A Fundamental Shift Is Underway in IT, Now What?
There is no denying that we are in the midst of a fundamental shift in Information Technology and, as matter of fact, computing in general. Depending on your perspective, there are plausible arguments that the shift has been happening for some time while others believe that it is just beginning. Either way, you are right.
In the consumer space, you would have had to live under a rock not to recognize the seismic shift that has occurred over the past 10-15 years. It’s digital, connected and instant or you lose. How we communicate, market, sell, buy, watch, play, commute and even dress is dramatically altered. Heaven forbid that your watch merely provides the time of day. Social, mobile, connected, monitored and self-gratified like never before.
The first cell phone call was made over 40 years ago in New York by Motorola VP, Martin Cooper1. The first digital mobile networks (2G) emerged in the 1990’s and cell phone usage took off2. In fact, the majority of US households could be using a cell phone exclusively vs landline as early as this year3. Haven’t you come such a long way from your first PC – if you ever had one?
The Age of Digital Transformation and Its Impact on Business
For commercial entities, the pace of change and adoption is always a step behind and more difficult to navigate. Rightfully so. There are significant considerations for adoption including cost of transformation & re-tooling, assimilation & change management, security and training. Cost/impact vs. risk/reward must be weighed, balanced and measured before taking the leap.
We are in the midst of a tremendous market and paradigm shift in what is being called the age of digital transformation. As always, the single, most important driving force behind that change is competition and business value. In research conducted across dozens of industries and companies, Marco Iansiti and Karim Lakhani4, Harvard Business School, concluded: “Adapting to ubiquitous digital connectivity is now essential in most sectors of our economy… Digital transformation – the digitization of previously analog machine and service operations, organizational tasks, and managerial processes – is pushing both established and start-up players in many industries to compete in new way… The implication – to compete, companies will have to rethink their business models, identifying new opportunities for creating and capturing value.”
It’s as exciting to think about as it is daunting. Companies must navigate through the knothole into the new age rapidly or risk being outmaneuvered by more nimble, disruptive competition. Growth, and in some cases survival, will depend on it.
Areas of Accelerating Change
The forces of digital transformation, with changing business models to create value for customers while monetizing that value for shareholders, brings us to the intersection of business and technology. Intelligent, connected, mobile, agile applications & analytics, and digitized everything (Internet of Things) are all part of our present and future according to Gartner5.
Recently, while attending the Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference, I had a chance to discuss cloud and enterprise trends with Stu Miniman and Brian Gracely, co-hosts of theCube, from the SiliconAngle Media team
Across virtually all industry sectors, a few common denominators have emerged. There is no question that companies are rapidly getting out of the data center, shedding dedicated hardware and infrastructure. Utility-based compute and storage capacity delivered on-demand over the internet (cloud computing) as pay-as-you-go, subscription service has become mainstream and is accelerating (Source: Forbes, IDG study7).
Is your organization ready? Download our free whitepaper on the roadmap for migrating your applications to the cloud. If you’re unsure where to start, register for a free cloud assessment workshop.
This shift is happening whether delivering products and services to customers (CTO) or transforming internal processes for the enterprise or line-of-business (CIO). Both perspectives are representative of digital transformation and the ability to compete. Of course, there are challenges and concerns including security and integration which we will review more closely in related blog posts. The direction is clear and the pace is not expected to slow down any time soon.
Join the Dialogue
I invite you to join me at the Intersection of Business and Technology and to participate in the ongoing dialogue. We’ll examine topics for IT, finance and lines of business with significance across the enterprise and within the department. Up next will be a primer on cloud computing including benefits, challenges and justification.
1 CNet, “The first cell phone call was made over 40 years ago today”, Roger Chen, 3 April 2013. Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/the-first-call-from-a-cell-phone-was-made-40-years-ago-today/
2 Radio-electronics.com, “History of Mobile/Cell Phone”, Ian Poole, Source: http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/cellulartelecomms/history/mobile-cell-phone.php
3 Statista.com, “Landline Phones Are A Dying Breed”, Felix Richter, 24 February 2015, Source: http://www.statista.com/chart/2072/landline-phones-in-the-united-states/ based on report from Center of Disease Control and Prevention, January – June 2014, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/wireless201412.pdf
4 Harvard Business Review, “Digital Ubiquity – How Connections, Sensors and Data Are Revolutionizing Business”, pp. 90-99, Marco Iansiti (David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School) and Karim R. Lakshani (Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School), November 2014.
5 Gartner, “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015”, Contributor Andrew Spender, 18 February 2015, Source: http://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartners-top-10-strategic-technology-trends-for-2015/
6 theCube, SiliconAngle.TV, Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2015, 8 October 2015, interview with Stu Minniman and Brian Gracely.
7 Forbes, “Cloud Computing Continues to Accelerate in the Enterprise”, Louis Columbus, 22 Nov 2014, Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2014/11/22/cloud-computing-adoption-continues-accelerating-in-the-enterprise/
Bill Saltys is Senior Vice President, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Program Management. Bill is responsible to drive the strategic direction of a cross-functional program across Apps Associates focused on customer value through AWS cloud adoption, transformation and managed services. Prior to joining Apps Associates, Bill held executive and senior management positions within the high technology sector in both entrepreneurial firms and Fortune 500 companies such as Texas Instruments and Digital Equipment Corporation in the areas of strategic planning & engineering.