Digital Darwinism - Making the Evolutionary Leap with Cloud
Author:Sean Ross, CSC
Evolution, Darwin said, was the small, steady accumulation of evolutionary traits. IT, however, faces multiple waves of change at once, from dramatic consumption of inexpensive computing power to unprecedented change in traditional business models.
Not since the Industrial Revolution has society experienced such a dramatic shift in economic drivers and technological advances, fueled primarily by new software platforms and mobile technologies. Companies that fail to recognize this new order will enter a slow, downward spiral.
Read Digital Darwinism to learn how executives must consider people, processes and technology in leading cloud transformation.
Put people first
People issues should get front-and-center attention in every large-scale technology transformation. Cloud migration projects, in particular, broadly impact IT staff.
For example, platform engineering is a function typically replicated across the enterprise. In the new cloud operating model, platform engineering is consolidated into a single team, providing services to all business units. Likewise, the need to operate and maintain infrastructure and other types of activities falls dramatically as services — instead of assets — are utilized.
As the company leverages new technologies, it needs less brawn and task management, more brainpower and accountability. But success hinges on the people most affected. And it often takes only one person to make a project fail.
Target the right opportunities
In our experience, a frequent cause of transformation failure is that too many companies establish projects that target existing applications or infrastructure. This reengineering wastes time and resources and doesn’t move the enterprise forward or generate momentum.
Consider the lifecycle of a virtual machine (VM). It once required 60 days to 90 days to provision and hand off a machine to end users. Many of the provisioning tasks were steeped in years of traditional project-and-approval management, including weeks to define the network and firewall assignments for each VM. The original approach was to replicate that process in an online system. This was a costly mistake, resulting in an even lengthier time to provision.
After taking a step back, we identified patterns for network configuration that could make the process transparent to the end user of the VM. This resulted in a more reliable network, and it improved hand-off times by 80 percent. In an outsourced world, operational challenges become difficult to manage. Contracts, processes and procedures that worked before need to be re-evaluated. Some people consider this an expensive task, but without it, the project falls flat.
Establish lighthouse teams
A core group of stakeholders who have the skills, ambition and resources needed to drive change in the business should set the transformation process in motion. These employees have the staff, political and financial resources to effect change. They understand the imperative, the important business drivers and the necessary skills.
This lighthouse team will learn how to use new tools and approaches, discover how roles will change in the future and learn how to function effectively in those new roles. Empowered with an executive mandate, funding and technologies, these teams can begin experimenting and producing tangible results that align with the company’s new strategic direction. They can collaborate with business unit leaders and key staff members to make a case for future change.
Begin your journey
Opportunities presented by today’s cloud operating model, the automation of hybrid cloud management with solutions such as CSC Agility Platform™ and rapid development tools are exciting, daunting and essential. Companies that adopt these next-generation technologies equip themselves with a new foundation for success. Those that do not, face a difficult and dangerous future.
The impact of this change is enterprise-wide, and for the IT department, it represents an entirely new way of doing business. Roles shift. Consolidation occurs. New skills and mindsets are required. The shift to a digital operating model is not an easy transition to make, but it is absolutely essential in the survival of the fittest.
It’s a journey we at CSC have experienced many times over with our clients and in our own business operations, which are constantly evolving. Many of our traditional offerings have evolved into new, digital offerings, such as our hyper-converged and software-based CSC Agility Platform. We’ve integrated our digital service management offerings, retrained our existing teams and created new positions, all with the goal of empowering our clients’ transformations.
Read the full paper and learn how your organization can recognize and respond to change in time to successfully adapt and prosper.