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The Impact of Digital Disruption on Organizational Models: 5 Key Learnings

Parvesh_Sethi

In the past few years we have seen many examples of how digitization has disrupted nearly every industry and has forced enterprises to rethink their business models. Just think of the way we now consume music and movies, book our travel, or do our banking.

As digitization continues to transform the business landscape, enterprises are facing multiple challenges including the need to move faster, be more nimble, and adapt quickly to market demands. Many are competing with smaller, more flexible companies that have leveraged modern technologies.

In order to effectively compete in markets where digital disruption has become the norm, enterprises need to drastically rethink their organizational models to allow for greater levels of collaboration and support working in a more networked fashion to drive greater empowerment. And they need a breakthrough value proposition to attract new talent and meet the career demands of the younger workforce.

Within HPE we have worked with many companies like Philips, Otto Group or DreamWorks Animation that have set the standard in embracing digitization to transform their businesses, create innovation and strengthen their market positions.HPE20180226068_800_0_72_RGB.jpg

Technology enables transformation

When I speak to customers about their technology and how we can help them transform and solve their business challenges, I often find that there is a significant gap between their desired state and the status quo.  And while most firms want to talk about the gaps in their technology, they quickly come to the realization that, even with the right mix of dedicated hardware and cloud solutions, their organizations need to be moved along to be able to get the real value out of this technology.

There are multiple options and many ways to provide IT capabilities and it does not matter what platform you are on. The key is to choose the right platform for the client’s particular situation.  For many companies a hybrid IT solution is the right approach as firms can combine legacy IT with agile, software-defined cloud solutions and cost-saving consumption-based models, with security built-in from the start. 

One key consideration in making these choices is understanding how the organization will react and ultimately evolve to support this new model. In all of our work with clients, the most common success factor is organizational and cultural change to meet the demands of the new environment.

Learnings from our clients

Here are some of the best practices our clients have adopted as they addressed organizational issues.

1. Set a common framework and taxonomy

We have seen that a critical best practice is to develop or use a framework that can be communicated to all employees so that everyone shares the same understanding, approach, taxonomy, and goals.  Often we work with clients whose different teams do not share the same understanding of the overall objectives of the transformations they are undertaking. Worse still, because different teams have different ways of describing the challenges, neither team can effectively communicate around objectives.  We have seen clients waste more than a year of precious time simply getting their teams to understand and be able to communicate what the company is trying to accomplish.  It is essential to develop a story that multiple teams can easily grasp and understand.

2. Know your people’s skills

In order to be able to assign the right people to the right tasks, you need to have a clear understanding of each employee’s skills. An accurate stock of certified skills has proven highly valuable to many of our clients. That said, a “skills inventory” is just the beginning.

Modern IT environments designed to support digital transformation need multi-dimensional approaches to talent. Expertise in one domain (e.g. networking or storage) is no longer enough. Moving fast requires people who are both deep in one or more technical domains but also broadly skilled across other domains that are relevant to their environment. Further, these people need to have the communication and collaboration skills and traits that make it possible to solve complex, multidimensional challenges in a fast-paced team.

One of the hardest questions to ask yourself as a leader is whether or not your team has what it takes to succeed in the future you are envisioning. Addressing that issue upfront and making sure that the right team is in place is critical to success.HPE Pointnext IT Services.jpg

3. Invest in and commit to ongoing training

The digital evolution also requires employees to become more agile, move away from traditional thinking and take a broader view as IT evolves to be an enabler of business as opposed to just supporting the business.

To support this evolution, and as discussed under “skills” above, IT staff needs to be well-versed in technology from dealing with ubiquitous platforms, understanding multiple technologies and at the same time really need to understand the client’s business to be able to develop the solution that best addresses the client’s needs, improves the client’s business outcomes and be more successful.

This requires employees to continuously develop their IT and business skills and be innovative and creative. And it requires organizations to provide ongoing training, coaching and advice to develop their talents and provide them with the skills they need for the future. This can turn into a virtuous circle of skills development in an economy where knowledge and innovation are more important than ever.

 4. Guide your teams through change

What comes with transformation, is more pressure on the people within the organizations. To help ensure the success of digital transformation, people need to be informed, supported to be ready to take on new tasks and opportunities.

Education Services that include technical training as well as Management of Change prepare people actively and help them through the transformation to adopt and use new technologies and deal with the inherent complexities.

 5. Share a common purpose and values

Organizations that want to attract millennials need to have a clear vision and purpose. According to London Business School experts, today’s talent is attracted to companies whose values match their own.

At HPE we have always taken a collaborative approach working across multiple teams, countries, cultures and organizations. As we are evolving our own company, our culture of innovation and values build our foundation. Everything we do is based on our purpose of creating breakthrough technology solutions that advance the way people live and work. This drives our people to relentlessly innovate to find new ways to add value to our clients’ technology, their business, their workplace and their customers.

What about you?

What have you experienced in your organization that worked particularly well or did not work at all? Looking forward to hearing from you and to continuing the conversation.

Get started with your own transformation. Learn how you can accelerate your business outcomes with services from HPE Pointnext

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Parvesh Sethi
SVP & GM, HPE Pointnext Services
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Parvesh_Sethi

Senior Vice President and General Manager for Global Client Services, HPE Pointnext. Together with his team of experienced, multi-discipline IT experts and consultants, he is providing advisory, professional and operational services to help companies with their digital transformations through Hybrid IT and Intelligent Edge solutions.

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