Digital transformation is about what you aren’t going to do anymore, including DevOps

IDC Corp. predicts $1.3 trillion USD will be spent on digital transformation in 2016, and part of the process for enterprises will be to decide what they are no longer doing.

In a recent webinar, How to transform your IT organization to drive business innovation, Joseph Pucciarelli, the research firm’s group vice-president for its IT executive programs, outlined five main areas of spending: leadership transformation, omni-experience transformation, information transformation, operating model transformation and worksource information, which is changing how organizations find talent.

“The obstacle they struggle the most with is people,” said Pucciarelli. An IDC survey found that of the top six common IT organization barriers to leading digital transformation, 33 per cent do not have enough people with the right skills, while 28 per cent said that ongoing support for legacy systems consumed their efforts. Culture came in third: 23 per cent of IT organizations said they don’t have a “risk taking, innovation culture.”

And although it only it came in at 9 per cent, the fourth most common barrier cited was that the line of business peers did not perceive IT as adding value in digital transformation, which Pucciarelli said is actually about tranforming IT from an engineering discipline to a team that delivers a portfolio of services.

Part of the digital transformation process is understanding what the organization should no longer be doing and what skills to sunset, he said. While it may seem counter-intuitive, DevOps is actually something that is destined to disappear, at least as a discrete business unit. Instead, it will be infused into the fabric of the organization, said Pucciarelli. Digital transformation it being powered by developers, but they are a limited resource with a growth rate of less than 10 per cent.

IDC’s Staffing Survey for 2015 found that DevOps administration was the No. 1 most critical position to sunset, followed by data center management computer operations, and storage architecture and management positions. These changes are essential, said Pucciarelli, and having a “de-invest strategy” is part of moving the organization from a role that automates IT to one that is providing business services.

Pucciarelli said technology leaders who are looking to drive business innovation are focusing on five main themes: building a digital platform; fostering an ecosystem alliance that includes an internal and external support network; constructing new business models; engendering a learning organization; and, creating a center of excellence.

Fostering an alliance ecosystem is critical, he said. According to IDC FutureScape Worldwide CIO Agenda 2018 Predictions, 70 per cent of siloed digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail because of insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing or project management.

In the meantime, Pucciarelli said most CIOs today know that money is being spent on technology outside of IT by lines of business. “There are pockets of innovation in lines of business – tech incubators,” he said. “They are probably doing some really cool stuff. The lines of business need the wherewithal of CIOs and IT to deliver innovation.”

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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