing systems and bring better insights
- Add more intelligence to the existing systems to make more informed business decisions (I want to add analytics to my existing system, so it tells me everything I didn’t know before about my internal and external environments)
- Integrate new technology with existing ones for better and smarter outcomes
- Make operations more agile
Now, there are many other use cases for digital transformation. However, those are getting the most attention. The digital capabilities and tech available to make these use cases come to life are trends like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of Things, big data and analytics, hybrid cloud, public cloud, and the list goes on.
Here’s the interesting part. Adopting more sophisticated technologies to achieve the above-mentioned use cases essentially means adding more vendors, rethinking systems and apps, adding more system and apps, refreshing existing hardware, co-hosting or co-locating hardware, adopting cloud strategies, and thinking about security vulnerabilities while all the IT departments are at it. In the middle of this circus, there are three HUGE challenges our friends in IT have to deal with:
1) A complex environment
2) Skills gap in the IT workforce
3) Uninvited security vulnerabilities
With great tech comes great challenges. Now think about the IT leader who needs to be aware of their entire environment, along with its dependencies. If something slows down or goes down… which vendor and how many vendors are they going to call? A consolidated approach to monitor all the investment around apps, hardware, database licenses, hypervisors, networks, firewalls, etc., makes life much easier, is a smart idea, and might even allow them to walk away from their computers on time.
SolarWinds focuses on bringing simplicity to complex IT environments—a consolidated approach with a bird’s-eye view of the environment and guess what, you don’t need to invest a lot on those programmers because the dashboards are easy to create, drag-and-drop friendly, and easy to integrate with other applications. But that’s enough for the “pitch.”
Here’s my submission: IT leaders have to deal with two very demanding personas—consumers, because they want more, and business leaders, because they want to be able to deliver more (in less time). Given these demands, digital transformation projects are becoming indispensable; however, monitoring such complex environments and technologies shouldn’t be an afterthought—it must be a core part of the project.