IT and business collaboration has been a point of discussion for decades—what’s different about the conversation today?

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Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Business and IT collaboration is the age old question at this point. There's always been some conflict, and sometimes it's a really healthy conflict that you need for balance. But I wonder if it boils down to the fact that there will be transformation at each stage of a company's journey. 

I've spent a lot of time in companies during their awkward teenage phase over the past several years, and part of the challenge is that transformations typically happen right at the point where they're trying to scale for massive growth or are in the midst of hypergrowth. There's a significant need to implement a better way to use our tools in order to help drive that because the way that they did it before was done very quickly, and with little governance because they were optimizing for speed. You're trying to layer transformation on top of that.

It’s different when you are a large enterprise looking across your portfolio for ways to optimize your total IT spend. That's going to look more like consolidation—app consolidation, etc—and you're driving for different optics. You might be driving for costs versus scale. So we haven't clearly identified what transformation looks like at one stage versus another, and we're still applying the same principles to both.
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CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed

You're correct about the reality of change in terms of transformation. It goes through a cycle and then it'll go through another iteration five years later.

Board Member in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
It needs to go from being an outlier to becoming a movement. Digital transformation is no longer a milestone to rest on, it is a journey and you have to keep running to stay ahead.
CIO / Managing Partner in Manufacturing, 2 - 10 employees
I think scale and future survival are different this time. 10 years ago, you didn't talk about platforms and having a marketplace, or whatever else you could trade within. A lot of that was barely heard of. Now it's the way you have to do things. There are so many of these aspects that are maturing and it's a question of how you can constantly evolve the way you do business—technology supports that through SaaS and cloud. For aspects like that, the cycle is speeding up more and more. How do you enable yourself to quickly flex and pivot as the next wave of things happen?
CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed
Digital transformation is now a decade along and the early adopters are now in the process of either entering the diminishing return on the technology investments they made for digital, or they are facing competitors who are light years ahead in digital transformation simply because they were later adopters. Usually it's the early adopters that have the advantage and it lasts for a much longer period of time than it does today. Now it's about 18-23 months.

Previously it used to be 3-5 years. And that was what the paybacks were all geared towards for ROI arguments, etc. Now digital transformation is so long and so comprehensive that the evolution of that digital transformation needs to be recalibrated on a two-year cycle, otherwise you're investing in obsolete technology that will not bring cost savings, process optimization, or revenue generation from data lakes, data as a service, or anything else. It's so compressed that we haven't gotten our arms around the compression, or the acceleration.
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CIO / Managing Partner in Manufacturing, 2 - 10 employees

There are a number of issues that are interlinked. As you said, the early adopters that were using inferior capabilities—and an inferior understanding of what digital transformation means—may have had a lot of wins but then things changed. But another issue is that it's called digital transformation, yet it's really a business transformation. Too often, people see the word digital and think it's IT, so they tell IT to go do it. That's probably the biggest reason there are so many projects and so many that have failed. It's about this constant evolution of the way you do business and the tools that technology can provide, enable and help that.

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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