I don’t believe in Digital Transformation. Like its predecessors “e-business” and “business agility”, it’s a term that means everything and nothing. And as such it is not useful.
But I do believe that business will always seek out tools that improve productivity, delight customers, enhance reliability, and improve the bottom line.
And in the last few years a few complementary tools that deliver all of those outcomes have arrived almost simultaneously.
One is the smartphone: which in just ten years has put a connected personal computer in almost every Australian’s pocket and made it possible to collect and share data almost anywhere, anytime.
Consider, also, the collapse in price of data storage. A decade ago, storage was expensive and unwieldy. Now organisations can handle petabytes without breaking a sweat or breaking the bank.
Cheap storage unleashed artificial intelligence. AI has been decently-understood for more than a decade, but was unfeasible at scale until storage became affordable and accessible at scale and made it possible to collate and work with models of sufficient size to make a difference.
A fourth new tool is DevOps, which has taken bespoke software development from a risky and lengthy process and made it more reliable and increasingly likely to allow rapid iteration and innovation.
DevOps is just one of several new methodologies that make it possible to change from delivering IT projects to managing digital products.
Together these new tools and methodologies create new possibilities.
The computer in everyone’s pocket can become a shopfront or a mans to automate business processes. That shopfront can now change, either thanks to frequent updates to an app made possible by DevOps or thanks to AI-driven customisation that draws on vast pools of data to decide what will delight you. Automation helps by making it possible to scale or reconfigure infrastructure so it can shift between workloads or change on demand.
Adapting a business to use all of these tools requires a substantial effort. Perhaps even a transformative effort, because there’s so much to learn and to link to embrace these new tools.
I hope the 2019 Benchmark Awards help you to understand the changes we all face, by showcasing peers who have grasped the great new tools that drive change, and done so well and successfully.
And surely well-managed change is worth celebrating.
Make your technology project count and be recognised by your peers and the technology community, enter the iTnews Benchmark Awards today. Entry is free.