My old-school football passion in the new digital frontier

By Charlie Latch

November has become my very favorite month of the year. Why? Well, I love American college football, and November is when the season is about 10 games in – meaning the lineup of playoff candidates begins to emerge and I see how my teams are faring on the gridiron.  In the last two years, November is even more important, as the College Football Committee rankings first begin to appear in mid-November, providing the first real glimpse at the playoff landscape.    

All of that seems pretty old-school, right?  I thought so too – until I stopped to consider a recent experience that put me front and center with the reality of the digital revolution – a revolution that we know is transforming how we work, but is also fundamentally changing how we live.  

world in Beta.png

Really?  Has digital really come that far?  Consider my experience.

While driving to College Station, Texas, for the Alabama-Texas A&M football game last month, I was tethered to my phone for alerts on the Baylor-West Virginia game already underway.  (Baylor and Bama are my teams, by the way.)  My tickets for the Bama game – that I purchased on my phone via StubHub while sitting at the Bama vs. Ole-Miss game a few weeks earlier – were safely on my phone and Waze was directing me around the traffic to get to the stadium in time for kickoff.

I was not the least bit worried about meeting friends, as the "Find my Friends" app let me pinpoint them… and thanks to OpenTable, I was able to secure a table for dinner after the game.  At the convenience store, my ApplePay app let me breeze through checkout with my snacks, and I was breezing along.  While sitting in the stadium, before the Bama game had even begun, I saw Baylor’s huge victory, decided that I simply must be at the Baylor-TCU game later in the month, polled my family and friends to see who was “in” and purchased tickets.  By the end of the Bama game (another huge victory), it was also clear to me that the Bama-LSU game was going to be one the of the “must see” games, and did the same planning for that weekend.  

All of this from the palm of my hand – and all while I was not even remotely close to home or my PC.  For any of that to have happened even five short years ago would be impossible.  Yes, the Digital Revolution HAS transformed my football experience – and through that, my life.  And you know, I take it for granted that it just works – without regard for the systems making it all come together to deliver for me.    

Winning in Digital: A Megatrend shaping the 21st century
Clearly, the Digital Revolution is transforming how we work and how we live.  It’s one of the megatrends that will shape our world in the 21st century.  This new reality is ushering in a new business landscape where competitive advantage is transient, as companies have to continually evolve strategies - experimenting and learning, identifying new opportunities, and exploiting them – fast – before moving on.  That means business has to be more agile than ever before, with a relentless focus on innovation.  That’s why we now talk about our world being “in beta”.  By its very definition, beta means testing a solution in the final stages of development, before release.  But in today’s reality, beta is no longer a stage in the development process, it’s a state of our solutions.  Consumers demand we push out capabilities fast and test them as we use them, evolving and improving along the way.  From this point on, our world will continually be in beta.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and PwC are working together to exploit the “World in Beta,” in particular the impact of digital natives and how digital customer experience has become mandatory for all organizations. Whether your interest is in backend transformation, agile methodologies, forming a digital strategy or simply satisfying your customers, there is something for you to be gained from the work HPE and PwC are doing together.

Two Realities
All of this convenience and real-time engagement are wonderful for us as consumers.  But the reality of the impact it represents for business is even farther reaching.  In the very recent history, we have witnessed two new realities:

  1. Unprecedented amounts of technology are now in the hands of the customer, and with that technology comes a new power, and the ability and willingness to use it.  How will your organization respond?
  2. The number of people who have grown up digital is now outnumbering those who’ve had to adapt to it.  And, this new digital consumer – like me in my football experience – is running their life (and relying on) their smart devices -- on the move, connecting in real time and expecting organizations they work for, buy from, and interact with to be able do the same.  Expectations are off the chart.

Net, you no longer need a digital strategy, you need a business strategy for a digital age.  Join HPE and PwC at HPE Discover to learn how you can exploit the potential of digital -- to transform both what you do and how you do it. Come to session T6691, The world is in beta: strategies for the digital age.  If you can’t make it to the event, no problem. Check out

Stay informed:
Join the Alliances LinkedIn Group
Follow us @HPE_Alliances and @HPE_AllianceOne
Read the latest HPE Alliances Blogs


0 Kudos
About the Author


HPE Alliance Partners