Bridging the Gap between Strategy and Execution in Digital Transformation


As companies experience growth, whether it’s organic or through mergers and acquisitions, the software applications that support these enterprises must also grow accordingly. As these applications grow in complexity, they typically become less responsive in accommodating business change. This leads to the perception of IT as a cost center and a barrier to business innovation.

In today’s rapidly changing and competitive market, even the slightest delay from IT can become a big frustration for corporate leadership who want to act quickly and capitalize on first-mover advantage. That is one of the big driving factors behind digital transformation: the inherent need to create a digital business model that can easily change and adjust with the latest market demands.

But in order to achieve digital transformation success, CIOs and IT managers must first rationalize IT portfolios by eliminating duplicate business and system functionality. IT rationalization identifies recurring and sustainable cost savings, enhances various capabilities and brings each to acceptable service levels while systematically consolidating and integrating IT systems.

So how can CIOs support corporate strategy while executing on IT rationalization and digital transformation goals?

According to a joint report by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, The ability to digitally reimagine the business is determined in large part by a clear digital strategy supported by leaders who foster a culture able to change and invent the new.

Don’t Let the Trees Block Your View of the Forest

The phrase “can’t see the forest for the trees” could not hold truer than in digital transformation initiatives. Organizations with a wide foray of complex applications obviously have millions of lines of code to analyze and migrate to new, digital environments. But remaining too focused on individual applications can hinder overall progress to meet digital transformation goals.

IT project leaders will do well to maintain a hands-on view of their individual application portfolios, but it’s also important to consider these applications in bigger context. How will they impact the overall IT ecosystem? Will changes to one application impact the performance of another? These are all questions that will keep you focused on the business strategy (the forest) while making tangible progress with individual applications.

Solutions like CAST Highlight are helpful here because they provide fast, real-time, code-level analytics while giving a snapshot of overall portfolio health and performance.

Empower Employees

One of the largest barriers to digital transformation is often the company culture and a lack of alignment between business leaders. Real digital transformation success must start from the top-down with CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, CISOs, CMOs and other chief executives agreeing on the digital direction of the company and how it’s going to get there. With this buy-in at the top level, IT managers, Enterprise Architects and project managers can feel confident they are all working together towards a recognized common goal.

In the same MIT / Deloitte report, researchers found that across age groups from 22 to 60, the vast majority of employees say they want to work for digitally enabled organizations. This finding suggests that people want to work for companies that have embraced the digital age.

But in order to get there, companies must effectively marry their IT capabilities with business goals. Once CIOs take stock of their application portfolios and management agrees on the required technology investments, an effective digital transformation strategy can be successfully carried out.

To see how prepared you are in your digital transformation journey, get a free trial of CAST Highlight today!

Filed in: CAST Highlight
Jeff Fraleigh
Jeff Fraleigh Jeff Fraleigh
Jeff is a software executive with a 15+ year proven track record of delivering above target revenue and profitability objectives through visionary strategic planning, focused execution, motivating and managing multi-national teams, partners, customers and cross functional colleagues. During his career, Jeff has been involved in Enterprise Architecture, Application Portfolio Management and Data Management, helping hundreds clients drive value and tangible results in EA and APM initiatives. He recently joined CAST to manage specific solutions that focus on risk and complexity in application portfolios.
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