6 tips to plan your digital transformation

Everyone’s talking about digital transformation, but it’s often unclear how to get there. It can be a huge challenge to get off legacy systems, not to mention reimagine the way your employees do their jobs. So the first place to start is with a plan. We’ve often found that helping our clients with this plan can take as much or more time as the transformation itself.

Per a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, more than 50% of companies don’t yet have a documented plan for their digital transformation. Gartner says it’s because companies often struggle with the complexity of this plan. Leaders tend to want to “define a comprehensive strategy that covers all cloud adoption.” Instead, you think of it as more of a playbook.

You can’t merely say “we’re moving everything to the cloud.” That’s too broad, and some applications might not end up being a good fit in the cloud. Instead, say “here’s how we’ll decide what we’ll we transform—and what we won’t.” In other words, you put together a decision framework, a set of rules to guide you in making decisions.

Other suggestions for your transformation playbook:

  • Think cloud first. Plan to move your applications to the cloud, unless there’s a compelling reason not to. Keeping applications in a private cloud or a data center should be the exception, not the norm.
  • List your reasons. Make a list of your specific reasons for moving applications to the cloud. Do you want to save cost? Speed processes? Delight customers?
  • Understand the risks. Common cloud concerns tend to be security and cost. But cloud security has taken huge strides forward in the past couple of years. If you discounted the cloud in earlier days, it’s time to take a second look.

Create a decision framework. This is a list of steps and questions you can use to decide which applications to move to the cloud—and why. Use a quadrant matrix to help you weigh the benefits vs. risks.

Dedicate a cloud architect. There should be at least one person in your company who can focus on getting you on the cloud. This person can help you put together your cloud playbook, can drive decisions about which applications go where, and can stay up to date on ever-evolving cloud trends.

And we at Binary Tree would tack on one more bullet point:

  • Find a partner. Also per the Harvard study, digital leaders tend to collaborate closely with trusted partners. They bring in companies who can cultivate a deep understanding of their business and help them get to the next digital level. So we suggest that you engage a vendor like Binary Tree to plan, move, and manage your transformation. By partnering with someone who does this for a living, it frees you up to focus on the “softer” side of your transformation. Namely, how your people and processes will adapt to the new technology.