Digital Transformation

These are the biggest challenges of digital transformation

Digital transformation is essential but challenging for every business. Deloitte Consulting CTO Bill Briggs shared tips on how to leap over technology's biggest hurdles.

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson spoke with Deloitte Consulting CTO Bill Briggs about the challenges of digital transformation.

Watch the video, or read the transcript of their conversation below:

Patterson: Are there any general challenges that companies have to go through (during digital transformation)?

Briggs: Yeah. There's a universal one on — if every company is a technology company, is the heart of ... as we fill out — how do we define digital transformation? The universal theme is this: technology force is driving opportunity. Most technology shops weren't built with the same ability to deliver on complexity and dynamics of changing technology, and the demands of the market or their business customer/business product owner. How do I go faster? How do I get a little bit more value? How do I harness emerging technology in a responsible way?

All of that kind of goes into, how do we re-engineer technology, and now the business of IT? How do I invest in technology spend in a different way, more oriented toward customer service and outcome? How do I think about the world in product and solution, not technical skillsets the way we would typically see an IT organization formed around? How do we adopt Agile, not as a hobby on the side, but it becomes a predominant way we deliver. Not as a wholly argument of the capital way of Agile methodology, but interactive, iterative, faster return of value. Right? How do we industrialize innovation? How do we have sensing and scouting and scanning and experimentation? How do we do that at scale? Be deliberate about it, 'cause the only thing we know is that more change is coming.

All of that comes together, and it's funny, we've re-engineered every other corporate department, every other function over the years, except for IT. So, fill in your colloquialism here of cobbler's children getting shoes finally, but we're saying, if we believe in the future of business becomes taking advantage of new technology more quickly. By the way, building it from today, not just imagining tomorrow, so that idea of modernizing my core and getting it ready to participate is a foundation for this. Then, that's the universal, how do we think about the role of the CIO, how do we think about the teams they require, and how do they deliver differently? By the way, it will eventually get so it's on top of a different technology stack too, at the bottom up. I love that one, and we're starting to see that become a board level conversation, which was never the case before, and engaging the board of what was just engaging the board to say, "Do you believe that we have to make these investments and change significantly this huge part that's always been the cost side of the equation, but it's elevating it into its value drive." It's the heart of having competitive advantage.

SEE: How Sephora is leveraging AR and AI to transform retail and help customers buy cosmetics (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)

There's this great thing that we see more and more companies do. Call it tech fluency, or call it tech savvy-ness, or a digital academy, or a tech college, but as a ... I'm a computer engineer, 20 years as a consultant, driving big-transformation programs. We've always been told as technologists, "How do you speak the language of the business, and be more relevant to the business?"And, we need to do that. This isn't a, trying to escape that responsibility. The best CIOs and tech teams have done that over the years.

We're at this interesting point in time where we're flipping it into ... business has to be tech savvy in a way they haven't had to before. That's really fascinating. And it's as much about understand what blotching and machine learning and automation, and what those mean to your core business, kind of the hero's journey of the story, and it's about responsibility for why do we have to do these hard investments like modernizing our core, transforming IT organization. It's no longer the CIOs ... the business executives aren't pointing and saying, "Hey technology team, why are you so behind? Why do we have so much technical debt? Why do we take so long to deliver?" It's this shared accountability, the thumb, of we all are in this together. We all have to own, so our choice is to make, and it's all of our problem, and it's all of our opportunity."

For more of this conversation, check out the following articles:

Also see:

  • Special report: The cloud v. data center decision (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
  • Cloud computing, big data, security: What CIOs are spending their budget on this year (ZDNet)
  • Google Cloud Platform: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
  • Five major pitfalls to avoid in a cloud migration (ZDNet)
  • CIO Jury: 75% of companies have moved to hybrid cloud (TechRepublic)
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    About Dan Patterson

    Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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