strategic IT insights from the week

Strategic Insights: Leading Your Transformation

November 16, 2020

Strategic Insights: Leading Your Transformation

Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.  This week we shared articles across our social media talking about Leading Your Transformation.

Digital transformation may feel like the finish line, but it’s really the starting block. 

Digital Transformation is the start; the goal is to operate at a level of digital excellence.  The level of digital excellence your organization achieves is directly related to how well you manage these three best practices:

1. Embrace legacy technologies

2. Operationalize privacy compliance for your content

3. Establish data trust.

If you have embraced your digital transformation, you are already ahead of many.  The forward thinking approach is to now focus your corporate energy on digital excellence.

SOURCE: FORBES

Only 40% of people think they have the right technology to work as fast as the business wants them to.  A strong Technology Roadmap will bridge the gap.  

Canadian companies have finally embraced the phrase Digital Transformation.  Canada, once seen as Laggards in the adoption of corporate digital strategies, is now reporting that 8-10 businesses were either evaluating in the midst of adoption, or already considered themselves as leaders in digital strategy and execution.

What may be holding your organization back from making the commitment to a digital strategy?  HR Reporter suggests these roadblocks may need to addressed:

Lack of skills is a real challenge.  Many organizations are unsure if they even have the right in house digital skills to transform; and even more organizations are unsure how to leverage outside support with their in-house expertise.

Retention and embracing from the C-Suite.  If the digital transformation lives within the IT department and remains IT’s problem to solve, the entire organization will fail to adopt this transformation.  These shifts must be embraced from the top down.

SOURCE: HR REPORTER

Resist the temptation for the coolest tools.  Focus instead on the right planning and preparation to support the business throughout your transformation.

If your organization is starting to consider a digital transformation strategy for 2021, STOP.  First you need to answer these three questions:

1. Is there a Chief Digital Officer?
2. Should there be a Digitalization Team to lead changes?
3. What key structures are most in need of changes?

The first steps towards executing your digital strategy can be stressful, but having these key elements in place will help ensure your organization has a digital champion, a team of motivated individuals to lead the culture shift, and a clear priorities list of what to tackle first.

SOURCE: MSN

Disruptive forces continue to impact businesses.  Digital Leadership is an articulated response; extending organizational capabilities for business growth.

The IDC released their FutureScape report which includes the top worldwide IT predictions for 2021.  Of course, COVID-19 has reshaped the IT industry, and these predictions from the IDC report give a glimpse into not only next year, but the next few years to come.  Here are just a few of the top IT industry predictions:

1. Edge Becomes a Top Priority
2. Development of the Intelligent Digital Workspace
3. Resiliency is Central to the Next Normal
4. A shift towards Autonomous IT Operations
5. People Still Matter

The IDC released this report accompanied by links to a complete webinar series diving deeper into each IT trend predicted for 2021.

SOURCE: IDC

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strategic IT insights from the week

Strategic Insights: Transformation Security & Risks

November 9, 2020

Strategic Insights: Transformation Security & Risks

Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.  This week we shared articles across our social media talking about Transformation Security & Risks.

Digital transformation requires bold leadership that is committed to change. Here are 5 solutions to implement now.

Digital Leadership means enabling the business to modernize systems to better meet customer and supplier demand.  Entrepreneur says if you’re serious about creating and executing a digital transformation strategy, these are the five solutions that must be on your roadmap:

1. Cloud Storage Solutions

2. Collaboration and Communication Tools

3. Remote Project Management

4. Cybersecurity Solutions

5. CRM Solutions

No matter which of these solutions you prioritize and ultimately deploy, Entrepreneur encourages your organization to Embrace the Journey.  It’s a valuable opportunity to view your business operations through a new lens.

SOURCE: ENTREPRENEUR

Operational Security needs to protect financial data.  Here’s how to discuss it in the Boardroom.  

Remote work also applies to an organization’s finance team.  When sensitive data is accessed from remote locations, the risks of cybersecurity breaches increase exponentially.  Corporate, customer, and supplier financial data are at greater risk of exposure.  Alexander Bant, Practice Vice President of Gartner says “CFO’s especially need to collaborate with both IT and risk managers to make sure new cybersecurity risks stemming from the adoption of remote work don’t outpace the policies designed to protect vulnerable data.”  Gartner created the following Cybersecurity Checklist for CFOs:

Step 1: Realize – find out where your financial vulnerabilities lie.

Step 2: Respond – create an action plan and prioritize action items.

Step 3: Review – set policies for regular check-ins on the health of the security measures in place.

More info on the checklist can be found at the link below.

SOURCE: GARTNER

While embracing Industry 4.0, manufacturers face data breach and security risks across the organization.

Could the threat of cyber crime really upend Industry 4.0 before it ever fully impacts the manufacturing industry? Forbes says to beware of the lurking risks when converging IT and OT. Here are four key factors for mitigating risk for the hyperconnected:

1. Strategy

2. Visibility

3. Process

4. Advanced Technology

5. Defending the Edge

The article says “For industry 4.0 to successfully deliver on its promise of unprecedented efficiency and creating new markets and demands, cybersecurity cannot be relegated to an afterthought.” Forbes recommends weighing business risks against rewards in each of the above areas with respect to cyber planning.

SOURCE: FORBES

Continually adapting to shifting priorities is a real threat to the mental well-being of employees. It’s called change fatigue.

Change Fatigue is the back-breaker for employee motivation and drive to a successful digital transformation. By now you know full well, Digital Transformation starts with PEOPLE, not the technology. The people need to be the ones who drive the change, who value the change, and who see the most impactful benefits of your transformation. Enterprise Project offers these three tips to keep your people engaged and motivated in your transformation:

1. Speak openly about the change

2. Align your organization to the right priorities through goal setting

3. Check in with your team

The bottom line? Communication is Key. Change fatigue may be unavoidable, so it’s best to be transparent and open about the goals and the progress of your organizations transformation initiatives.

SOURCE: ENTERPRISE PROJECT

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strategic IT insights from the week

Strategic Insights: Transformation Trends

November 2, 2020

Strategic Insights: Transformation Trends

Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.  This week we shared articles across our social media talking about Digital Transformation.

When it comes to digital transformation, where will 2021 take us? Forbes predicts the Top 10 Trends to consider.

According to Forbes, the last six months alone have produced more digital transformation than the last decade.  No one could have predicted the way 2020 has unfolded; but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still try to plan for 2021 and beyond.  Here are the top trends Forbes predicts for next year:

5G will finally go mainstream

Customer Data Platforms explosion

Hybrid cloud as the winning enterprise architecture, re-strategizing cybersecurity

Work from home outlasts Covid-19

AI Democratized at scale

Above are just the highlights, the full list can be found by clicking the source link below.  Which priorities are at the top of your organization’s list for 2021?

SOURCE: FORBES

70% of CEOs said the pandemic has accelerated their digital investments. Is your C-Suite fostering digital transformation? 

Digital Transformation isn’t something that is planned, executed, and completed.  It’s an element that successful organizations will need to continuously manage and monitor.  To truly foster Digital Transformation, Enterprise Project says there are three hard truths to consider:

1. If you don’t’ disrupt yourself, someone else will!
2. It’s not about an IT strategy; its leveraging continuously evolving technology to change your entire business.
3. It requires massive shifts in culture, operations, and people.

The article also says “Digital transformation can spell the difference between a company’s longevity and its demise.” and we couldn’t agree more. With pressures from supply chain, customers, and competitors, this difficult path will be a path worth taking.

SOURCE: ENTERPRISE PROJECT

Manufacturing is driving digital transformation by understanding key concerns and ultimately leveraging their ecosystem – and its working! 

Industry Week highlighted two of the key areas Manufacturing is improving with Digital Transformation efforts:

Understanding Key Concerns

Leveraging the Ecosystem

The key concerns remain the same regardless of any trendy transformation term; manage ops, keep a close eye on supply and demand, and achieve profitability goals.  It’s not all doom and gloom, however.  There are many organizations accelerating their transformation and they’re winning by reaching outside their organization to deliberately connect with vendors and service providers.

SOURCE: INDUSTRY WEEK

True digital transformation is based on the full adoption of these three elements:

One of the many strategic vendor partnerships we leverage is our relationship with Red Hat.  Aside from unparalleled services, Red Hat also provides industry insights and reporting data that help clients like you navigate the road ahead.  This resource, in particular, exists to help you Rethink Digital Transformation.  Red Hat urges you to consider these three elements:

Culture Change

Process Modernization

Technology for Business Use

Click the link below for access to the full report.

SOURCE: RED HAT

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strategic IT insights from the week

Strategic Insights: Digital Transformation

October 19, 2020

Strategic Insights: Digital Transformation

Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.  This week we shared articles across our social media talking about Digital Transformation.

Businesses of all sizes have been forced to reassess their digital transformation plans.

Many organizations have weathered the initial storm that is COVID-19.  They have found a way to mobilize, shift their business offering, and reprioritize their budgets to empower their workforce.  However, a fast deployment doesn’t always mean a secure or carefully crafted execution.  Here are three areas to watch out for that may cause security and compliance challenges:

1. Excessive Access Privileges

2. Misconfigurations

3. Manual Processes

Tips to review and plan ahead can be found in their article.

SOURCE: INFO SECURITY MAGAZINE

With each new level of automation, communication and connectivity challenges increase. A managed infrastructure mitigates these concerns in Ops. 

There are five distinct levels of automation inside of manufacturing.  With each level there is an increased demand and reliance on secure connectivity that is always-on.  Moreover, automation empowers real time data and analytics, which requires a robust connection to handle the flow of information.  Cisco defines these as the five levels of Manufacturing Automation:

Operation Assistance

Partial Automation

End to End Automation

Remote Automation

Autonomous Automation

What level is your organization?  What level do you aspire to?  How will you get there?  We have IT Roadmap framework that will help build the plan.

SOURCE: CISCO

With a renewed focus to empower work, the workforce, and the workplace, organizations face IT complexity, security risk, and efficiency challenges. 

Deloitte shed light on the future of cloud-enabled work infrastructure based on acceleration rates of cloud adoption as a response to COVID-19.  The pandemic has created a footprint for cloud strategy planning moving forward.  There is an increased sense of urgency for migration, security, and Ops planning.

However, as organizations respond and recover, the focus needs to shift once again to manage IT complexity, security risk, and operational efficiency.  How do you adopt this same strategy?  Deloitte recommends you consider these three pillars in developing your approach:

Define the business challenge

Define technology and operational barriers

Develop your technology solution approach

Prioritize based on immediate value.  The time to reap the rewards is now.

SOURCE: DELOITTE

Organizational issues created by Covid-19 suggest more businesses should closely examine their tech strategy. 

Are you in the race to replace legacy systems for greater agility?  Amazon’s Jeff Bezos famously said: “There is no alternative to digital transformation.  Visionary companies will carve out new strategic options for themselves – those that don’t adapt will fail.”  Technology can no longer be seen as the remedy for panic situations.  Investments should be made where tech and infrastructure can have an immediate impact on efficiency and resilience.

Who is leading the change in your organization?  Digital leadership is shaping up from various seats in the boardroom; CFOs, COOs and even CEOs are leading the change.  They are leaning on CIOs, CDOs, CTOs, and IT Directors to facilitate these changes with the right technology partner.

SOURCE: IT PORTAL

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strategic IT insights from the week

Strategic Insights: Digital Leadership

October 15, 2020

Strategic Insights: Digital Leadership

Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.  This week we shared articles across our social media talking about Digital Leadership.

The Pandemic Effect: which crisis response scenario best describes your organization?

ZDNet succinctly describes four crisis-response scenarios that organizations fell under when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  They report that the London School of Economics believes organizations, either knowingly or unknowingly, fall under one of the following categories:

Sweat the Assets

Underpin Today’s Business

Slow the Strategy

Adapt Strategy and Build Resilience

What does this have to do with IT infrastructure?  Well, those classified as “winners” noted Digital Transformation as a key contributing factor.

SOURCE: ZDNET

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Forbes says Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast. 

According to Forbes, an Orchestrator is highly recommended for the successful rollout of digital transformation efforts.  The orchestrator can be an outside organization, specifically contracted for deployment.  The orchestrator keeps a watchful eye on the culture, and assist in assessing the integration of new and legacy technologies.

SOURCE: FORBES

With the volatile demand cycles of 2020, how prepared are you for IT/OT convergence?

The demand for IT/OT convergence will continue to grow.  As does the need for control, legacy performance, and security.  The Manufacturer asks key questions to determine your organization’s readiness for optimal convergence.

SOURCE: THE MANUFACTURER

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