Digital transformation is the latest big deal. While there have been many “next big things” over the last two decades, this one is different. It has the potential to fundamentally change things for IT and business alike. Made up largely of what has come to be known as SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud), this transformation is less about the underlying technology and more about changes in the way we work and interact.
Digital transformation can touch every corner of a business and the IT environment. It’s a lot to invest in all at once. An incremental approach makes the most sense, but with business demand and a high sense of urgency at play, there often isn’t time to be strategic. It doesn’t take long before project silos result in a new portfolio of incompatible processes, information, solutions, and infrastructure. And that is on top of the less-than-optimal portfolio many already had. Having a vision for the end game, an appreciation for the breadth of change, and insight on how much to do and when to do it provides coordination and sanity to the journey. That’s a role for enterprise architecture.
In this A&G, our contributing authors offer a few of their perspectives on the issues surrounding transformation. First up, Jan Gravesen emphasizes the need to make enterprise architecture strategic. He looks at strategy processes through the years and describes how they each drive differing forms of EA. Ron Ross reveals his imaginary “why button,” a way to think about how business rules help us make sense of day-to-day business operations.
Karen Tegan Padir looks at cloud computing from the business consumer perspective and suggests that businesses must take care to understand and address lock-in. And finally, Chris Curran, our guest blogger this issue, offers his thoughts on the context for evaluating emerging and disruptive technology.
We’d also like to encourage our readers curious about digital transformation to attend Forrester’s “Unleash Your Digital Business” event. Thanks again for being an A&G reader!