There may be no better place to work right now than in the IT industry. It is an industry blessed by tremendous innovation and transformation but continues to suffer from one of the most inspirational but equally undermining qualities around – “HYPE”.
HYPE is often the vehicle for breaking new trends in IT that are ultimately presented to customers and prospects as “ideas with promise” – but sadly many fail to deliver on that promise. HYPE can drive an imperfect storm with the result well intended but potentially inadequate products released to market too early to underpin solutions that fail to deliver benefits (with the result “customer dissatisfaction”). But as hype wraps its arms around the current IT/Business “next big thing”, it is imperative that this time it is different from many prior false dawns and the fire of hype drives us to realise the most important of outcomes. And what is this “next big thing” (mentioned so far in veiled tones)- the “digitisation of the modern enterprise”.
Why is this “big thing” so important you may ask, aren’t all good ideas, “good ideas”? Quite simply “the digitisation of the modern enterprise” is an aggregation and evolution of everything we have learned and earned in information technology over the past 20 years mushrooming up into the most fundamental change we are likely to experience. And experience it we certainly will as “the digital enterprise” is fast becoming the secondary heartbeat to our lives.
And the gain – consumers, enterprises, in fact anyone who interacts with a technology based device will create and consume this digital fuel and use it to drive tomorrow’s world today. The promise offered by a world driven by a digital DNA is like nothing we have ever imagined and is only limited by our imagination.
As IT users, connectivity everywhere, always on, “user centric computing” are already personal and professional norms. In fact some may say users are currently so spoiled for choice with rich experiences that they are beginning to adopt an almost relentless “must have now & what’s next?” mentality.
Therefore the new world of “digital” will be a fantastic world for all – or will it, is this digital furore all glitter or endless sheen? Sadly digitalisation may not be all good news with the numerous benefits often opening equivalent (or greater) doors of concern that are very challenging to close. Data & information “everywhere” increases the fear of digital security, personal information loss, cyber threat, concerns over market stability (a truly effective digital bomb could stall the world as we know it) and as much uncertainty as it delivers greatness.
But fear not, a few steps can be taken to realise “gain” with minimal “pain”.
- Change the “mental lens” you access to view your users. In fact don’t just change it, discard the old one and replace it with a new one. Times have changed and a legacy viewpoint will anchor both user and enterprise activities to the past
- Listen to and observe the behaviour of your users. Via personal and social interaction with this new digital DNA they are signposting the direction of travel for the enterprise.
- Don’t ignore the direction of travel indicated (and the fact it may look like one for the “too hard” pile). It may seem somewhat confusing or disruptive, but embraced correctly it will surely “enable” your users
- Make the network the prince of the castle (the with the application king and the user queen). As the always on can’t fail transport system of the new digital world, the network holds one of the major keys to user effectiveness and therefore enterprise success. Optimise it, ensure it’s secure, keep it reliable with “always on always” mandatory.
- And lastly keep your data secure. What data could be the obvious response as “all of it” is far too simplistic a concept and nigh on impossible as reality. I shall borrow a very useful phrase, “seek first to understand, then to be understood”. Understand what’s important via review and classification then protect what matters relentlessly
The preceding steps may help to offset some of challenges to digital success mentioned earlier as the wholesale benefits of a digital DNA available to all are too compelling to defer. Currently the IT industry is a fantastic place to be where the enablement, security and connectivity of systems & users both today and tomorrow will result in them realising previously unimaginable dreams, potential and business outcomes.
For once HYPE cannot define the outcome as the “digitisation of enterprise”, enabled by the user will also be driven by the desire for positive and memorable change along its potentially endless journey. And the most exciting aspect for all – “digital” as the fuel of dreams will make the journey one that may never truly reach its destination.
Until next time.