I don’t how many times I have read about the necessity for a business to actively pursue digital transformation or fail. Then, when in a conversation you ask what that means, the conversation gets a bit ragged.

So, I went looking for something simple to explain digital transformation and found this infographic in the latest digital edition of Europe Business Review (July 2016).

The 8 steps for Digital Transformation (courtesy of Oracle) with my own commentary.

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Where is this on a CEO’s agenda? Top, middle, bottom?

I ponder how many SME CEO/MD are worrying if they have a clear digital strategy?

Who do they look to? McKinsey?



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This has been talked about for a long time.

It is not made easier as Line of Business managers impatient with IT delivery cycles vote to buy services in the cloud often without the involvement of IT, aka Shadow IT. This gives rise to concerns about security and governance.

Work together, easy to say, sometimes hard to do.


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To achieve this bi-modal IT may require additional resources (people and money) and that is why the CEO and Board need to be on-board.

It may also require a new way to deploy IT, perhaps in the Cloud or Hybrid (in the Cloud and on-premises)?

The IT that soaks 95% of IT resources are business DNA (e.g. ERP) and they are ‘untouchable’ so Mode 2 is probably going to be customer facing, see Step 5.




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Move over People Process Technology. The new way is Portfolio People Process Platform.

What changed? Oh yes, Portfolio and Platform.

The biggie is Cloud as it is transforming how businesses choose to deploy IT.




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So you will need to go figure what is bugging your customers and what value they would place on you fixing their gripes.

I get the idea, it is very clear what order you would want to commit your resources, but how do you get to know what is No. 1? Monitor your social media? Ask your customer: what do we do that really pisses you off?

Perhaps another way to look at this is: what would really please your customer and they would value? Pretty please: how can we serve you better and what difference would it make to you?

Maybe I am not the right person to write the marketing spiel for this exercise.


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This is a mindset thing and can challenge the culture of an organisation that does not like to think of failure even though the truth is every organisation has to live with failure. We just don’t like to mention the word.




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Bring in the professionals.





Cloud glorious Cloud da da da da da da…



There you go, so now you have the blueprint for a conversation about digital transformation whether that is in the pub or anywhere else. Cheers.