Extreme Digital Transformation – Stories from the community

So Microsoft Ignite 2020 is underway and I am fortunate to be presenting a Table Topic this year with these four IT professionals, Loryan Strant, Kirsty McGrath, Rene Modery and Ashish Trivedi   

The topic is: Extreme Digital Transformation – Stories from the community

It was while both preparing for this event and a recent Facebook post by a very good friend, who mentioned a friend of hers making a well-meaning comment around her personal businesses potentially impacting her current job.  Now I understand that the comment was said with all the best intentions, but it really does highlight some of the more legacy or traditional thinking both in the IT industry and the greater world as a whole.

So due to this and having a certain topic on my mind for the past few years I decided to put pen to paper, or more accurately, fingers to keyboard and write the following…

Many C Level management people are embracing Digital Transformation and the new ways of working, and that’s fantastic, but sometimes I wonder if this direction can sometimes be lost in translation as it cascades through the company.

This scenario can also be similar for those IT professionals charged with being the administrators or engineers on Digital Transformation projects. 

What do I mean by this?  Well, in my recent career of working in government, consulting and now working in the insurance industry, the drive to transform is there, the focus to support the business is there (although this can be debated during the extreme timeframes required to transformation during COVID), but what about the IT pro?

As someone who considers myself a bit of a corporate rebel and has been recognised for this by organisations I’ve worked for and by people at Microsoft by being asked to speak a a number of conferences about my experiences, it can be easy for me to just keep doing my thing, but there’s another side to this coin.  Some haven’t been fortunate to have worked in the environments where I have had the confidence of management to do the things I’ve done.

There are IT pros that want to transform but don’t have that buy in or support, and there are those who may have seen transformation occurring and felt that they may be falling behind or even that dreaded FOMO.  Sometimes when this happens, it can feel safer to stick with the traditional/legacy ways often resulting that line of “we’ve always done it this way” and the desire to continue to do so. 

The reality is technology has and is constantly moving forward making it unsustainable for both for the business and more importantly, the traditional IT pros career prospects.

Adoption and change is always a big thing for the business, but I feel it can sometimes be neglected with the IT pro who at the end of the day will be required to maintain and administer these modern solutions.

I feel that it is very important for companies to bring the internal IT pros along on the journey.  Ensure that they are working with the project team/consultants, and that a smooth transition from project to BAU along with any appropriate training is factored in.  Backfilling is also an important consideration as there is nothing worse than IP leaving at the end of the project.

I don’t have all the answers to this, but I am keen to simulate the conversation.

I’m very interested to hear people’s thoughts about this either at Microsoft Ignite during the table topic or on the Microsoft Tech Community


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