Chances are good that within the last two days you cursed at a mobile or web application—and your sentiment for the organization that produced that application was knocked down two notches.

Vendors get only a few chances to show an application does its job before users abandon it. And because almost every organization has end user-facing applications, churn or unhappiness among users has a direct impact on your business.

This is why digital transformation is more than a buzzword. Keep reading to find out why digital transformation is essential to avoiding the issues outlined above.

Buzzword bingo is fun

Yes, buzzword bingo is one of the most prized games of tech vendors. Some of it is meant to confuse, some of it is meant to excite, but all of it is used to centralize a conversation. Digital transformation is a marketing term, but it is also a way to sit at a table of peers and understand what they are talking about. Digital transformation means processes, automation, talent and tools that allow organizations to ship code faster. That’s it. Don’t get hung up on the modern or new aspects of it. If digital transformation were only about doing something new, then it would not have survived the three-plus years it has been in conversation. It also needs to be a mode of operation that extends past any new tool or process thrown at it.

This is why it equals success for you and your business

It is really simple:

Applications are getting more elaborate, and have many more parts.
Your end users, internal or external, are much more demanding.
Your competition can beat you overnight.

Building an IT organization that can stand the pressures of modern applications and users means you keep your job, and increase your business’ value. We are not talking about being left behind any longer. It is more extreme than that. Organizations stuck in Waterfall, or accelerated Waterfall (often called Agile), can be leapfrogged by organizations that are able to add new functionality at the same or higher quality daily. Even the least mature DevOps environments do application releases twice a day. This is not uncommon. And, this is low. And when your boss comes to you asking why you can’t do the same, what is your answer?

It should be a plan

The anxiety your boss feels from falling behind should be responded to with a clear plan. And that plan is called digital transformation. Digital transformation will take your Waterfall infrastructure, environment, and team, and transform it into an organization that can ship code weekly, even daily—which means even if you are not immediately getting ahead, you can immediately respond. And responding is larger than just getting ahead. As a bonus, responding helps with the issues that always plague you (security and bugs).

It’s more than new features

A healthy DevOps environment has, as a key component, the ability to quickly respond to anything thrown at it. And the types of things that will come up are security threats and bugs. 

Previously, remediation was as Waterfall as the process use to build applications with issues. But in DevOps environments, remediation happens in hours, minutes, or instantly. Continuous delivery also means continuous response. Powerful alerting and self-healing mechanisms will replace non-working deployments with known working ones. Or shut out trouble immediately.

Often, modern environments are associated with greater risk of bugs and security issues. This is true to some extent. There are a lot of practices and tools used to mitigate the increase. But that increase is surely overwhelmed with a much greater ability to respond. And this is true for all environments. Fixing an exploit in hours (versus Waterfall in weeks) will have a much more positive outcome on both your job and your end users.

What the buzzwords truly stand for

Take the buzzwords in: Culture, DevOps, and Digital Transformation. Let them stand for what value they can provide, not the fluff. And that value is the ability to have a conversation around a topic that clearly is important to your success as an IT professional and the success of your business.



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Ryan Lockard

VP of Consulting (US)

Ryan Lockard is a seasoned technical professional with 17 years of experience in product delivery, leadership, and technical practice excellence. Ryan has transformed teams, organizations and mindsets in various industries and has established himself as part of the new voice of technical product delivery. 

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