Transformation – What level of surgery do you need?

idgSurgerytransfA transformation programme is one of the most important and powerful opportunities you can undertake to change the purpose and strategic direction of your organisation.
Timing is crucial, so make sure that it’s the right level of surgery at the right time for your organisation and that the results you’re looking for are not only achievable and affordable but necessary for you to progress as an organisation.
For any transformation to be successful you will need the full support and buy-in of your whole organisation. Not just key stakeholders but all affected parties including key clients and partners, so you will need to have a full and open communications strategy.
You will need to work out through internal and external consultation the level of necessary change and thus ascertain the degree of transformational surgery you need to perform or can afford including the level of process change you can readily consume alongside any necessary new systems, platforms or infrastructure to support it.
It is imperative you keep this communications line open and a continuous dialogue with your key clients to understand what they want from your organisation, what products and subsequent features they use or need and how they wish to consume them (don’t forget to focus on mobile consumption as this will affect your design and performance criteria). You should also take this opportunity to learn of competing solutions and how your products rank against them, which will often give you valuable feedback.

Transformation requires involvement and buy-in from the whole organisation and not just the C-suite but they will need to control the direction and pace of the transformation so that business as usual operations are not interrupted or allowed to veer off track.
Strong leadership is required during any transformation programme so that it stays true to its principles and delivers its agreed objectives whilst staying open to internal and external client feedback throughout.
Most transformation programmes will require fine tuning and subtle alterations through their lifetime as not all necessary objectives will be deliverable without some form of tweaking.
Some objectives may not act as desired once in development or testing and require reworking, postponing until later in the programme or removal. This is where strong leadership and a firm hand on the tiller is imperative.

A full training, implementation and internal/external support plan is a major but often overlooked component of any transformation programme. Skip this stage at your peril as it will cause your transformation programme to fall spectacularly and very publicly at the last hurdle.
Transformation programmes of any size are major surgery on your organisation and subsequently need constant follow-up and handholding of both internal staff, partners and external clients to make sure all of your implemented objectives are delivering as planned. This will allow you to make any necessary amendments and fine tuning whilst showing proactivity and desire to deliver the best possible results you can.

Transformation is an important process in re-engineering an organisation and ensuring it stays relevant in how it operates, making sure its products and services are commercially relevant as well as improving the strength of the customer experience it delivers. It should not be taken lightly but when done well it can give you an enormous competitive advantage, re-energised staff, revenue generating products and an engaged client base.

This post has also been featured on the HP Business Value Exchange here 

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Member of Awards Judging Panel – Datacloud Global Congress & Exhibition

I was delighted to have been asked and accept the opportunity to become a Member of the Awards Judging Panel for the prestigious annual Datacloud Global Congress & Exhibition.

Datacloud creates the leading platform for datacentre and cloud IT infrastructure end users, software, solutions providers, experts, investors and all companies engaged in this expanding sector. The conferences explore the very latest in technologies and markets, to inspire through rich content and uniquely host senior executives to meet, connect, collaborate and do deals. Events include Europe (Global Congress), Nordic and South East Asia.

Datacloud Global Congress & Exhibition (DCG) returns for a third year to the Grimaldi Forum with an even better format, in Monaco, June 8-9 2016.

More detail about the Datacloud Global Congress and Exhibition can be found hereDatacloudEuropeLogo

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Open Data – how far do we go?

IDGOpenDataTechnology has now woven itself in to our daily lives to such an extent that we cannot imagine how we ever lived without its features and relevant products as we do today.
At the heart of this huge technological transition is data: commercial and personal data which we all have nightmares about people trying to access or gaining control of.
Conversely, we are all rightly concerned about what data is captured about us but we are very open to reward for sharing it with organisations we trust such as supermarkets and other loyalty purchasing schemes.

Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.
The goals of the open data movement are similar to those of other “Open” movements such as open sourceopen hardwareopen content, and open access.
Why then does the very topic of open data cause such consternation and alarm? Open data is seemingly all about enabling everyone to access information to use for the greater good, but unfortunately the definition of its use will always appease and infuriate the populous in equal measures.

No area is this ‘sharing’ of open data more prevalent than in the medical world. You share your data with your doctor so that they can have a record of your medical history and thus better diagnose and/or treat you as a patient but would you go a step further and share your personal medical data with academic or professional institutions for research purposes to help society combat disease?

The power of open data is clear with Wikipedia one of the largest and most used proponents of it.
Its well known that they don’t pay their editors but still people have built the most amazing repository of human knowledge. I use it so often without ever thinking of how else I would so easily find access to the rich seams of data that it serves up and briefly thinking about it not being available is daunting but it does make you ponder further about the merits of open data.

With the next transition of technology opening up the so-called ‘internet of things’ the amount of captured data is only going to increase exponentially and if its going to fulfil its world-changing potential the need to aggregate and share that data is clear.
Will the lure of what we gain through its various services and features loosen our ties to the data we share to achieve them?

I think we all agree that there should be a degree of open data and we are happy to add elements of our ‘personal’ data into the pool but there needs to be controls in place where we can view exactly what is available and legal recourse to remedy any subsequent issues.
Getting these standards and processes in place and adhered to globally is the most difficult part of this whole issue, and crucially the knitting that binds it all together.
It won’t happen overnight and how far we go with open data is up for debate but the most critical point is that it must not be at the expense of social freedom.

This post has also been featured on the HP Business Value Exchange here 

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BCS Digital Leaders 2015 E-Book

bcsdigleaders2015I was delighted to be asked to submit a piece to the 2015 BCS Digital Leaders e-book, which you can read on page 130 here.
As a fellow and chartered IT professional of the BCS, I think its important to contribute and add value when I can to the societies publications.

Digital Leaders is a publication written by IT professionals for IT professionals to help them influence their organisations away from using outdated practices, governance models and structures to a more cutting edge world, but without depriving people or communities.
Aimed primarily at C-level managers and senior decision makers, Digital Leaders can enhance any organisation’s IT strategy – visit bcs.org/digitalleaders for related articles and blogs.

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EMC #HybridCloud Twitter Chat – ‘What are the catalysts for the Hybrid Cloud?’

I was delighted to work with EMC again as a featured panelist on their second #HybridCloud Twitter chat entitled, “What are the catalysts for the Hybrid Cloud?”
Following hot on the heels of the first very successful Hybrid Cloud Chat in March, we were delighted to double our reach on this chat to 2.1 million, which is a great achievement. hybridcloudchat190115

You can read a Storify write-up of the event including some fantastic illustrations here and read the entire chat via Crowdchat here.

EMC pre-event info: In our upcoming #HybridCloudChat Twitter chat, an expert panel from EMC of Suhela Dighe, Hans Timmerman and Dinko Eror with industry expert Christian McMahon (@ChristianMcM) will discuss Hybrid Cloud. Join the conversation on May 19 at 12 p.m. GMT on Twitter using the hashtag #HybridCloudChat

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EMC #HybridCloud Twitter Chat – ‘How ready are you for the Hybrid Cloud?’

EMCHybCLoudI was delighted to work with EMC recently as a featured panelist on their #HybridCloud Twitter chat entitled, “How ready are you for the Hybrid Cloud?”
It was their first chat of this type in EMEA and it achieved a social reach of 1.1 million, which they were rightly delighted with.

More information about the event and a log of the chat can be found here and you can also follow the chat on Twitter using the hashtag #HybridCloudChat.

EMC pre-event info: In our upcoming #HybridCloudChat Twitter chat, an expert panel from EMC of Suhela Dighe and Dinko Eror with industry expert Christian McMahon (@ChristianMcM) will discuss Hybrid Cloud. Join the conversation on March 25 at 12 p.m. GMT on Twitter using the hashtag #HybridCloudChat.

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