‘Change’ Is at the Heart of Real Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a buzzy term, but accurate in describing the tremendous change organizations are experiencing. We are all shopping, banking, and keeping in touch with friends and family using digital applications. To stay relevant, companies, governments, and service organizations have had to embrace this transformation in the way they interact with customers, citizens, and employees.

In my many conversations about security—whether with Fortune 500 brands or regional universities—there is one idea that is consistently shared as the most important (and often the hardest) part of this transformation. It’s not deciding on a certain vendor or deploying new technology: It’s change—getting people to think differently and change the way they work.

Tech innovator and entrepreneur, Salim Ismail, has said that if you try to do something disruptive, the immune system of the organization will attack you. Organizations are structured to work in very specific ways. Once they are established, changing an existing process or mindset is a challenge.

But disruption is here, make no mistake. And as data and applications move to the cloud, IT team boundaries are blurring. The silos that they have previously worked in are inevitably coming down, and bridging gaps is more important than ever. Here are some of the ways our customers are addressing this:

  • Talking to other companies in similar situations
    For many organizations, understanding that large businesses are facing the same challenges as they migrate to the cloud is helpful and validating. One recommendation is to schedule an hour each month with a peer or peer group to share ideas and best practices.
  • Spending more time on cloud education and learning
    There is a need to change the way IT teams view the cloud. Investing ample time here helps ensure that teams have a shared baseline understanding and similar mindset before beginning any project. Making sure team members get training on best practices for developing, deploying, and securing cloud applications is a great start.
  • Bringing key players together into one agile team
    Organizations might have different names for “agile teams” and operating models for how to bring members out of their silos. Regardless of what these teams are called or how they come together, it’s clear that a unified team with clear objectives and defined responsibilities makes the transformation journey easier. Interactive workshops with stakeholders across IT functions can help define new processes that will work for the whole team.

While resistance to change is inevitable, companies that manage change effectively are the ones that will come out on top.