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Digital Transformation - A journey to escape oblivion!

Level 1

A colleague sent me a quote last week that made me stop and think about what is really happening in the current disrupted business climate we are experiencing. The quote, which was dated 2015, was ‘‘At the current churn rate, 75% of today’s S&P 500 companies will be replaced by 2027!’’ Wow! So, in 12 short years, 375 of the US’s top 500 companies will likely not exist, have been swallowed up, or be a shadow of their former selves. No doubt they will be replaced in this list by a raft of new technological start-ups. Now I don’t mean that they will all be what we may call traditional IT companies, but that they will be businesses that have embraced technology to give them an advantage against their competition. We are talking about the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Uber and the AirBnB’s of this world. 

Optical-fiber-glass_Close-Up.jpgWhat these companies have that is different to traditional companies and business models is that their value is in the data they hold. You can probably trace this back to 18 May 2012. Why that date? Well that is the date when Facebook IPO’d. It was at this point that businesses realised that the value of the data they hold can potentially impact share price.

Therefore, we are seeing traditional companies race as fast as they can to ‘digitise’ their business. It is seen as a great way in which they can stop their businesses from stagnating and ending up as one of the 75% I mentioned at the start of this post. This is no doubt what is keeping many of our customers ‘C’ level execs awake at night.

The fastest verticals to go down this route have included Banking and Retail, with probably Manufacturing being the laggards. This is all about to change though for the latter as Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) starts to enter even this most conservative segment.

However, there is an issue with this rush for traditional businesses to digitise their organisations. The issue is that these projects are simply not working. According to Gartner 85% of all big data projects, designed to help businesses transform and digitise their businesses fail! These projects are simply not bringing the business benefits that the organisation had hoped for. So why are so many of these projects failing?

There are a host of reasons for this, including building too many additional silo’s, poor cloud adoption, lack of support from people internally, neglecting to change governance processes etc. All standard stuff, but this can probably be summed up in one sentence. Businesses who embark on these projects are unfortunately doing so in far to gung-ho approach, without doing any proper planning up front.

As a geographer at heart, simply put, if you are going to go on a journey, first you need to know where you are starting from, secondly you need to know where you are heading to and finally you know the steps needed to get there. It also helps if everyone else on the same journey as you agree on the above plan. This is where Veritas can help. I’ve had many conversations with customers over the past couple of years where we have been talking about Digital Transformation, and that the starting point is knowing what data you must have to begin with. The response inevitably, is along the lines of ‘Phil, I don’t even know where all my storage is in my business, let alone know what data is actually stored within it’! So where should you start?

To start a digital transformation journey, one of the first things the customer needs to understand is what Infrastructure, applications, managed services (including Cloud) and therefore data they currently own. On this last point, Veritas can help customers tremendously with tools like Data Insight and Information Map. So, let’s work out your journey starting point and help you plan a digital transformation that will keep your business from stagnating that inevitably ends up in a very unfortunate statistic. 

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