It was my privilege to host a panel during ONUG London 2018 and my face was shoved in front of a camera as part of the package. I surprised myself here with ‘thought lording’ about digital transformation that seems to be intelligent and coherent. I extracted best and relevant bits into this video.
Here are the notes I prepared which, I should note, in no way reflect what I actually said in the video. Yay me for my awesome public speaking skills.
Q1: How is digital changing the role of IT in the large enterprise?
I see digital transformation as an inflection point that computing and software is more than a cost of doing business. Its a fundamental embracing of technology as a core business activity in the same way that accounting, sales and leadership are. No matter what type of business, people accept that technology is a business value.
The CIO and CFO should operate at the same level as trusted contributors to profit and risk. Technology should be a profit centre in the same way that accounting is a profit centre.
Q2: What are the challenges for businesses in the digital era?
For me the two key area are:
- lack of IT skills
- culture of change and failure
As general principle, the biggest challenge is skills transformation. Moving from a cost management business model of today to a core business activity requires new skills to be added. Its not enough to spend 5 weeks in a classroom plus 5 weeks of self study to become a vendor professional.
People who want to call themselves professionals must have more skills than the ability to operate a vendor product, be narrowly focussed on a specific area.