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Alois is the Vice President and Chief Technology Strategist at Dynatrace. With years of expertise in application performance management, technology alliances, SaaS and product management, Alois is a passionate evangelist for Dynatrace technology, services and solutions. He specializes in enabling early-stage product innovation, business validation of new technology solutions and strategizing with application architects, engineers and customers.
Businesses have long understood the need for digital transformation, even if it hasn’t been a top priority for many. For a number of these organizations, it’s just been easier to not digitally transform; now, that’s no longer the case. Over the last several months, many organizations have had to learn the hard way that their current state of digitization falls short of meeting the standards of the “new normal.” For example, perhaps they’ve endured service disruptions, sluggish loading speeds and user experiences that just weren’t working for users.
Almost all of our daily activities have now moved online. Digital services must keep up. This doesn’t just mean building new digital services, but also ensuring that the delivery and quality of those services can meet the needs of the new normal. Not just to better weather unexpected spikes in activity, but to open new revenue streams, manage customer relationships and support reliable user experiences across our new normal.
If you’re not yet convinced, here are three reasons why digital transformation in the new normal is essential.
1. Maintaining Business Continuity
Business continuity today means moving services online and doing it quickly. As many organizations have been forced to learn lately, having a website is not the same thing as having a digital presence. Ensuring continual uptime and strong user experiences mean leveraging new tools or achieving advanced observability across their technology stacks.
Digital transformation is all about changing the way an organization works to implement these tools, processes and full-stack observability, to ensure they’re meeting today’s business and customer needs, and laying the groundwork for future needs.
The ones who were ready for this status quo change had already anticipated — months and years ago — how mounting cloud environment complexity was going to collide with their ability to maintain productivity, meet user demands, keep up with competitors and innovate faster. They responded accordingly, by automating operations and delivery with AI-assistance, opening up end-to-end visibility across their technology stack, and eliminating silos to create collaborative BizDevOps environments that tie together IT innovations with clear business outcomes. And now the organizations who did that work are taking customers away from the ones who didn’t.
2. Identifying Bottlenecks and Optimizing Performance
This is the kind of urgent work that organizations need to do not just to digitally transform, but thrive as truly digital businesses. Without digital transformation, IT runs into the same old pitfalls: work piles up, you have too much on your plate, stress builds, and the work either doesn’t get done or it ends up taking priority over more interesting, innovative projects you could otherwise be doing.
Digitally transforming around continuous automation, AI-assistance and DevOps create a new model for, among other things, improving the way your teams work. Where are the bottlenecks in your system? What are the deficiencies that people have had to compensate for over the years? What are the bits and pieces that you really don’t have to do? When you introduce continuous automation into the equation, you can more easily identify those bottlenecks, eliminate the waste in your workflows and automate the work you don’t need to be doing manually.
Running a business and maintaining business continuity means spending time on valuable activity that directly impacts the users consuming your services. That includes both customers and employees. If there are performance bottlenecks or disproportionate levels of resources being put toward something with no positive impact on your users, then digitally transforming and automating will help weed them out.
3. Creating Valuable User Experiences
Creating exceptional user experiences has never been more imperative than now. Customers have really high expectations. They don’t care whether the service you have to offer is in its first iteration or 20th; they expect it to be as good as every similar service out there. When it isn’t — if it’s lagging, buggy, crashing, or not processing their actions — that can turn them off your brand and into the arms of a competitor, for good.
AI-assistance and full-stack observability provide the insights and mechanisms needed for understanding whether your processes are working for users or not, and then automatically remediate those problems before they can impact the end user. All of this adds up to create a reliably valuable digital user experience. Ultimately, that’s what drives your customers to choose your service over a competitor’s, rather than the opposite.
Digital Transformation Roadmap
Thinking about the scope of work that goes into digitally transforming can be very overwhelming. I always recommend starting by plotting your priorities out on an Eisenhower Matrix: a four-quadrant graph that breaks down what is most and least important, most and least urgent, and the overlaps between these categories.
By plotting your projects and responsibilities along these two axes, you can more clearly assess your priorities for what needs continuous automation and digital transformation, and how soon. Do users have a problem with a service right now? If they don’t, should we even touch it? If something isn’t an essential service, do we need to bother with it? Those are the questions that an Eisenhower Matrix can help guide you through in mapping out your digital transformation.
At the end of the day, digitizing your business can’t be done in a vacuum; any digital transformation, especially now, has to go hand-in-hand with a customer-focused observability strategy that puts the user experience at the heart of any modern IT team’s work. Only by digitally transforming — standing up AI-assistance, proactive full-stack monitoring and collaborative BizDevOps teams that are all working to create better user experiences and business outcomes — can you truly scale up the scope, quality and delivery of your digital services and provide the robust user experiences that meet the needs of the new normal.
Feature image via Pixabay.
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