"Digital transformation" is the term du jour these days, but how do you know if it's the real deal?
Our friends at Amazon Web Services, the transformers of transformers, have a checklist for that. While directed at government agencies, the points are helpful to organizations of all types. "Digital transformation requires strong leadership to drive change, as well as a clear vision," according to the authors of the checklist, Carina Veksler and Doug VanDyke, both with AWS.
Here are their main items for consideration:
- "Communicate a vision for what success looks like.
- Define a clear governance strategy, including the framework for achieving goals and the decision makers responsible for creating them.
- Build a cross-functional team to execute activities that support the strategy and goals.
- Identify technology partners with the expertise to help meet these goals.
- Move to a flexible IT system that supports rapid change.
- "Reorganize staff into smaller teams to empower decision-making.
- Train staff on new policies and best practices.
- Give permission to deviate from traditional rules.
- Build a cloud development environment that exists as a place to play and build confidence with new skills.
- Shift to a short-term planning mindset and continuously iterate on the plan (agile project management).
- Consider hiring consultants to help with initial projects."
- "Adopt the philosophy of a cohesive unit across developers and operations, and quality assurance and security functions.
- Encourage an ownership mindset throughout the entire development and infrastructure lifecycle, irrespective of roles.
- Provide your team with standardized DevOps tools and training.
- Build a unified code repository.
- Add built-in security.
- Perform frequent but small updates to remain agile and make deployment less risky.
- Create an automated solution (drives consistency, regardless of workflow or service)."
- "Create a data-driven metrics system.
- Evaluate improvements and progress toward goals.
- Assess whether the organization is planning and delivering consistently on goals within specified timeframes."
- "Pool limited resources to reduce cost and redundant efforts.
- Evaluate whether incremental changes produce higher-quality results.
- Be specific about how to improve communication."