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Don’t Make Your Digital Transformation Like Open Heart Surgery: 4 Ways to Simplify the DX Process

How many times have you heard, “invasive surgery will only cause more damage to the injury?” – Doctors tend to avoid surgery when necessary, and as organizations look to modernize, the digital transformation process (DX) should be viewed the same way. According to our 2020 Digital Transformation Report, 90% of organizations believe that DX is their top priority, yet almost half of respondents (46%) have not begun or are in the early stages of their transformation process. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to reprioritize and expedite digital technology and transformation, it’s important for leaders to efficiently navigate the process, without damaging the effective tools already being used in the broader business.

When you perform open-heart surgery, you put the body into a suspended state, you rip apart essential parts of the body, replace things, and then try and stitch it all together. A tough recovery period follows, where you hope to see success and recovery. Similarly, during COVID-19 businesses were pressured to rapidly adjust their company strategies to quickly integrate tools and technologies to digitally transform. However, this can sometimes mean tools that actually enhance the business are removed for the sake of rapid change.  

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It comes as no surprise that in hospitals today endoscopic operations are getting more attention and growing in popularity. Doctors use small incisions to solve the issue at hand and make adjustments without damaging the surrounding areas. The tools behind endoscopic procedures utilize innovative technology seamlessly and efficiently – removing the problem whilst still protecting everything that works. 

Business leaders should consider this approach when beginning their DX strategy and implement tools and approaches that solve the digital problem without sacrificing effective tools already in use. Four ways to simplify your DX strategy include:

Refactor Instead of Replace with New DX Process

The way to achieve effective transformation with low drama and little difficulty is to use the concept of “refactoring.” Refactoring is a known concept in software development but is unfortunately not regularly applied at the enterprise level. Business leaders often think it is much easier to replace and use the lift-and-shift model instead of developing a strategy to transform an existing system into something better. Using this approach means businesses can transform while they run – and each refactor step can be tested and put into production as soon as it is ready, instead of waiting for the entire replace project to be finalized. Additionally, you avoid the big switch over day where your entire organization is at risk if it fails. Although it may initially seem difficult and take longer to reach the final transformation state, the benefits of refactoring have proven successful in the long-term.

Produce Incremental Results 

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It’s essential that teams prove the impact that each step of the digital transformation journey has on the bigger business strategy. Leaders want to see results and providing both qualitative and quantitative data in no more than three months cycles is essential. A few ways teams can measure their DX journey include order to cash, customer retention, employee satisfaction, higher productivity, and cost of production.

Integrate DevOps Into the Bigger Business Strategy

DevOps teams should be involved in the bigger business strategy to effectively support every stage in the digital transformation process. Many organizations are in the process of upgrading their agile development to embrace DevOps, but if agile teams are not involved in the business strategy, all organizations often get is irrelevant fixes and isolated applications faster. It is important that at least one person on the team comprehends the enterprise architecture. The mutual understanding of both the specifics of the DX and larger business goals will result in a digital transformation process supported by all elements of the company. 

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Establish a Digital Factory 

The digital factory is a well-integrated set of tools that supports teams in planning, building, delivering and running its value streams. Establishing a digital factory helps businesses streamline the DX process and better integrate new tools and technologies as companies move towards digitization. The digital factory lets DevOps teams concentrate on solving business problems and the factory team continuously improves the fabric that make the DevOps team efficient.

While surgery can be scary, utilizing the right tools and technologies help reduce the complexity and yield successful outcomes. Often leaders see digital transformation as complicated and confusing, however, embracing a simple approach ensures that the transformation process does not unnecessarily remove or damage effective processes or technologies. As leaders continue to search for better ways to navigate the pandemic, it’s essential they streamline DX operations and focus on overall efficiency. 

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