Have you heard? Traditional enterprise I.T. is over, and digital enterprise I.T. is in. Some call it a revolution, a new era, a third wave. I call it today’s reality. The way we deploy and maintain technology won’t meet the demands placed on us for agility and innovation in the digital ecosystem.
I.T. professionals are hard-wired to think marathon, not sprint. But that’s changing. To a business that needs to bound forward, process optimization feels slow and incremental. Traditional planning cycles are too long for must-have digital initiatives. Siloed design, development, testing, deployment and operations are going to have to come together in a new model.
Digital-native companies, from Google to Uber, are changing the game in every industry, making CMOs anxious for a breakthrough idea. In response, CIOs are moving their organizations through digital transformation, supported by players like Microsoft, IBM, Dell, Cisco and SAP who are bringing forward products designed as digital transformation enablers.
Some companies will create a radical reimagined business to disrupt an industry, but most will simply use technology better to gain a better edge. Either way, I.T. teams will need to rebuild their structures to be more responsive to shifting priorities.
Dell recently surveyed 4,000 I.T. and business makers and found 45 percent are worried about becoming obsolete within the next three to five years. Almost half don’t know what their industries will look like in three years, and over three quarters feel threatened by digital startups.
Pretty scary stuff, but don’t buy into the hype that we’re on the brink of a revolution. Enterprise IT has always been in the business of giving companies an advantage in a changing competitive landscape. It’s just that today’s challenges and opportunities demand something different from us. Which means we have to be different in the year ahead.
On that note, let me wish you all the best in the new year. I hope it’s successful, prosperous, and everything you want it to be.
What is your forecast for 2017? Will it mean radical change for your business, or an escalating program of strategic imperatives?