Top 15 Action Items for Jump-Starting Digital Transformation

Posted by Hassan Kassih on Oct 2, 2018 10:00:00 AM

According to Gartner, 42% of CEOs have embarked on digital business transformation journeys—and many are facing challenges with changing the company culture, the resulting resistance to change, attracting new talent, catching up with the competition, and dealing with an outdated technology stack. The list continues, but I will stop there for now because I think you get the idea.

For most companies, the ultimate goal is to enhance the customer experience. It’s 2018. Our customers can rate and review us on countless websites and social platforms with the simple click of a button. Are you prepared for bad ratings? Will they affect your business? Are you tracking everything your customers are saying? Have you implemented a social customer service team? Have you mapped your customer digital journey?

Are you finding all of these questions overwhelming? Well, the good news is that there is one overarching question that will determine your answer to any of the above questions: Where are you in your digital transformation journey?

Breaking Down Your Digital Transformation Journey

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with many customers on the execution of their digital transformation strategies. In doing so, I’ve identified key action items that help companies find success with their digital transformation journeys. I will share them with you here, with one caveat: Every company is different. What works for one company may not work for yours. Your digital transformation journey should ultimately be tailored to address your specific needs.

1. Allow strategy, not technology, to drive digital transformation

Look at technologies like social, mobile, cloud, and analytics as tactics that enable you to transform your business and how you do things, but you must have an overarching digital strategy that ties into your overall business strategy.

2. Think like a technology company

Software development is something you want to take seriously. To stay a step ahead of the competition, you must think and act like an innovator, regardless of your business or industry.

3. Be prepared for change—and resistance to change 

Finding the right technology isn’t the hard part. Transforming your organization—your people, process, and tools—is hard. Remember that it is a journey that you are all taking together.

4. Analyze again and again

You should continuously analyze your business and remain on the lookout for new opportunities. Invest in good business analysts and trusted partners and advisors who understand your business and industry.

5. Hire a Chief Digital Officer (CDO)

Getting serious about digital transformation begins with hiring a Chief Digital Officer who will serve as the executive sponsor for digital process innovation, map digital capabilities to strategic priorities, and develop and administer the digital project portfolio.

6. Combine internal and external resources with varied skill sets

You can accelerate your digital journey by partnering with external specialists and subject matter experts who work alongside your in-house digital transformation specialists.

7. Consider proof of concepts

The best way to know if something will work is to try it. Pick smaller teams and short durations for testing or pilots. Which leads directly into my next point…

8. Fail fast, learn even faster

Two-thirds of digital transformation attempts fail. Don’t take this fact as a bad thing; this is the quickest route to digital transformation. Learn and move on from your failures.

9. Be agile

The market changes fast, so you have to be willing and able to pivot alongside it. Remain prepared for continuous changes.

10. Refresh consistently

Plan for shorter refresh cycles and continuous upgrades to your systems and tools.

11. Consider bimodal IT

Many organizations have realized great benefits by separating “production IT” from “corporate IT.”

12. Think cloud-first

Consider a cloud-first strategy that enables you to think and function like a startup company. Cloud can be a great place for your digital transformation proof of concepts, software development, application integrations, and analytics.

13. Marry your strategies

You may have different initiatives and strategies going on simultaneously (think business digital transformation, IT transformation, cloud transformation, and so on). Make sure all of these strategies and initiatives are aligned and support each other.

14. Demonstrate value quickly

Start from the simplest use cases and demonstrate business value quickly. Look for quick wins that encourage executive buy-in from the beginning of your digital transformation journey.

15. Life after live

Plan for life after go-live. Make sure that anything you decide to deploy in production is ready for primetime, and that it is secure, scalable, and will perform.

Remember, your digital transformation strategy has no end date. Technology will keep evolving, which means we will always need to play catch up. A state of constant change and innovation is becoming the new norm, so fasten your seat belts and be ready for a long and—if you’re doing it right—exciting ride.


 Exploring the Modern Data Center

Is your data center keeping up with your digital transformation demands?

ConvergeOne's Data Center Experts have written a guide that provides valuable insights about how you can strategically design your data center infrastructure to power the technology of tomorrow. The following areas are explored:

  • Digital Transformation

  • Data Protection

  • Active/Active Data Centers

  • Converged Architecture

  • Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

  • Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)


Topics: Data Center, Digital Transformation


Hassan Kassih
Hassan Kassih  -- Hassan Kassih is the Data Center Practice Director for ConvergeOne, leading a team of highly skilled data center solution architects. Hassan has more than 20 years of experience in building data center infrastructure and aligning IT with business outcomes. His expertise expands across all data center layers, including power, cooling, compute, storage, networking, virtualization, and cloud technologies.