Trends in Digital Transformation


Happy new year and I hope that 2019 is the best year for both you and me across all the areas of our lives – spiritual, family, work, health, finances and relationships.

Trends in Digital Transformation

Late last year I listened to an excellent talk by Adrian Cockcroft titled “Trends in Digital Transformation”.

Here are some notes from his talk.

Why the need for digital transformation?

Adrian said that the relationship with customers is driving digital transformation. In the past companies, could be more distant from their customers, but now companies are often in direct contact with their customers through eCommerce, social media, self-service and other channels.

This results in these needs that are driving digital transformation:

  1. Personalisation

  2. Customer analytics

  3. New channels direct to customer

  4. More things, more scale, rapid change

Areas challenging companies in their digital transformation

There are four areas that slow companies down:

  1. Culture: Adrian here spoke about the need to give employees the power to make important decisions. Change is taking place so fast that companies can’t wait for a manager, and often a senior manager, to make decisions.The way employees make decisions needs to in line with the company’s leadership principles and so these need to be communicated so frequently that they are part of every employee’s DNA.

  2. Skills:The main point here is that companies need to incentivise employees to constantly learn new skills. Once these skills are learnt companies need to pay their staff more so that they don’t just leave and join other companies.

  3. Organisation: Adrian believes that companies need to change the way their developers work – from project based to owning products. Most project teams work on upgrade or development projects for long periods, say 9 months, and then get moved onto other projects. Today he believes that teams should own products and be involved in continuous development of these products. He also believes that it doesn’t make sense to have go-live meetings but rather each developer takes responsibility for what he wrote and launches his own code.

  4. Capex VS Opex:The cloud world revolves around Opex which actually might cause problems because monthly running costs are going to increase. The CFO needs to be involved in the cloud decision making process so that there are no nasty financial surprises.

Pathways for digital transformation
Below are two key principles in this regard:
  • Time to value: Adrian stressed that cloud enabled faster development. He discussed research findings from Dr Nicole Forsgren's book "Accelerate". She has said that Fast Companies are 440 times faster than Slow Companies.Here are some of her findings:

  • 46 times more frequent code development.

  • 440 times faster lead time from commit to deploy.

  • 170 times faster meantime to recover from downtime.

  • 50 times faster change failure rate.

  • Distributed optimised capacity: Adrian spoke about the basic principles of cloud:

  • Pay as you go – afterwards.

  • Self-service – no waiting.

  • Globally distributed by default.

  • High utilisation – unused resources are automatically turned off.

  • Immutable code displayed.

In summary

I hope you found these notes interesting and that you can apply them to your cloud journey.

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This blog expresses my views and not necessarily the views of the company I work for.

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