Technically Speaking

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4 Ways You're Going to Succeed with Big Data & Digital Transformation in 2017

Flexibility. Scalability. Agility.These are just a few of the many buzzwords making the rounds on the business and tech blogs to define what it means to have "successfully adopted digital transformation".

Flexibility. Scalability. Agility.

These are just a few of the many buzzwords making the rounds on the business and tech blogs to define what it means to have “successfully adopted digital transformation”.

Digital transformation really isn’t about getting a product or acquiring a particular technology. It’s more about the company’s ability to take on new technologies and make use of them for improved operational efficiency, lower operational costs, and an improved ability to plan for the future.

But that doesn’t keep marketers from jumping on the DX bandwagon. They’ll try to sell you something that helps your company with digital transformation, although that’s much like saying a product could help you keep your spouse or raise better kids. No product can make your business something it isn’t. You can buy “tools” and “solutions” all day long, but it’s your business’ ability to leverage those tools and solutions that actually make a difference.

So, how are you going to turn your business into a DX success story this new year?

1. Be Realistic

Your business isn’t Uber. And it’s perfectly fine not to be! Don’t base your DX success on whether or not you reach Uber status. Base it on how successful you are in your industry and niche market.

When talking about digital transformation, the most popular references are Google, Uber, and the social media megastars like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Get real! Most organizations won’t ever be household names, and for most businesses, that’s just fine. You don’t have to be in the top .0001 percent of revenue to be a success in DX or by any other standard. Are you leveraging technology better this year than last? Are you gaining market shares and staying ahead of your competitors? That’s what matters, not whether you’re able to compete with Google or Snapchat (unless, of course, you’re Bing or Kik, but that’s another story).

2. Take One Step at a Time

There are numerous fronts to fight in the war to take on digital transformation. There’s big data and analytics and DevOps and cloud and ... the list goes on. As with any war, you can’t effectively fight on multiple fronts, at least you don’t if you intend to win. Instead, pick the single area of DX that you stand to gain the most from successfully adopting and leveraging for meaningful results. Focus your efforts there. Then build on your successes, instead of trying to win the entire war in a single battle.

3. Establish a Team to Oversee DX

You can hire a Chief Digital Officer, or you can just establish a team that’s responsible for onboarding new technologies. Either way, be sure that the manager(s) have the necessary influence within the organization.

Some companies are hiring a chief digital officer or similar management position to oversee DX. Others are establishing a team to be responsible for digital transformation. The important thing is that whomever you choose has the authority, as well as the influence, to successfully steer the business into the right decisions and smart adoption of technologies. Be advised, not all with the authority have the influence to do DX right. Choose an executive sponsor, manager, or team that commands the respect and admiration of your employees, not just someone who has the title and position to “boss people around”.

4. Go Cloud (No, Seriously)

One of the primary obstacles to successful DX is building and maintaining the IT architecture necessary to leverage it to its fullest potential. Using cloud-based storage and compute power not only lowers the costs of DX, it also makes your DX initiatives far more scalable, flexible, and powerful. The cloud also allows you to adopt new technologies far faster, and to change your infrastructure as you learn and rethink your DX strategies. It’s almost impossible to conceive of how a business could be successful with DX without the cloud.

Where do you get the cloud products and services you need for successful DX? Get started here now. You can do DX, and Bigstep can help.

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