Digital Transformation and the Competitive Edge

Last week, we started a new, short-form, interactive webinar series focused on digital transformation, measuring success, and quantifying DevOps outcomes. This series is less technical than our typical Chef webinars and takes a closer look at strategy, the rationale behind driving transformation initiatives, and specific milestones that are useful in setting direction.

In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of the first episode, “Digital Transformation and the Competitive Edge,” down below. In that episode, we asked our live audience several questions and I’d like to share some of those results with you now.

Defining Successful Transformation

88% of our live audience indicated they’d already started undergoing a DevOps transformation initiative. One of my motivations in presenting this series is to course-correct some of what I’ve seen across the IT industry when it comes to defining successful transformation.

I like data. That means I try not to argue a point before seeing any relevant data. Once we see data, we can then argue about what that data means. Forming strong opinions or committing to firm directions without having any data to base those on is, at best, reckless, or at worst, optimizing for the amount of damage you can inflict. It’s not always possible to get the right data before you start new initiatives – sometimes it simply doesn’t exist. But once there’s data, it should be imperative to revisit old decisions in that new context to ensure you’re actually on the right track. Luckily, when it comes to DevOps patterns, we’re now at a place where the practice is mature enough to have objective data available to inform our decisions.

An example of that course correction is setting objective expectations. At the start of our webinar, about 1 in 4 participants ranked their IT organization as being in the ‘high-performing’ category. Once we started looking at industry metrics, that perception shifted with about 1 in 2 participants ranking their organizations as ‘medium-performing’. By the time we’d covered all of our measurable outcomes, we had an even split between ‘low’ and ‘medium’ performers with zero participants ranking themselves in the ‘high-performing’ category. Only by knowing where we really stand can we determine where we need to go next.

Focusing Your Efforts

When we’re spending our day-to-day deep in the trenches, it’s difficult to know if we’re really making progress. It’s easy to become focused on the tactical. Refocusing on strategy requires pulling back a bit to get an objective big picture view. It’s my hope that this series helps participants gain a bit of perspective that can be used to more finely tune the transformation initiatives most of us are already undertaking. We’re doing this in short, 30-minute segments to explore the problem space, and then discuss the questions most relevant to you.

The next installment of our series focuses on those pesky risk prevention measures that typically slow us down. Counterintuitively, the best way to increase speed and outperform is to focus on–and beef up–the way you mitigate risk. Join the series and let’s figure out how that applies to you.  Register for the next three episodes.

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George Miranda

Former Chef Employee