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"Tealing" The Capitol using Holacracy, Lean and Scrum

Xebia Blog - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 21:45
Something absolutely revolutionary (or should I say evolutionary) is currently unfolding @WaTech. This CIO-department of the State of Washington is transforming towards the first Teal governmental organization in the US and perhaps even worldwide. Invited by initiator CIO deputy Michael DeAngelo, Joe Justice and I visited the WaTech offices in Olympia to observe and coach

Keeping dependencies up-to-date in Maven

Xebia Blog - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 09:33
Keeping your dependencies up-to-date is more important than ever in modern projects. Everything is connected to the internet and needs to be secure. New vulnerabilities in libraries are found, exploited and patched within days. We use a lot of dependencies, and due to continuous delivery some of your dependencies will need updating every day. Solid

Digital Transformation Books


Here is a roundup of my favorite books on Digital Transformation.

If you know me, you know I read a lot.  For me, it’s a quick way to “stand on the shoulders of giants” and to learn the patterns of what works.  I’ve found that the right books can help me leap frog ahead.

I’ve also found that reading a variety of books on a topic helps me get a better balcony view.  It’s from this balcony view that I can create clarity from chaos, and see the forest for the trees.

Reading multiple books on a topic also helps big ideas sink in better.  I might not quite get an idea in one book, but then it suddenly clicks in with another book, because the author presented it in a different way.   I find reading multiple books actually compounds my learning and pays off in ways I can’t predict, often creating serendipity.

Key Areas for Digital Transformation

My collection of Digital Transformation books spans a few key areas that I think help when it comes to driving Digital Transformation.

  1. One key area is innovation.  Innovation is the life blood of Digital Transformation.  If you can’t reimagine your business or explore the art of the possible, you won’t be very effective in your transition to the Digital Era.  Success transformation requires a reboot and a rethink of new ways to create and capture value at the edge.
  2. Another key area is business model innovation.  This is far more important than most people understand until they realize that it’s the business model that determines which ideas and which innovations survive in the market.  So many great ideas die on the vine because they lack an effective business model.   The more you learn about value engineering and how to translate ideas into real market opportunity, the better equipped you are to create new revenue streams in the Digital Economy.
  3. Another key area is culture change.  Culture is the environment you create for Digital Transformation to survive and thrive.  Culture is what can also kill Digital Transformation.  Creating a learning culture that obsesses over customers and embraces the Millennial way and empowers employees with new ways of working takes intentional effort and deliberate behavior change.
  4. Another key areas is Digital Business Design.  Thinking through your customers, your channels, your value prop, your value stream, and your differentiation is art, science, and strategy in action.  Arming yourself with a mental toolbox of methods, models, and tools can help you gain a real advantage here.
  5. Lastly, and perhaps my favorite topic, is trends and insights.  I don’t look for trends, as in trendy ideas that are more like fads.  I look for fundamental shifts in power or shifts in value or shifts in market demand or shifts in capabilities.  I build catalogs of trends and insights that help me innovate faster, put building blocks together, and use creative synthesis to reimagine and envision future state possibilities.  What if you knew the key trends shaping the world around you, influencing everything from where to live to what career to pursuit to how to create and capture value?

If you read the right books on trends, you end up with the closest thing to a crystal ball.  But rather than bet on one future, you can play the art of the long view and play out multiple paths of possibility.  And that’s how the paranoid survive.

With that in mind, here is my list of Digital Transformation books …

Getting Started

Some of you will want the full list of books.  Others will want the short-list.  All of you need to know which books to start with to get the most bang for the buck.

If you could only read one book, I think Leading Digital gives you the best all up, big picture view of what Digital Transformation is all about.  You will have plenty of stories to draw from, great mental models, and a working knowledge of how to frame out and think through Digital Transformation, including a good idea of what Gartner means when they say, “Bi-Modal IT.”

If you can read two books, then also read No Ordinary Disruption.  This will give you a comprehensive view of the key trends that are shaping the next 10 years around the world and will help you better anticipate the changes around you.

If you can read three books, then read Digital Transformation: A Model to Master Disruption.  This is really an “ideas” book, but it’s both surprisingly simple and surprisingly insightful.  You’ll need to separate the wheat from the chaff, but there are many ripe seeds that will inspire and kickstart your own thinking around how to best approach Digital Transformation.

1. Leading Digital image Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation, by George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfeeLeading Digital is effectively a guide for driving Digital Transformation in the Enterprise.  While there is a lot of advice perfect for startups, Leading Digital is really a guide to existing large businesses that need to reinvent themselves for the Digital Era.

Leading Digital covers everything from successful Digital Transformation stories to dual-speed IT to customer experience transformation.  This book really provides a mental model and simple approach to driving Digital Transformation.


2. No Ordinary Disruption image No Ordinary Disruption, by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan WoetzelDirectors of the McKinsey Global Institute do a deep dive to figure out the key trends and forces shaping the next 10 years.  The authors show how the trends are taking shape through anecdotes, data, and graphics.


3. Digital Transformation: A Model to Master Digital Disruption image Digital Transformation, by Jo Caudron and Dado Van PeteghemDigital Transformation introduces “The Infinite Loop of Transformation”:

  1. The Disruption phase: experiencing and acknowledging the severe impact of new players and/or technological evolutions on the core business activities.
  2. The Modeling phase: mapping out the impact of the disruption and trying to transform possible digital threats into digital opportunities, scenarios, and business cases for the future.
  3. The Transformation phase: implementing the digital transformation mode throughout the entire business processes, culture and systems.

The authors also introduce a simple model for approaching innovation:

  1. The Factory
  2. The Guesthouse
  3. The Garage



Digital Transformation Books A – Z

This is my more comprehensive list of Digital Transformation books that really helped me get an edge in terms of figuring out how to drive Digital Transformation.  It’s a wide variety, but like I said, it’s how the books come together in a symphony of ideas, or more like a mosaic of patterns, that helped me gain new insight well beyond what I could gain by just one or two books.  It’s this collective perspective and cornucopia of ideas that better equip me for driving forward in the Digital Frontier.

1. Age of Context image Age of Context, by Robert Scoble and Shel IsraelAge of Context provides a walkthrough of 5 technological forces shaping our world:

  1. mobile devices
  2. social media
  3. big data
  4. sensors
  5. location-based services

The authors use stories and examples to help us easily understand how brands can use the technologies to change the world. 2. B4B


image B4B, by J.B. Wood, Todd Hewlin, and Thomas LahB4B is a framework for transitioning from product-focused to customer outcome-focused.  It helps you prepare for a world of “pay for play” where customers pay when they use the product.


3. Blue Ocean Strategy image Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renée A. MauborgneBlue Ocean Strategy provides a way to create disruptive innovation and create uncontested market space.  Rather than compete in a bloody “red” ocean and compete on features, the idea is to create a new market and enjoy a “blue” ocean.

A simple example is rather than try to compete in the circus industry with better animals and a better ringmaster, change the game.  Cirque de Soleil created a new kind of circus by focusing on adults and using acrobats instead of animals to create exotic shows.


4. Business Model Generation image Business Model Generation, by by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves PigneurBusiness Model Generation is a guide for creating new business models and designing tomorrow’s enterprises.  It provides a canvas, patterns, design, strategy, and process.

The backbone of the book is a walkthrough of the 9 building blocks for business model generation:

  1. Customer Segments
  2. Value Propositions
  3. Channels
  4. Customer Relationships
  5. Revenue Streams
  6. Key Resources
  7. Key Activities
  8. Key Partnerships
  9. Cost Structure



5. Business Model Navigator image The Business Model Navigator, by Oliver Gassmann, Karolin Frankenberger, and Michaela CsikThe Business Model Navigator is a great walkthrough of what exactly business model innovation is, along with 55 patterns that represent 90% of business model innovation to date.


6. Consumption Economics image Consumption Economics, by J. B. Wood, Todd Hewlin, and Thomas LahConsumption Economics explains the challenge where more value will be created than can be absorbed by users and consumers.  Additionally, the true disruption will be to your business model. Future customers won’t want to pay you high prices out of big “CapEx” budgets anymore. They will expect lower “cloud” prices paid from “OpEx” budgets only when and if they successfully consume the business value of your products.



7. Digital Disciplines image Digital Disciplines, by Joe Weinman and Fred WiersemaDigital Disciplines walks through how companies can develop a competitive edge through four digital disciplines:

  1. information excellence
  2. solution leadership
  3. collective intimacy
  4. accelerated innovation



8. Digital Disruption image Digital Disruption, by James McQuiveyThis is a guide to learn how to be a digital disruptor.

James McQuivey shares his approach to disruptive innovation.  He’s gone into the biggest companies, even in traditional industries like insurance and consumer packaged goods and changed the way they think about innovation.

McQuivey shares a simple 3-step process for digital disruption:

  1. First, adopt the right mindset; Take risks, invest as cheaply as possible, and build on existing platforms to find the fastest path to solving a customer’s problem.
  2. Second, seek the “adjacent possible”—the space just next to yours where new technology creates opportunity.
  3. Finally, disrupt yourself. Use these tools to make parts of your business obsolete before your competitors do.


9. Digital Master image Digital Master, by Pearl ZhuPearl Zhu outlines what the Digital Masters do to apply advanced digital technology across all business arenas to build high performing organizations:

  1. Develop visionary digital leadership
  2. Shape open and creative digital mindsets
  3. Craft and execute a holistic digital strategy
  4. Advocate digital innovation next practices
  5. Refine a highly effective enterprise culture
  6. Optimize high-performing business capabilities
  7. Explore data-rich digital Intelligence
  8. Unleash enriched digital talent potential
  9. Pursue high level digital maturity


10. Digital to the Core image Digital to the Core, by Mark Raskino and Graham WallerDigital to the Core is interesting because it’s written by two Gartner fellows.  In Digital to the Core, the authors walk through leading at three levels:

  1. industry
  2. enterprise
  3. self

The authors draw from interviews with 30 top C-level executives including GE, Ford, McDonald’s, and more.  The authors also include  Gartner’s annual CIO and CEO global survey research.



11. Digital Transformation image Digital Transformation, by Mark BakerMark Baker shares how different consulting companies and business leaders are thinking about Digital Business Transformation. He his insights to life through interviews with corporate digital leaders and real-life examples.


12. Digital Transformation: A Model to Master Digital Disruption image Digital Transformation, by Jo Caudron and Dado Van PeteghemDigital Transformation introduces “The Infinite Loop of Transformation”:

  1. The Disruption phase: experiencing and acknowledging the severe impact of new players and/or technological evolutions on the core business activities.
  2. The Modeling phase: mapping out the impact of the disruption and trying to transform possible digital threats into digital opportunities, scenarios, and business cases for the future.
  3. The Transformation phase: implementing the digital transformation mode throughout the entire business processes, culture and systems.

The authors also introduce a simple model for approaching innovation:

  1. The Factory
  2. The Guesthouse
  3. The Garage



13. Disrupting Digital Business image Disrupting Digital Business, by R “Ray” WangDisrupting Digital Business walks through how organizations no longer control the conversation.  In this era of social and mobile technology, customers, employees, suppliers, and partners are in direct communication with one another.

Ray Wang explains new ways to think about 5 areas of business:

  1. Consumerization of technology and the new C-suite
  2. Data’s influence in driving decisions
  3. Digital marketing transformation
  4. The future of work
  5. Matrix commerce



14. Edge Strategy image Edge Strategy, by Alan Lewis and Dan McKoneEdge Strategy provides a simple frame to better understand the edges you can use to create and capture value:

  1. Product edge. How to capture incremental profits and other benefits by slightly altering the elements and composition of a core offering
  2. Journey edge. How to create and capture extra value by adjusting your role in supporting the customer’s journey to and through your offering
  3. Enterprise edge. How to unlock additional value from resources and capabilities that support your core offering by applying them in a different context, for a different offering or different set of customers



15. How Digital is Your Business? image How Digital is Your Business?, by Adrian J. Slywotzky, David Morrison, and Karl WeberSlywotzky and Morrison show how a digital business is one whose strategic options have been transformed–and significantly broadened–by the use of digital technologies.


How Digital is Your Business shares the following:

  1. The core of How Digital is Your Business: Profiles of the future: the in-depth story of the digital pioneers–Dell Computer, Charles Schwab, Cisco Systems, Cemex.
  2. Insight into how to change a traditional enterprise into a digital business: the stories of GE and IBM.
  3. An analysis of the profitable dot-coms: AOL, Yahoo!, and eBay.

Through stories and case studies, How Digital is Your Business? also provides digital tools you can use to create a digital future for your company.


16. Leading Digital image Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation, by George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfeeLeading Digital is effectively a guide for driving Digital Transformation in the Enterprise.  While there is a lot of advice perfect for startups, Leading Digital is really a guide to existing large businesses that need to reinvent themselves for the Digital Era.

Leading Digital covers everything from successful Digital Transformation stories to dual-speed IT to customer experience transformation.  This book really provides a mental model and simple approach to driving Digital Transformation.


17. Leading Digital Strategy image Leading Digital Strategy, by Christopher Bones and James HammersleyLeading Digital Strategy shares strategies, methodologies and models to improve the effectiveness of your online offering.

Leading Digital Strategy also shows you how to implement a customer-centric culture, and provides a practical framework for multi-channel success.


18. No Ordinary Disruption image No Ordinary Disruption, by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan WoetzelDirectors of the McKinsey Global Institute do a deep dive to figure out the key trends and forces shaping the next 10 years.  The authors show how the trends are taking shape through anecdotes, data, and graphics.


19. Scaling Up image Scaling Up, by Verne HarnishScaling Up shows you how to scale up a venture and build an industry-dominating business.

The goal of Scaling Up is to help you create a company where the team is engaged; the customers are doing your marketing; and everyone is making money.

To do so, Scaling Up focuses on the four major decision areas every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash.


20. Service Design for Business image Service Design for Business, by Ben Reason, Lavrans Løvlie, and Melvin Brand FluService Design for Business shows you how to transform your cusotmer experience and design services that respond to customers’ needs and demands.

In Service Design for Business, you’ll learn the following keys to designing more effective services:

  1. Approach customer experience from a design perspective
  2. See your organization through the lens of the customer
  3. Make customer experience an organization-wide responsibility
  4. Analyze the market factors that dovetail with customer experience design


21. Ten Types of Innovation image Ten Types of Innovation, by Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel, and Brian QuinnTen Types of Innovation provides insights to diagnose patterns of innovation within industries, to identify innovation opportunities, and to evaluate how firms are performing against competitors.

The 10 types of innovation are:

  1. Product
  2. Product System
  3. Service
  4. Channel
  5. Brand
  6. Customer Engagement
  7. Process
  8. Structure
  9. Profit Model
  10. Network


22. The Digital Economy image The Digital Economy, by Don TapscottIn the Digital Economy, Don Tapscott provides new forecasts of where the digital world is headed.

The essence of the book is effectively essays where Tapscott walks through the following topics:

  1. Natural frictions between present-day Industrial Capitalism and the Digital Economy
  2. The radical effects of the Internet on traditional corporate structures and systems
  3. Dramatic changes in business collaboration and culture thanks to social media
  4. The rise of web-based analytics and how they have transformed business functions
  5. Government transparency, citizen empowerment, and the creation of public value
  6. Teaching and learning—revolutionary developments driven by digital content



23. The Digital Enterprise image The Digital Enterprise, by Karl-Heinz StreibichKarl-Heinz Streibich provides a guide to Industry 4.0 and lights it up with 20+ examples of Industry 4.0 in action.  Learn how Industry 4.0 will bring massive efficiencies to aviation, utilities, and many other industries.


24. The Digital Transformation Playbook image The Digital Transformation Playbook, by David L. RogersThe Digital Transformation Playbook helps business leaders create and pursue a digital plan.

In The Digital Transformation Playbook, Rogers provides 5 key rules to help businesses create new value and outperform their competitors in the digital age.

Roger’s rules address the following categories:

  1. customers
  2. competition
  3. data
  4. innovation
  5. value proposition


25. The Essence of Value image The Essence of Value: Secrets of Desired Products- 80 Inspiring Strategies for Creative Companies, by Mario PrickenThe Essence of Value reveals the fundamental parameters that create value and make products “shine”, based on examples from the worlds of business, the arts and religion.

Mario Pricken has analyzed more than 300 products, objects and events over their entire lifecycles in order to reveal the patterns that make things extraordinarily valuable. He’s identified 80 parameters that can be found, for example, in the biographies of exceptional cars, watches, luxury foods, designer furniture, artwork and services – such as the elements of uniqueness, scarcity, the effect of time or magnificently orchestrated transfers of ownership.

You can use the tools to quickly determine the “value-DNA” of a product.


26. The Experience Economy image The Experience Economy, by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. GilmorePine and Gilmore make the case that experience is the missing link between a company and its potential audience. The Experience Economy offers rich examples—including the U.S. Army, Heineken Experience, Autostadt, Vinopolis, American Girl Place, and others—to show fresh approaches to scripting and staging compelling experiences.


27. The Fourth Industrial Revolution image The Fourth Industrial Revolution, by Klaus SchwabKlaus Schwab dubs this era of profound change as the fourth industrial revolution.

The fourth industrial revolution brings waves of great change including:

  1. Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing
  2. Artificially-intelligent robots
  3. Self-driving cars
  4. Neuro-technological brain enhancements
  5. Genetic editing

Schwab has been at the center of global affairs for over four decades and is convinced that  the period of change we are living through is more significant, and the ramifications of the latest technological revolution are more profound than any prior period in history.


28. The Industries of the Future image The Industries of the Future, by Alec RossAlec Ross explains what’s next for the world: the advances and stumbling blocks that will emerge in the next ten years, and how we can navigate them.

While Alec Ross was working as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, he traveled to forty-one countries, exploring the latest advances coming out of every continent. From startup hubs in Kenya to R&D labs in South Korea, Ross has seen what the future holds.

Ross shows us what changes are coming in the next ten years, highlighting the best opportunities for progress and explaining why countries thrive or sputter. He examines the specific fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics, cybersecurity, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data, and the coming impact of digital technology on money and markets.


29. The Profit Zone image The Profit Zone, by Adrian J. Slywotzky, David J. Morrison, and Bob AndelmanIn The Profit Zone, the authors address the most fundamental question in business:
Where Will I Make a Profit Tomorrow?

30. The Second Machine Age image The Second Machine Age, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfeeErik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity amid exponential technological change. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape.


31. Value Migration image Value Migration, by Adrian J. SlywotzkySlywotzky walks through how several companies created a business design – how they select customers, differentiate their offerings, configure their resources, go to market, and capture value – based on a strategic understanding of their customers’ highest priorities.


32. Value Proposition Design image Value Proposition Design, by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda, and Alan SmithValue Proposition Design gives you the processes and tools you need to create compelling products and services customers want to buy.


33. Zone to Win: Organizing to Compete in an Age of Disruption image Zone to Win, by Geoffrey A. MooreZone to Win is a playbook to address the challenge large enterprises face when they seek to add a new line of business to their established portfolio.

Zone to Win is a high-powered tool for driving your company above and beyond its limitations, its definitions of success, and ultimately, its competitors, by focusing on spurring next-generation growth, guiding mergers and acquisitions, and embracing disruption and innovation.


I hope my list of Digital Transformation books helps you, or someone you know, get an edge.  Digital Transformation is risky business and a lot of companies fail to cross the Cloud chasm.  Sadly, what they don’t know, can hurt them.

Don’t let a lack of know how set you back during what can possibly be called the greatest opportunity in our lifetimes to build a better world and empower every person and every organization on the planet, the digital way.

What great Digital Transformation books did I miss?

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  • Turn chaotic logs and metrics into actionable data. Scalyr is a tool your entire team will love. Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tools and tabs. Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, and InsideSales. Learn more today or see why Scalyr is a great alternative to Splunk.

  • InMemory.Net provides a Dot Net native in memory database for analysing large amounts of data. It runs natively on .Net, and provides a native .Net, COM & ODBC apis for integration. It also has an easy to use language for importing data, and supports standard SQL for querying data. http://InMemory.Net

  • VividCortex measures your database servers’ work (queries), not just global counters. If you’re not monitoring query performance at a deep level, you’re missing opportunities to boost availability, turbocharge performance, ship better code faster, and ultimately delight more customers. VividCortex is a next-generation SaaS platform that helps you find and eliminate database performance problems at scale.

  • MemSQL provides a distributed in-memory database for high value data. It's designed to handle extreme data ingest and store the data for real-time, streaming and historical analysis using SQL. MemSQL also cost effectively supports both application and ad-hoc queries concurrently across all data. Start a free 30 day trial here: http://www.memsql.com/

  • aiScaler, aiProtect, aiMobile Application Delivery Controller with integrated Dynamic Site Acceleration, Denial of Service Protection and Mobile Content Management. Also available on Amazon Web Services. Free instant trial, 2 hours of FREE deployment support, no sign-up required. http://aiscaler.com

  • ManageEngine Applications Manager : Monitor physical, virtual and Cloud Applications.

  • www.site24x7.com : Monitor End User Experience from a global monitoring network.

If any of these items interest you there's a full description of each sponsor below...

Categories: Architecture

Test Masters - Robot Challenge

Xebia Blog - Thu, 05/12/2016 - 11:42
The Test Masters series is created to experience testing in a fun and new way. Play games, use robots, experience new tooling and techniques to make yourself a better tester! During the meetups we organize you can try out these new tools and techniques and engage in a friendly competition with your peers. In the first

Performance and Scaling in Enterprise Systems

This is a guest post from Vlad Mihalcea the author of the High-Performance Java Persistence book, on the notion of performance and scalability in enterprise systems.

An enterprise application needs to store and retrieve as much data and as fast as possible. In application performance management, the two most important metrics are response time and throughput.

The lower the response time, the more responsive an application becomes. Response time is, therefore, the measure of performance. Scaling is about maintaining low response times while increasing system load, so throughput is the measure of scalability.

Response time and throughput
Categories: Architecture

5 ways to organize Agile teams

Xebia Blog - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 16:25
Do you feel like your teams could be organized better? How to organize teams in an optimal way is a common question in Agile organizations. A question you should always discuss and answer together with the people in the actual teams. This post provides you with an overview of 5 possibilities for organizing teams and the main

Digital Transformation Explained

In a previous post, I defined Digital Transformation.  But now it’s time to explain Digital Transformation, and make it real with examples.

Satya posted his mental model for Digital Transformation:


I like the simplicity.

What I like is there are four clear pillars or areas to look at for driving Digital Transformation:

  1. Customers
  2. Employees
  3. Operations
  4. Products

What I also like is that this matches what I learned while driving Digital Business Transformation with our field with customers.

Customer Experience Transformation

In terms of customers, you can engage with them in new ways.  You can connect with your customers through apps that provide a mobile experience, so that your customers can interact with your organization, anywhere, anytime.  You can listen to your customers through social listening and perform sentiment analysis.  You can learn about your customer’s behaviors through telemetry insights that reveal what features your customers use and which ones they ignore.  You can use data-driven insights to deliver personal experiences.  With the insights you gain, you can segment your customers in more effective ways, and you can target new customer segments.  You can use the Cloud to reach new customer segments around the world ,and you can test new experiences, and you can scale as needed.  You can deliver a seamless and personal experience across all customer interactions, providing a true omni-channel experience.

You can push the envelope of customer interaction and drive deeper engagement with more immersive experiences.

By walking your customer journey, you can identify Digital Hot Spots—places where you can connect better, collaborate better, share information better, gain new insights, visualize better, or use infinite compute and infinite storage in new and exciting ways.  And you can reveal new ways to create and capture value.  This is innovating at the edge in action.

One example of customer experience transformation is the story of Real Madrid, the Spanish football club and the world’s #1 sports franchise.  Previously, Real Madrid had just a one-way communication method for broadcasting information and news, to it’s 450 million fans, without the ability to get any feedback.  Real Madrid wanted to know who their 450 million fans are, where they are, and what they want from them, so they could engage in more personal ways.

Fast forward to where are they now.

Real Madrid’s fan engagement platform captures and stores every interaction with a fan, including mobile check-ins at the club’s stadium, online fan profile updates, and online merchandise purchases.  It also collects social media data from Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites, for social segmentation of the individual fan, and analysis. Real Madrid’s extended video platform provides new and historical video content, including previous Real Madrid matches.  Fans can filter searches to view specific games using criteria such as games where the club scored a certain number of goals.

Real Madrid’s consumer app lets fans virtually access the stadium before, during, or after each game, and they can search data on all the club’s players, past, and present, while exploring detail statistics from specific games.  Real Madrid can now capture and discover personal preferences to provide more relevant content to their fan through the new mobile app, or when fans use the app to check in at the stadium, they an get a personal QR code for a loyalty in-stadium offer, or even a simple message that thanks the fan.

Employee Experience Transformation

In terms of employees and workforce, you can change how people work together.  Imagine if employees could bring their own devices and they can access the apps and information they need to do their job, anywhere, anytime to serve customers better.  Imagine if employees can find the experts they need to collaborate with in real time.  Imagine if they can discover the apps, the documents, the information, and the people they need to perform their work better, faster, and cheaper.  Imagine if employees could connect with their peers, as well as with customers and partners to innovate on new ideas as well as solve problems better together.

Imagine if your workforce can “work out loud” in a more open way, leading to more connection and collaboration as employees learn to “work like a network.”

Imagine digital assistants that can help employees find the information they need, perform routine tasks, and guide them through new scenarios.

One example of employee experience transformation is the story of KUKA’s Intelligent Industrial Work Assistant. Employees are able to collaborate with robots to perform jobs better, easier, and faster than ever before.  KUKA’s lightweight  robot is able to sense its way around a complex task and perform precise automation movements safely and securely.  This enables human-robot collaboration in new and exciting ways.

Another example is the story of the Edge.  The Edge is a smart office space project that focuses on both a greener building and more productive occupants.  The building connects and communicates with employees through the Edge smartphone app.  The app helps employees find a parking spot at the building when they arrive.  Then the app finds them a desk. Because at the Edge, employees don’t have one. No one does. Workspaces are based on their schedule: sitting desk, standing desk, work booth, meeting room, balcony seat, or “concentration room.”   This helps

Wherever they go, the app knows their preferences for light and temperature, and it tweaks the environment accordingly.  Side note – the Edge is the greenest building in the world.  The British rating agency BREEAM, gave it the highest sustainability score ever awarded: 98.4 percent.

Operations Transformation

In terms of operations transformation, you can improve process visibility end-to-end, increase decision making speed, and improve collaboration across silos.  Another key to operations transformation is getting information to the people who need it most, when they need it most.

With machine learning, you can use predictive maintenance to replace parts before they break, provide just enough maintenance when you need it, and avoid expensive downtime. With predictive analytics, you can more intelligently optimize your schedule or logistics, or even figure out your next best offer to promote.

DevOps models and practices help drive continual delivery and IT service delivery agility.  By promoting better communication, collaboration, and integration between software development and IT operations, DevOps helps produce software and IT services more frequently, with rapid iterations.

An example of operations transformation is the story of Fujitsu.   Fujitsu enabled managers, engineers and scientists to simultaneously manage product quality, process efficiency, and equipment performance.  As Fujitsu CEO Hiroyuki Sakai put it: “…we are able to deliver real-time visualization of the engineering process for big data analytics to improve the entire production process and inform decision-making.”

An example of operations transformation in healthcare is the story of Dartmouth-Hitchcock.  Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System is piloting a highly coordinated, intensely personalized solution to provide visualizations and deep insights that will transform business operations.

An example of operations transformation in logistics & transportation is the story of Scania.   Scania is a global company that delivers trucks, buses, and engines, as well as services in more than 100 countries.  Scania developed a system in the Cloud that measures the entire transport flow of a mine, with data sent wirelessly every second from the trucks in the production flow to Scania’s field workshop. This allows them to calculate uptime and down times and have useful data to make decisions that affect operational efficiency in real time in their customers’ mining operations.

An example of predictive maintenance is the story of ThyssenKrupp.  Using the Cloud, can ThyssenKrupp can guarantee a higher uptime percentage on our elevators to gain a competitive advantage.  Drawing on the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) by connecting its elevators to the cloud, gathering data from its sensors and systems and transforming that data into business insights, ThyssenKrupp is vastly improving operations.

Product Transformation

Wrapping engineering teams around your customers creates a new world of possibilities.  By engaging with your customers more deeply, you gain new insights into their pains, needs, and desired outcomes that you can use to shape and create new products and offerings.

You can use your social insight and sentiment analysis to gain even deeper understanding of how to create and capture value for your customers.

Best of all, you can use telemetry to figure out what features your customers actually use and which features your customers ignore.

An example of product transformation in automotive is the story of Delphi Automotive.  Delphi Automotive created Delphi Connect to give drivers many exciting ways to remotely monitor and control their cars.  Delphi Connect can turn any car into a connected car with affordable, cloud-based telematics.

Another example of product transformation in automotive is the story of Qoros.  Qoros engaged Microsoft Services to design and build the Qoros telematics system, which it calls the QorosQloud.  QorosQloud provides more than 30 services, which can be also accessed from the driver’s smartphone, tablet, or PC, delivering functionality that goes beyond driving and the car.  Vendors can provide data to QorosQloud—traffic data, points of interest, restaurant reviews, parking data and so forth.  Qoros owners tell their car which points of interest they want to see on their in-car monitor.  QorosQloud connects to the Qoros dealer management system, customer relationship management, company websites, mobile apps, and other business systems that run both in the Cloud and on-premises in a small Qoros datacenter.

Business Model Innovation

Collectively, these four Digital Transformation pillars (customers, employees, operations, and products)  set the stage for transforming your business model.  According to The Business Model Navigator, you can think of your business model in terms of four components:

  1. Customer – Who are your target customers? (This is the heart of your business model, and it’s where your customer segments come into play.)
  2. Value Proposition – What do you offer to your customers? (This is where your products and services come into play.)
  3. Value Chain – How do you produce your offerings? (This is where supply chain optimization can have profound impact.)
  4. Profit Mechanism – Why does it generate a profit? (This is where reducing cost structures and adding profit generating mechanisms come into play.)

Business model innovation is a significant change in two or more part of your business model.

When you think through your business model, imagine if you could use the Cloud to reach new customer segments in emerging markets.  Or, imagine if you could completely change your supply chain.  Imagine if you can take an idea that’s working in another industry and bring it into your industry.

Another way to think about business model innovation in a mobile-first, cloud-first world is to think about new digital products you can create as you shift your mix from physical things to digital things for the digital economy.

Here are a few examples of business model innovation that you are likely familiar with:

  • AirBnB is a large hospitality provider, but it doesn’t own any real estate.
  • Netflix is a large movie rental service, but it doesn’t provide any physical retail stores.
  • Uber is a large taxi service, but does not own any cars.

In the TED Talk: The Currency of the New Economy is Trust, Rachel Botsman provides a good overview of how service networking, the collaborative consumption, and the sharing economy are changing business models.

Putting it All Together

When it comes to Digital Transformation it helps to have an all up mental model to work from.  The more you can model and map out your Digital Transformation, the more effective you will be.

In the article, Microsoft IT cloud computing strategies continue to evolve, you can see how Microsoft’s IT department is going through it’s multi-year Digital Transformation journey.

In the article The systems approach on how to transform your digital healthcare organization, you can see some healthcare examples of the Digital Transformation pillars in action, such as customer experience transformation and operations transformation.

In the article Welcome to the Digital Revolution, you can get a really good overview of the big picture of Digital Transformation that is happening all around us.

Now that you know what kinds of Digital Transformation are taking place, along with concrete examples of Digital Transformation in the real world, hopefully that inspires you to re-imagine what you can do in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

You Might Also Like

All Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation Defined

Reimagine Your Customer Experience

Reimagine Your Operations

Satya Nadella on Digital Transformation

Categories: Architecture, Programming

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For May 6th, 2016

Hey, it's HighScalability time:

Who wants in on the over? We are not alone if the probability a habitable zone planet develops a technological species is larger than 10-24.


If you like this sort of Stuff then please support me on Patreon.
  • 100,000+: bare metal servers run by Twitter; 10 billion: Snapchat videos delivered daily; $2.57 billion: AWS fourth quarter revenues; 40 light years: potentially habitable planets; 1700: seed banks around the world; 560x: throughput after SSD optimization; 12: data science algorithms; $2.8 billion: new value of Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry;  

  • Quotable Quotes:
    • @skap5: Pied Piper's product is its stock and anything that makes its price go up! #SiliconValley
    • Seth Godin: It pays to have big dreams but low overhead. 
    • Craig Venter~ Our knowledge of the genome hasn't changed a lot since 2003, but it's about to start changing rapidly. One of the key things for understanding the genome is to get very large numbers of genomes so we can understand out of the 6.2 billion or so letters of genetic code the less than 3% that we have different amongst the entire human population. We need very large data sets to understand the differences and significances. That's where the cost and speed of sequencing has had such an immediate impact. 
    • @elonmusk: Rocket reentry is a lot faster and hotter than last time, so odds of making it are maybe even, but we should learn a lot either way
    • @EconBizFin: The space race was once between capitalism and communism. Now it's individual capitalists
    • Grit: substitute nuance for novelty. Rather than constantly moving on to a new thrill try to find another dimension of the thing you are already doing to make it more thrilling. 
    • David Rosenthal: Overall the message is: Storage Will Be Much Less Free Than It Used To Be
    • StorageMojo: The losers are the systems that make customers pay for features they no longer need. Winners will successfully blend ease of use with performance and availability – at a competitive price.
    • Tim Harford: These distractions were actually grists to their creative mill. They were able to think outside the box because their box was full of holes.
    • Juan Enriquez~ Plastics was the wrong advice to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. The word should have been silicon. In 2015 the word is lifecode, the various means we have to program life.
    • Benjamin Treynor Sloss: If you've ever wondered about how run reliable services, this beautifully written intro from the SRE book is the best 5-minute guide on the topic.
    • cs702: Without AWS, Amazon would have reported losses! 
    • Kode Vicious: A single cache miss is more expensive than many instructions.
    • @aminggs: “your database… unlikely to provide serializability, your multi-core processor… unlikely to provide linearizability” 
    • @mrogati: A decade in academia taught me a bunch of sophisticated algorithms; a decade in industry taught me when not to use them.
    • @mjpt777: Hardware tries so hard to make software fast; software tries so hard to make hardware slow.
    • @jyarow: Echo sold 3 million units. Gets stories that it’s next great business for Amazon. Apple Watch sold 12 million units, gets panned as a flop.
    • @balajis: 5/ At that time, the highest truth comes not from faith in god or trust in the state, but from the ability to check the math of the network.
    • Benedict Evans: The smartphone install base does have a lot of room to grow, but that's a function of replacement at close to existing volumes, and even that will be largely done in a few more years. Hence: smartphone sales growth is slowing down. 
    • @giupan: Colocated teams where Devs are sitting together with Product and UX outperform distributed teams. Don't split up skills @cagan #craftconf
    • Mathias Bynens: To me, this stuff is extremely interesting on a technical level. It’s also a little scary, however, to realize that malicious actors can use these techniques to invade your privacy while you’re browsing the web, without you ever knowing.
    • Le Corbusier: yes, the Parthenon is perhaps the most beautiful instance, the perfect example of a particular standard of architecture. The Parthenon may have achieved the platonic ideal of the standard of architecture we’ve previously established. But there are many possible standards to acknowledge, each dependent on need and use, and standards are established by experiment.
    • PaulHoule: Atom chips have always been crippled to keep them from cannibalizing more expensive chips. Skylake is a fine tablet chip, in fact, that's really what Skylake is good for. They are probably producing them in high enough numbers now that they can give up on Atom
    • Chau Tu: CyArk wants to preserve our world’s important cultural heritage sites before they turn to dust...with new imaging technologies to steadily build a digital archive of the past, for the future. 
    • Neill Turner: Over time i think OpenStack will be a niche product for large corporates that don’t want to use public clouds. For everyone else they with be doing hybrid IT – that is extending their existing IT infrastructure into the Public Cloud. When they see what is left to run to run outside public clouds then they can see where to take that portion of the workloads.

  • What if going to Mars is how we fix our economy? Trump: Before going to Mars, America needs to fix its economy. A problem can't be solved at the same level it was created. Someone smart said that once. Isn't expanding the economy in to space the only way we'll be able to generate the constant growth a modern economy so desperately devowers? Walls don't lift boats.

  • Is it dystopian to hire real meat people to train your AI? Interesting question posed by John Robb in a tweet: "they were there not to work, but to serve as training modules for Facebook’s algorithm" Journos at Fbook

  • Peter Bailis offers in a heartfelt visionary article four pieces of advice to get the database community out of its identity crisis: 1) Kill the reference architecture and rethink our conception of “database.” 2) Solve new, emerging, real problems outside traditional relational database systems. 3) Use data-intensive tools, both the tools that you’re building and the tools that others have built. 4) Do bold, weird, and hard projects and actually follow through. Examples in action: Peter Alvaro’s work on Molly and Lineage-Driven Fault Injection; Chris Ré’s work on DeepDive; A recent project I wish the database community had done is TensorFlow at Google. 

Don't miss all that the Internet has to say on Scalability, click below and become eventually consistent with all scalability knowledge (which means this post has many more items to read so please keep on reading)...

Categories: Architecture

What is the Secret to Insane Productivity?

Productivity is truly an advantage.  Imagine if you had boundless energy and could tackle your challenges with all that you are capable of.

What if you could double, triple or maybe even 10X your productivity?

Maybe you can.

But how do you take your productivity to the next level?

In What is the Secret to Insane Productivity, I walk through what it takes to achieve high levels of performance, but I want to summarize some of the key insights here.

One of the most overlooked challenges to your personal productivity is your energy level.  You can chase a bunch of mental tricks, and you can try to organize the heck out of everything you do, and you can apply extreme prioritization, and you can add in some extreme motivation, but if you don’t have the energy you need, you won’t get very far.

The key is that you have multiple sources of energy.  Start with your body.   If you start to move more, you generate more energy.  Energy isn’t something you just have.  It’s something you create.  But you have to kick start your energy factory and the key to that is to move more often.  It could be as simple as parking a little further away, getting up for quick walks, or adding a 20 or 30 minute workout in the morning.

Even Richard Branson says the secret of his extreme productivity is working out.

You can also draw energy from your mind, emotions, and spirit.  So if your body is primed and ready for action, but you have a way of knocking yourself down with negative self-talk, that’s not going to help.  The easiest way to deal with negative self-talk is to talk about to your negative thoughts.  That’s right, challenge them.  This is not a new idea.  In fact, this is a proven practice used by many of the world’s best counselors and coaches to help people get out of depression, defeat limiting beliefs, and find new levels of motivation, inspiration, and boundless energy.

Creating better energy for high performance is a a matter of both reducing negative energy drains, and adding rituals and routines that make you come alive.  A quick way to do this is to stop or limit doing the things that drain you and spend more time in your strengths.  Spend much more time in the things that you could do all day.  And then use your strengths as your creative twist to add more value in everything you do.  This is how you become unstoppable.

Energy is truly the secret of insane productivity because you can’t get more hours in a day, but you can add more energy to everything you do.

But like anything, there is no silver bullet.

So what else really makes the difference when it comes to high performance and insane productivity?

Your strategies.  Your techniques.  There are ways to do things better, faster and cheaper.  And experts around the world know them.  And they tend to share them.  They write them in books.  They share them in videos.  They are all around you.  They might be the unsung hero down the hall.  How do you find them?  You start to look for them.  You ask.  You will soon find the people that will help you take your game to the next level, as they share their best strategies and techniques with you.

OK, now.

So you have this boundless energy.  You are spending time in your strengths.  You have these super strategies and techniques for high performance.  

Have you nailed it?

Are you now super productive?

Well, there is another key you need in your arsenal of insane productivity.   There is one more true secret that is underlies exponential productivity.

The answer is this:

Value is the ultimate short cut.

And value is in the eye of the beholder or stakeholder.

When you know what is truly valued, you can trim away all the waste and want not.

So now then, how do you figure out what’s actually valued?  What is really valued by the system you are in, by your customers, by your team, by your partner, by your friends, by whoever?

Well, one way is to ask.  (Yeah, it sounds simple, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t actually do this.   Did you ever get a gift somebody swore you would love?)

But people don’t always know.  If Ford asked his customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

And value changes.  Time changes what’s important.  And ultimately the value is in the change.  So if you aren’t changing, you aren’t creating new value.

So then, how do you pursuit value?

You treat value like a verb.

Act on it.  Test it.  Learn it.

Create rapid learning loops where failure is OK and learning is valued.

Learn your way forward.

The value you create in your wake will fill a void in the world that will be your unique dent in the universe.

Categories: Architecture, Programming

The Ultimate Tester: Curiosity

Xebia Blog - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 16:15
In 2014 Bill Sempf posted this Tweet: QA Engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a sfdeljknesv. — Bill Sempf (@sempf) September 23, 2014 His message caused a chain reaction of awesome responses from people thinking of all the edge cases in this

How to achieve Ultimate Agility?

Xebia Blog - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 10:20
In reaction on the Era of Big Transitions we currently live in, many organizations are reinventing themselves as we speak.  How can we survive?  Or rephrased more positive: How can we turn this threat into a unique chance? Most organizations start with this journey by redesigning their culture, way of work and organizational structure.  But

Gone Fishin'

Well, not exactly Fishin', but I'll be on a month long vacation starting today. I won't be posting (much) new content, so we'll all have a break. Disappointing, I know. Please use this time for quiet contemplation and other inappropriate activities. See you on down the road...

Categories: Architecture

Generic JS Android API wrapper for React Native

Xebia Blog - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 16:06
During a React Native project for one of our clients we added some custom Android and iOS libraries to our code and wanted to call a few exposed methods. In such a case, React Native requires you to write a wrapper class to call those public APIs. It was a small boilerplate nuisance and these

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For April 29th, 2016

Hey, it's HighScalability time:

The Universe in one image (Pablo Budassi). Imagine an ancient being leaning over, desperately scrying to figure out what they have wrought.


If you like this sort of Stuff then please consider offering your support on Patreon.
  • 50 minutes: Facebook daily average use; 1.65 billion: Facebook Monthly active users; 25PB: size of Internet archive; 7 years: speedup of encryption adoption from the Snowden revelations; 10 million: strands of DNA Microsoft is buying to store data; 300TB: open data from CERN; 2PB: data from PanSTARRS' imaging survey; 100 billion: words translated by Google per day; 204 million: Weather Channel views in March on Facebook; 

  • Quotable Quotes:
    • @antevens: -> Describe your perfect date. ......<- YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.XXXXXX
    • @ValaAfshar: 1995: top 15 Internet companies worth $17 billion. 2015: top 15 Internet companies worth $2.4 trillion.
    • @BenedictEvans: The move to mobile took away Facebook's monopoly of social, but gave it much greater scale, engagement & revenue potential.
    • Sundar Pichai: We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.
    • Chris Sacca~ We [Google] literally could feel a scale that had never been felt before on the planet. We had a globe where you could visualize in searches in real-time. A dot would indicate every single search on the planet. In the middle of the night there would be a search in the Gobi desert.
    • @stack72: Just had a recruiter contact me about a role with "microservices on a servers architecture” - twice I’ve seen that now in 2 days #TheFuture?
    • Jason Waxman [Intel]: We see that the world is moving to scale computing in data centers. Our projection is between 70 and 80 percent of the compute, network, and storage will be going into what we call scale data centers by 2025.
    • @BenedictEvans: In 2009 only half of Facebook's MAUs were on it every day. Mobile has taken that to 2/3, at much greater scale.
    • Dan Rayburn: Amazon and Google Enticing Customers With Cheap Storage, But Beware Of Egress Charges
    • @manumarchal: CERN LHC computing challenge is more than 400k CPUs + 300PB of data. It's is also global distribution. #dotScale
    • @bridgetkromhout: Decouple and segregate systems requiring different trust levels for faster iteration. @adrianco #craftconf
    • @dkalintsev: GE on stage at AWS Summit: “50% TCO saving compared to best what we could do in-house”
    • @etherealmind: How messed up was GE management to let their costs get this out of control ?
    • @Ellen_Friedman: #dotscale Oliver Keeble CERN - superb: computing is key. Collisions are transient; data is persisted at huge scale
    • @stratecheryAggregation Theory leads to monopoly; expect more antitrust cases, but only in Europe
    • @kelseyhightower: Moving to microservices won't save you. Borrowing money in smaller chunks doesn't change the fact that you're broke.
    • @jrauser: 1/ Inspired by this HN comment …, I offer a story about software rewrites and Bezos as a technical leader.
    • aytekin: This is a story that has happened over and over again. When you rewrite software, you lose all those hundreds of tiny things which were added for really good reasons. Don't do it blindly.
    • @BWJones: The F-35 program, which at $1.5 T would fund the entire NIH biomedical research portfolio for 41 years.
    • @balinski: "Centralization is a disease" #dotScale #scalability #cloudcomputing
    • Tony Bain: So despite the noise surrounding NoSQL, in a head to head comparison of volume of use, NoSQL use seems so very small.  At a guess, I would predict that for every NoSQL database in existence there would be at least 1000 relational databases.  Probably more.  You would be forgiven for thinking NoSQL use was almost insignificant. 
    • @jaksprats: NVM is gonna put big data on a single machine, very interesting for non-BulkSynchronousParallel GraphDBs like Neo4j
    • @frontofstore: US department stores' sales per sq ft down 26% in last ten years - many closures forecast, anchors killing malls.
    • There are even more Quotable Quotes in the full article. See you there.

  • If you thought HyperCard was a trip you were correct. Bill Atkinson in a fascinating two part Triangulation interview (12) shared that HyperCard was inspired by a LSD trip. It's a far ranging interview that covers Steve Jobs, why the movies about Jobs sucked, Apple's early days, the web's HyperCard inspiration, photography, spirituality, color theory, philosophy, learning, and lots more.

  • In case you were wondering (I certainly was): Pied Piper compression (Silicon Valley HBO). This is the Pied Piper code shown on Silicon Valley HBO Season 3 Episode 1. Worth a deca-unicorn or two.

  • Design Details has a fun podcast with Facebookers talking about Facebook bots and the Facebook design process in general. 124: Dazzle (feat. Jeremy Goldberg). Are bots useful? (yes, but not a convincing argument). Do we have to be nice to bots? (to a point because you never know who if you are talking to a person). Bots aren't all automated, they can be a combination of automated and human interactions. Bots should use strategies to help convince people they are talking with another human, like playing with typing indicator delays to simulate typing. Same for simulating reading. Animation and delays should speed up over time. Regressive design, the idea that over time parts of the UI remove themselves as users use the application more. Fight for designs you believe in. Understand, identify, execute. Truly understand what you are doing at a deep level. Identify the things you can be the most impactful on. Facebook measures you on impact. Lots of talk about design crits and pillars and pillar centered design crits. We often think of ourselves as problem solvers, our job isn't so much problem solving as communicating proposed solutions to problems. 

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Categories: Architecture

The Product Samurai Strategy Canvas

Xebia Blog - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 16:00
"May you live in interesting times" said Feng Menglong in 1627, and it's never been a more fitting expression than today. With companies leapfrogging in the age of disruption to change the way they work and the business models that they use. Scrum has brought us autonomous hyper productive teams that can quadruple your output,

Digital Transformation Defined

This post is a walkthrough multiple definitions of digital transformation from multiple sources.

Digital transformation can be elusive if you can’t define it.

Lucky for us, there is no shortage of definitions for digital transformation.

I find that rather than use one single definition for digital transformation, it’s actually more helpful to look at a range of definitions to really internalize what digital transformation means from multiple angles.

Before you walk through the definitions, be sure to review Satya’s pillars for Digital Transformation so you have a simple mental model to work with.

Wikipedia on Digital Transformation

Wikipedia has a simple explanation:

“Digital transformation refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society.”

What I like about that definition is that it goes beyond pure business and includes all impact on society, whether it’s education, government, sports, arts, leisure, etc.

Altimeter on Digital Transformation

Altimeter defined digital transformation from a customer-focused lens in their online report, The 2014 State of Digital Transformation:

“The realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle.”

What I like about Altimeter’s definition is that it’s outside in vs. inside out.  The big idea is to leverage technology to adapt to your customer’s changing preferences.  So if you “transform”, but there is no visible impact to your customers or to the market, then you didn’t really transform.

Capgemini and MIT Center for Digital Business on Digital Transformation

Capgemini and MIT Center for Digital Business define Digital Transformation in Digital Transformation: A Roadmap for Billion-Dollar Organizations like this:

“Digital transformation – the use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises.”

While their definition may look simplistic, the power is in the data behind the definition.  It’s a global study of how 157 executives in 50 large traditional companies are managing – and benefiting from – digital transformation.

Agile Elephant on Digital Transformation

Agile Elephant defines digital transformation like this:

“Digital transformation is the process of shifting your organisation from a legacy approach to new ways of working and thinking using digital, social, mobile and emerging technologies.  It involves a change in leadership, different thinking, the encouragement of innovation and new business models, incorporating digitisation of assets and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organisation’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders.”

While this definition may seem more elaborate, I find this elaboration can really help get somebody’s head into the digital transformation game.

MIT Sloan’s 9 Elements of Digital Transformation

In The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation, George Westerman, Didier Bonnet and Andrew McAfee identify the key attributes of digital transformation:

Category Items Transforming Customer Experience
  1. Customer Understanding
  2. Top-Line Growth
  3. Customer Touch Points
Transforming Operational Processes
  1. Process Digitization
  2. Worker Enablement
  3. Performance Management
Transforming Business Models
  1. Digitally Modified Businesses
  2. New Digital Businesses
  3. Digital Globalization


The nine elements are excerpted from their digital report, Digital Transformation: A Roadmap for Billion-Dollar Organizations.  Here are quick summaries of each:

  1. Customer Understanding – Customer Understanding is where “Companies are starting to take advantage of previous investments in systems to gain an in-depth understanding of specific geographies and market segments.”
  2. To-Line Growth – Top-Line Growth is where “Companies are using technology to enhance in-person sales conversations.”
  3. Customer Touch Points – Customer Touch Points are where “Customer service can be enhanced significantly by digital initiatives.”
  4. Process Digitization – Process Digitization is where “Automation can enable companies to refocus their people on more strategic tasks.”
  5. Worker Enablement – Worker Enablement is where “Individual-level work has, in essence, been virtualized — separating the work process from the location of the work.”
  6. Performance Management – Performance Management is where “Transactional systems give executives deeper insights into products, regions and customers, allowing decisions to be made on real data and not on assumptions.”
  7. Digitally Modified Businesses – Digitally Modified Businesses is “finding ways to augment physical with digital offerings and to use digital to share content across organizational silos.”
  8. New Digital Businesses – New Digital businesses is where “companies are introducing digital products that complement traditional products.”
  9. Digital Globalization – Digital Globalization is where “Companies are increasingly transforming from multinational to truly global operations.”

Sidenote – George, Didier, and Andrew sum up the power of digital transformation when they say, “”Whether it is in the way individuals work and collaborate, the way business processes are executed within and across organizational boundaries, or in the way a company understands and serves customers, digital technology provides a wealth of opportunity.”

Digital Business Transformation

I think it’s worth pointing out the distinction between Digital Transformation and Digital “Business” Transformation.

Digital Business Transformation is specifically about transforming the business with digital technologies.

There are many lenses to look at but in particular it helps to view it through the lens of business model innovation.   So you can think of it as innovating in your business models through digital technologies.   Your business model is simply the WHO (customers), the WHAT (value prop), the HOW (value chain), and your WHY (profit model.)

An exec from SAP at Davos said it well when he said “new business models are driven by different interactions with companies and their customers.”

In pragmatic terms, that means evolving your business model and interaction patterns to meet the changing demands of your customers all along your value chain.  For example, consider how millennials want to interact with a business in today’s world.  They want to learn about a company or brand through their friends and family on social networks and through real stories from authentic people, and they want access to services anytime, anywhere, from any device.

Another way to think about this is how many companies are learning how to wrap their engineering teams around their customer’s end-to-end journey to directly address the customer’s pains, needs, and desired outcomes.

Hopefully, this helps give you a good enough understanding to get going with your Digital Transformation and to understand the difference between Digital Transformation and Digital Business Transformation so that you can pave your path forward.

If nothing else, go back to the Altimeter Group’s definition of Digital Transformation,“The realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle.”, and use Satya’s pillars for Digital Transformation as a guide to stay grounded.

Additional Resources

Digital Transformation: A Roadmap for Billion-Dollar Organizations, by Capgemini and MIT Center for Digital Business

The 2014 State of Digital Transformation, by Altimeter

The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation, by George Westerman, Didier Bonnet and Andrew McAfee

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Categories: Architecture, Programming