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Six IT Design Rules for Digital Transformation

The honeymoon phase of digital transformation is over. Businesses with entrenched systems are realizing that transformation is riskier and costlier than they had anticipated, and although they have to do it anyway, it is a painful process. In an article for Bain & Company, Jordi Moncada, Vishy Padmanabhan, and Velu Sinha describe six IT design rules to facilitate the transformation:

  1. Break boundaries across IT stacks.
  2. Embrace DevOps.
  3. Be open.
  4. Incorporate policy engines.
  5. Induce insights via meaningful analytics.
  6. Insist on user-friendly experiences and tools.

Design Makeover

CIOs need monitoring tools into the full IT stack, “from legacy software to consumer-facing apps,” that can make sense of a hybrid cloud environment. They also need to introduce DevOps if it is not already present. The benefit of DevOps is not merely leaner operations but also faster software testing and deployment. However, higher automation to limit costs is also another imperative for CIOs, which is why they should seek “policy engines.” These are solutions that automate governance and compliance to free up time for more strategic work.

The rule to “be open” sounds ambiguous but is actually somewhat literal in its meaning. You want to make your systems more plug-and-play, with modular software that takes advantage of open-source and APIs. The easier software integration is, the more you stand to benefit in multiple ways.

The authors add this commentary:

Companies moving to the cloud have had to relearn a difficult lesson: When it comes to advances in technology, the new does not replace the old, at least not immediately. Instead of using the cloud to build an entirely new infrastructure, CIOs have to add to their existing structure. Of the $77 billion that companies spent on the public cloud in 2015, nearly half (about 45%) went not toward migrating existing workloads but toward developing new software for existing business or toward creating apps for new digital operations. IT decision makers surveyed by Bain & Company expect that trend to continue…

For various data and examples of these principles in action, you can view the original article here: http://bain.com/publications/articles/six-IT-design-rules-for-digital-transformation.aspx

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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