|By Jason Bloomberg||
|July 23, 2016 09:00 AM EDT||
Since we launched our Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster two weeks ago, several hundred people around the globe have downloaded it - but it's not clear how many of them have taken the time to work their way through it.
Haven't seen it yet, you say? No worries - you can download the poster for free at AgileDigitalTransformation.com.
OK then - everyone have the poster handy? Good. Here's how to make sense of it.
So...Where's the Roadmap?
The first thing you'll notice about the ADT Roadmap is that it doesn't look too much like the sort of roadmap you'd likely see in the course of your work. There are no clear starting or ending points, and while the progression generally goes from left to right, there are plenty of branches and backtracks along the way.
Welcome to digital transformation, folks! Your transformation will also likely have unclear endpoints, and you'll find the route you're taking to be circuitous and fraught with missteps.
Any digital transformation roadmap that purports to simplify matters and lay out a clear path would be worse than useless, as it might convey a false sense of simplicity. Don't be fooled - we're talking fundamental business transformation here. Expect a bumpy ride.
Ironically, the ADT Roadmap resembles a true roadmap more so than the enterprise facsimiles we run into at work - you know, the kind you used to get at a gas station (Millennials, bear with me here).
Remember, a true paper roadmap has no idea where you are or where you want to go - but it can help you find the best route if you use it properly.
Start at the Beginning
Starting points for any business transformation all have one thing in common: they represent a business with difficult problems that are causing substantial pain. After all, transformation is difficult and risky, so you'd never hazard such a challenge if you the change didn't promise to be less risky or painful than the status quo.
On the ADT roadmap we're rolling up all the various and sundry issues plaguing your organization into two catchalls: siloed organizations and obsolete applications. If you want to fix what's broken, look no further than your people and your technology.
In addition to these perennial sources of pain, two other trends are driving change for digital efforts in particular: changing customer preferences and exploding quantities of data.
In fact, it's no coincidence we put changing customer preferences in the upper left hand corner of the roadmap, as our definition of digital begins with such customer-driven change. The data explosion, in contrast, is closer to the middle of the roadmap, as the quantity and velocity of data will continue unabated as your digital transformation progresses.
Touring the Five ‘Countries' on the Roadmap
As you traverse the roadmap you will come to five different areas, represented broadly by the colors of the background. Customer Experience, Enterprise IT, Big Data, DevOps, and Agile Architecture - not in any particular order, and with plenty of overlaps, but any digital transformation is likely to involve all five.
These five ‘countries' on our roadmap present two overarching lessons: first, the digital story is multifaceted and complex, and it's impossible to boil it down to either a marketing exercise or technology initiative alone. Second, much of the important work occurs at the overlaps.
In fact, beware of any digital transformation infographic that cleanly separates such areas of activity. That kind of representation would only reinforce the organizational silos that digital transformation must break down. The ADT Roadmap, in contrast, focuses more on connecting diverse efforts and emphasizing areas of overlap.
What Do We Mean by ‘Agile'?
When people see the word ‘Agile' today, they usually think of an approach to software development. However, software development clearly isn't the context for how the ADT Roadmap uses the word. Instead, we're referring to business agility - the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to change, and to leverage change for competitive advantage.
Agile Architecture in particular is a phrase that confuses people, as it has two meanings as well. The most common use of this term means software architecture for Agile software projects - but as anyone who has read my book The Agile Architecture Revolution knows, what we mean by this phrase is an approach to Enterprise Architecture that drives business agility across the organization.
Given this broader notion of agile, then, the meaning of Agile Digital Transformation begins to crystallize. Digital transformation is not a process of moving to a particular ‘digital state' for the enterprise. Rather, for organizations to be successful, they must become better able to respond to change and leverage change overall. In other words, Agile Digital Transformation requires that organizations establish change as a core competency.
The Road to Change
What does it mean, then, for a roadmap to lead an organization to establish change as a core competency? Much as the Wizard of Oz could only provide his four intrepid supplicants with tokens (as true change comes from within), so too with digital transformation. In our case, the tokens of transformation are enterprisewide horizontal self-organization, business at velocity, ‘infinite' scale, digital on demand, and intelligent software.
None of these tokens is sufficient to guarantee successful Agile Digital Transformation either individually nor taken together, but organizations that are able to achieve them are more likely to have successfully transformed into agile enterprises.
As with any worthwhile goal, therefore, the focus should be on the journey more so than the endpoint. Just so with the ADT poster, as your path through each step will progress over time.
The Intellyx Take: And Now a Word About Our Sponsors
I'm sure you haven't missed the fact that twelve indubitably insightful vendors have coughed up their hard-earned dollars to sponsor the ADT Roadmap poster. What you might not have noticed is that with the exception of one pair, none of the sponsors compete with each other.
In fact, the variety of product offerings among our sponsors is remarkably diverse - from mainframe tools to networking technology, from enterprise architecture consulting to cybersecurity - these dozen companies represent the surprising range of technologies and services that support enterprise digital transformation.
Even the pair in direct competition in the Digital Performance Management (DPM) space - Dynatrace and SOASTA - have surprisingly little overlap in their product offerings, in spite of the fact that DPM, perhaps more than any other market segment, is central to the success of today's enterprise digital efforts.
Our sponsors' diversity, on the other hand, also represents one of the challenges of digital transformation. Not only can you not buy transformation itself, but it's even difficult to identify which tools you will need to move your organization along the roadmap to Agile Digital Transformation. Our sponsors, however, are a good starting point.
Jason Bloomberg will be giving away free copies of the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster at the SHARE Atlanta 2016 Conference on August 2nd. His presentation is entitled Avoid the Bimodal Disaster.
Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, the twelve sponsors of the poster are Intellyx customers: Dynatrace, Software AG, SOASTA, Compuware, OutSystems, CC & C Solutions, Fiber Mountain, Chef Software, OpenLegacy, 2nd Watch, Loop AI Labs, and Certes Networks. Image credit: Intellyx.
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