In more than seventy independent surveys that I conducted over the last ten years as an industry analyst, one of the goals that was top-of-mind for both IT and business professionals was “better align IT with business”. Interestingly, comparing year-over-year results showed that issue remained both a goal and a challenge for most of these organizations. Then, at the end of 2015, I conducted another user survey and discovered dynamics that I haven’t seen before. Organizations started to realize that goals of IT and the business will never be aligned as long as these two skate in different lanes, have different sets of objectives and their performances are evaluated by different metrics. At the same time, changes in the economy, technology, customer preferences and competitive pressures forced these organizations to think about business technologies, their strategies and processes in a completely different light. In short, these changes forced them to go through a process of digital transformation and become a digital enterprise.
Launching Digital Enterprise Journal (DEJ) is our effort to provide credible, actionable and timely insights into this matter by using a unique research and publishing approach. Here are the top five reasons why I think that subject and approach increasingly matters.
1 – Digital transformation is an ongoing process. Turning an organization into a digital enterprise is not a project with a defined completion deadline, but an ongoing process that starts with building a foundation that consists of a new strategy, technology capabilities, organizational mindset and redefined processes. This allows organizations to rapidly adjust to the fast-paced changing digital economy, customer expectations and requirements and quickly identify and capitalize on new opportunities in the market. Covering a dynamic such as this requires a new type of media outlet that can identify, analyze and report on new market developments in a timely manner.
2 – Digital Transformation and Digital Enterprise are not well defined terms. Like any “hot” term that comes along in business technology, digital transformation quickly became a victim of vendors’ marketing messaging while numerous industry observers offered their own definition what these terms stand for. DEJ’s research shows that even organizations that are reporting that they already started a process of digital transformation have a different understanding of what this term really means. DEJ is taking a different approach and instead of telling user organizations what we think digital enterprise should look like, we are using our research frameworks to start with their desired business outcomes, market pressures and current performance and then introduce capabilities that will turn their organizations into digital businesses.
3 – Digital Transformation is the most impactful trend that we have seen in business in decades. DEJ’s survey shows that 8 major business pressures have increased in importance for least 50% of organizations. Additionally, the survey revealed a number of drastic changes that organizations are realizing they need to make to stay competitive. Opportunity cost of avoiding to conduct digital transformation, or not executing it successfully is enormous. Providing credible analysis of market trends as well as an overview of best practices is one of the key parts of DEJ’s mission.
4- Digital enterprise includes a correlation between business and technology like we have never seen before. Digital Enterprise is not just about technology, it is about a new mindset of where technology fits into business strategy. Every business technology plays an important role in digital transformation, but their roles, messaging and offerings will have to change. In digital enterprise technology purchases become more driven by business outcomes which changes the budgeting, evaluation and decision making processes for investing in technology. It also changes metrics that organizations are using to measure success and return on investment from technology purchases. These are some of the key parts of DEJ’s methodology and areas where we are looking to help our end-user readership the most.
5 – Digital transformation cannot be researched and analyzed by using old methods of technology buckets and “one-size-fits-all” evaluations. As mentioned above, digital enterprises are taking a new approach of evaluating technology purchases that are less driven by the robustness of features and functionalities and more by business outcomes and the alignment with an organizations’ overall business strategy, processes and opportunities for new revenue streams. Also, DEJ’s research shows that one of the key criteria that digital businesses are using when evaluating technology solutions is their ability to benefit multiple job roles and parts of the organization. Therefore, the traditional model for evaluating technology solutions by putting them in “buckets” and evaluating them solely within their own technology class might not work for most of these organizations. DEJ’s model evaluates technology solutions based on their readiness to help organizations become digital businesses and achieve all of the key goals of digital transformation.
The key parts of DEJ’s publishing model are 1) continuously research and analyze trends around digital transformation; 2) facilitating conversation with other thought leaders around this topic; 3) curation of best 3rd party content around this topic. We look forward to sharing our insights with you and hope that you join our readership community and become an active participant in our conversations.