A recent article by Forbes Joe McKendrick caught my attention. Citing AWS' John Enoch, he claims, "People need to focus on how cloud will help the business, and nothing more," and concludes, "Typically, many business cases for cloud focus on implementation issues and the numbers involved."
He's right, that's exactly my message for six years!
What you must understand is, the rise of digital business requires a radical change in the way your company does business. That's something to constantly have in mind if you don't want it to suffer the same fate as Toys R Us. The now former leading toy retailer filed for bankruptcy a couple of months ago.
The question to ask yourself is, "Will I deliver the profits my business lines have been expecting?" Not sure! The reason is, you pay little attention to the ongoing changes in your industry, they make your business vulnerable to Amazon, they make it unable to keep up with the crazy innovation pace imposed by proliferating tech startups, and maybe, they're slowly but surely taking it to bankruptcy.
Nine West Holdings, The Bon-Ton Stores, Toys R Us, Remington, Southeastern Grocers, Tops Markets, they all went bankrupt this year. Read what Business Insider’s Hailey Peterson said about it in a recent article.
These companies have in common that, they successfully invested in the recent technology innovations particularly cloud, but were nevertheless kicked out of business. The other question to ask yourself is, why investing in technology didn’t help?
One thing to be aware of is, winning in today's disrupted markets demands more than just changing IT. It requires a deep transformation of your business model, I insist, not only your IT. That’s where these unfortunate companies failed.
Make no mistake about it, the stake isn’t the implementation of the recent technologies as your favorite IT vendors argue, it’s to transform your IT in a way that optimizes your business model.
"Transforming IT in ways that optimize business models! Wow! What a big idea!" you might be ironically thinking. It's not, it's common sense.
That's a vision, an approach, a skill no IT tool will ever give you. It's about changing your mindset, admitting that alone technology has never created business value, and finally acknowledging that business value is a sophisticated combination of people, interactions, processes, practices, values, behaviors, and technology contributions.
The solution is a new business transformation thinking that crystallizes relevant industry analysis, business model development, and technology implementation skills into an integrated and actionable digital transformation thinking system.
Let me share with you the benefits of a digital transformation training program that'll make you the visionary IT leader business lines have been desperately expecting to work with: The Digital Transformation Thinking System™.
The terrible truth about business value and how to create it
With all due respect to IT tool vendors, equipping your staff with Big Data, AI, Cloud, IoT, and DevOps tools isn't enough to yield business benefits. That's a myth that's been around in the IT community for years. If things were that simple, many of us would have become billionaires.
Let me try to convince you that the slogan, "The more IT tools, the more business benefits" is simplistic and misleading.
Simply put, business benefit refers to the revenue generated from the money spent by customers to buy your company's products and services.
The reality of business value creation is:
- It starts with spotting and looking to control profitable market segments
- Then moves on with identifying customer core needs and translating these needs into profitable innovation ideas
- Then moves forward with designing, testing, and implementing the profitable innovation ideas into innovate services
- Finally, it ends with rolling out innovations and continuously improving customer experience
Amazon, Google, Apple, Walmart, Facebook, they all rigorously build on that ignored value creation process. Harvard strategist Michael Porter calls it the Value Chain, it's known in the Lean Manufacturing world as the Value Stream.
Why would you put your job and business at risk by running your business differently? McKendrick, this week in, "Don't Face the Technology Onslaught With Technology Alone" alerts about the dangers of today's technology-focused business vision, "Not so fast, says one management agitator. Technology is great for many purposes – and the massive disruptions that are knocking down industry after industry would not be happening were it not for technology. But you can’t meet these challenges with technology alone."
Changing your mindset to the Digital Transformation Thinking System™
Resisting change and refusing to get out of comfort zones are the primary failure factors in today's disrupted markets. John Enoch warns, "In a disrupted market, competitors are coming up with innovative ways to improve service reduce price come up with a way of attracting customers faster and better than their competition." Today's CIOs' value proposition, "Deliver more applications, faster, and cheaper," isn't enough anymore.
What's industry disruption? How does it affect the business? Why solution vendors ignore it? How to deal with it? What's digital transformation? How to develop a digital transformation strategy? What's innovation culture? Why does it matter? How to implement it? What's a business operational model? Why does it matter? How to optimize it? Why agile and lean practices matter? How to implement them? What's a continuous delivery infrastructure (CDI)? How to define a CDI architecture? How to implement it? How does it boost the business operational model? What's enterprise cloud? How does it differ from cloud computing? How can it improve revenue streams? these are only some of the many questions your fellow IT leaders have been dealing with.
That's where the digital transformation thinking system helps! Concretely, it's a collection of three online presentations that lay out the fundamentals of business transformation in today's digital disruption context.
The thinking system is based on four principles that guide the CIO's and her digital transformation team's actions. These principles are:
- Innovation, optimized value chain, and smart technology implementation are the determinants of value
- Understanding industry disruptions and ability to get organizational changes adopted are the foundations of transformational leadership
- DevOps is primarily an agile business operational model, neither a CDI a platform, nor a software development methodology
- Cloud computing is part of Enterprise Cloud which is primarily a business operational model, and not only a technology platform
The key step you must take to effectively transform your business: take digital transformation thinking system™ training
The thinking system provides a complete framework that guides your digital transformation effort from industry analysis and digital transformation strategy development to operational model optimization, CDI or cloud implementation, and organizational changes adoption.
The framework is a systematic method that structures your thoughts, decisions, and actions for making revenue generation the primary concern of your DevOps and Enterprise Cloud capabilities. It's comprised of three online videos:
- Video #1 - complete guide to taking your business digital - clarifies the notions of industry disruption, digital transformation, value chain, and provides a detailed step-by-step digital transformation journey.
- Video #2 - How to yield business benefits with DevOps Now™: principles, architecture, technologies, and migration approaches - clarifies the notions of industry disruption, digital transformation, value chain, and CDI and take advantage of the DevOps Now™ framework to implement DevOps as the agile operational model of your company.
- Video #3 - Transform your business with Enterprise Cloud Now™ to boost your revenue stream: principles, architecture, technologies, and migration approaches - Through an authentic step-by-step transformation journey, takes advantage of the Enterprise Cloud Now™ framework to clarify key notions such as industry disruption, digital transformation, value chain, operational model, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS clouds and brings out the key decisions and actions to take.
Each training is comprised of three elements:
- A video: an online lecture course on digital transformation, DevOps transformation, or Enterprise Cloud migration
- An eBook: The complete guide to digital transformation, DevOps implementation, or Enterprise Cloud migration
- Another eBook: Digital transformation, DevOps implementation, or Enterprise Cloud migration
About Philippe Abdoulaye
Philippe Abdoulaye is considered one of the top digital transformation thought leader. He is the founder and principal consultant of ITaaSNow, a consulting company that helps businesses on their digital transition in the areas of cloud and DevOps.
He is a member of the prestigious IDG Influencer Network, a community of carefully vetted experts and specialists who produce content on behalf of major technology firms.He gives around the globe, executive workshops and conferences on DevOps, Cloud Computing, and IT as a Service (ITaaS) implementation.