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iSpeak Cloud: Embracing Digital Transformation Incorporates insight from IT Experts


Guest post by Jeanne Morain

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I am proud to announce the publication of my second book in the series, iSpeak™ Cloud: Embracing Digital Transformation. Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, this book defines the drivers behind digital transformation and describes the five phases for developing a cohesive transformation strategy with cloud at the epicenter. Cloud is where the rubber meets the road. Whether you’re talking about business, technology, Internet of Things or mobile devices, everyone wants the same thing: universal clients. When I was at VMware, we defined universal clients as the ability for applications and data to follow the user regardless of connectivity, infrastructure or device.  This desire to consume technology by digital natives/immigrants combined with a lack of cohesive strategy to address it as a company, has led to the evolution of everything-as-a-service applications and the pervasive use of shadow IT. 

 The book provides insight into the issues associated with implementing a hybrid cloud center of excellence and delves into some of the major shifts in thinking that organizations must go through, including:

  • IT must transition from the role of service provider to the role of trusted advisor involved at the inception of business decisions that involve the implementation and use of technology.
  • IT must reinvent roles, shifting from reactive to proactive planning.
  • All technology spend must span the lifecycle of the service and tie to either savings or ROI that boosts the bottom line.
  • Every company must embrace compliance by design to address the growing conflicts around security, compliance and business agility.
  • Every company needs to slow down, create a cross-functional cloud governance board and establish policies and enforcement mechanisms.
  • All companies must create a framework similar to Apple iTunes that provides guardrails, need to know information, and automation as part of their digital enterprise strategies or at least as part of their DevOps strategies.
  • Every company must move to a service lifecycle business case based on cost of goods sold for each solution to enable accurate comparison of workloads and their value to the business.

The five-phase process enables companies to balance the toughest transformation challenges they face: people and process.  iSpeak Cloud: Embracing Digital Transformation defines the core of digital transformation as well as the insatiable demand for multimodal technology streams by today’s increasingly digital-savvy consumers and employees, including the growing number of digital natives in the workforce who have never known a world without technology. Get your copy of iSpeak Cloud: Embracing Digital Transformation here here or my other books on 

 Background:  What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the latest of a series of paradigm shifts within IT with the Cloud at the epicenter.  Many companies have implemented cloud computing based on siloed initiatives versus a cohesive strategy. As a result, they are hitting sprawl and initiative stall from Big Data, to Internet of Things, the Client to the everything-as-a-service and in between.  It is time for companies to take a step back and reevaluate their overall IT and cloud computing strategy in order to successfully transform for the Digital Age.

 During my research for iSpeak Cloud: Embracing Digital Transformation, I asked 57 IT leaders for their definitions of the term digital transformation. I received 57 different answers.  The answers varied based on role, position, experience, and personal preference.  Some people I interviewed found the term confusing and indicated that, like cloud, Kleenex®, and Coke®, the term digital transformation is overused.  Many interviewees said they are more confused and more concerned about navigating the transformation from a people perspective than from a technology perspective. Even though there are a lot of experts providing a lot of information on the why organizations need to transform themselves, most of the advice centers around technology.  There is very little prescriptive guidance on the how from a people process perspective. 

A GPS for the transformation journey

As a human performance technologist by training and strategist by trade, I realize that companies need a map, or a sort of global positioning system to enable them to plot their journey to transformation based on the unique needs of their business.  By taking a “people in” approach versus “technology out”, I have been fortunate enough to be an instrumental player in defining major markets and best practices around Information Technology.  Every nascent market – is just that – new.  As a result, these new markets often lack the qualitative guidance and empirical data to enable technology and business leaders to successfully navigate new territory.   By the time that data exists, many are left with failed implementations or wasting millions trying to figure it out. 

As mentioned above, HPE is sponsoring this, my fifth book – iSpeak Cloud: Embracing Digital Transformation.    The prescriptive guidance is not only from my experience but also from users for users across a variety of companies that use a variety of technology solutions – not just HPE customers.  It provides readers the map, or GPS, they need to embark upon a successful transformation journey.

Insight from 180 IT Experts providing best practices

In 2012, while leading a major transformation initiative from the customer side, I experienced up close and personal the major disconnect in communication among vendors, consultants, users, business people, technologists, and executives across the sprawl of hybrid solutions.  This disconnect drives costs up and productivity down. What’s worse, it prevents companies from achieving expected returns for their investment in cloud and in digital transformation efforts. 

As a result, I decided to write the iSpeak Cloud series. My research includes interviews with more than 180 people in the trenches. The interviews weren’t just empirical surveys. They were qualitative discussions lasting at least one hour and some of them up to six hours. These discussions provide rich insight into the current state of digital transformation. They also validate my perceptions of what works and what doesn’t based on my experience. Their insights can help us all reduce the pain, costs, and complexity of crossing the cloud chasm and becoming a digital enterprise. 

The first book, iSpeak Cloud: Crossing the Cloud Chasm, was published in 2014. It is written in a movie script format to simulate the interactions that occur within teams that are tasked with implementing hybrid cloud to support digital transformation. It’s filled with insights and perspectives that came out of the interviews with people across different organizational types and industries. It demonstrates how these people guided their organizations in closing the communication gap that creates the chasm.  

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And check out our monthly iSpeak Cloud broadcast featuring special guests and industry luminaries. Join us the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 AM Pacific Time at (






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About the Author


HPE Software Product Marketing. Over 20 years in network and systems management.