Communication: The Biggest Barrier to Digital Transformation


Do your business partners look at you like you’re speaking a different language when talking about IT? An organization’s dependency on technology for success means that the IT team needs to always be thinking like the business. It’s up to today’s IT leaders to communicate the business value of innovation and map technology solutions to specific business challenges, opportunities, and requirements from their business partners. Without this translation, we might as well be speaking a different language ... and unfortunately there is not an app for that, as much as we’d like to have one.

Non-technical skills represent some of the most critical development areas for today’s IT professionals, managers, and leaders regardless of industry. The risk? Extinction or worse — irrelevance.

So when John Palinkas from the IT Transformation Institute reached out to me last year to discuss a partnership between his company and the Intel IT Center, it quickly became clear to me what was needed. We developed a Web show aimed at giving IT and business leaders some tools, tips, and techniques to better communicate with each other. The Transform IT Web show offers a series of live interviews with CxOs and industry thought leaders from a range of companies and industries. The show aims to provide real-world, practical advice that will pave the way for business transformation through digital disruption.


Source: Harvey Nash 2015 CIO Survey

Below are a few highlights from three Transform IT episodes that touch on digital disruption through cloud technology.

Embracing Cloud Through Cultural Transformation

Lance Weaver, CTO of GE Cloud Architecture, shares GE’s journey to cloud migration and how he dealt with the resistance to change that came from this transformation. Realizing the biggest barriers included company culture, Lance shares techniques that helped his organization to shift their mindset, embrace change, and improve business communications to successfully tackle a massive project like a corporate cloud migration.

Watch the full episode: Leading Your Enterprise into a Fast Future

Reinvent Your IT Career by Trying Something New

Diversification reduces risk, but also improves reward. Aziz Safa, Intel VP and General Manager of Enterprise Applications and Application Strategy, spent much of his career outside of IT. His experience as both a business and an IT leader has provided him with a unique view on how to initiate change as a technologist. These alternative experiences helped Aziz approach challenges differently: “The thinking process that needs to happen is not to get stuck with the difficulties of the past, but what’s possible to do moving forward.”

Watch the full episode: How Technologist Can Thrive Using Architecture, Integration & Flexibility

Why Honesty May be the Great Career Differentiator

Rich Roseman, former CIO of 21st Century Fox, was a self-professed cloud naysayer. During the U.S. Open, he discovered that embracing this technology was imperative. Rich executed two simultaneous cloud projects — a full-scale enterprise conversion and a green field startup implementation. In both instances, he found that honesty was a critical success factor. Rich shares that having the courage and integrity to stand up and highlight what is not working is the only way to improve transparency, opening clear lines of communication within IT departments and the businesses we support.

Watch the full episode: Why Honesty may be the Great Career Differentiator

I have derived a lot of value from these shows and our guests, and I’m equally inspired by the growing movement of IT transformation advocates discussing these topics on our monthly Transform IT Google Hangouts.

Today’s business and IT landscape is shifting fast, and the tools and technologies of the past may not be sufficient for the future. The Transform IT series gives IT and business professionals access to thought leaders who share personal insights on how to bridge the communication divide between IT and business.


Source: Harvey Nash 2015 CIO Survey

I invite you to become a fan and explore the full series, stay up-to-date on upcoming shows, lend your personal insights, and join the social conversation using #TransformIT.