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Digital Transformation Teams: Uniform Unit or Pack of Lone Wolves?


June 09, 2017

At the heart of digital transformation is software, evolving the network with new levels of visibility, autonomy, performance, efficiency and more, but what about hardware? Like coal will always play a role in powering our nation, hardware will always have a part to play in the network. So, here we are; neck deep in an era of change, software development surging, hardware teams trudging along shaping the future, but how collaborative are these teams?

In a recent Transforming Network Infrastructure community poll we posed the question, “In today’s digital transformation business environment, do you find the physical infrastructure team and networking team at your company collaborating?” This month things got a little dicey, but we’ll walk through this neighborhood together. Let’s hit it!

I obviously did not expect “more frequently” to receive 100 percent of respondent support, but certainly more than 50 percent. Only half of firms are encouraging, enabling and acting in a collaborative way when it comes to component development and implementation? Really? Considering the other three options were “less frequently,” “not at all” and “no difference,” this is quite surprising to me.

Those that answered “no difference” I can at least give a pass to, as, when it comes to physical infrastructure and networking teams, in many firms they are one in the same. But those responding “not at all” and “less frequently” leave me somewhat baffled, as driving the digital transformation is connectivity – at every level. From internal collaboration and communication and customer facing facets of the operations to the core of the data center, all elements must work in unison to power our digital era.

How do we mend this fence, and bring these two sides together? That’s a very good question. Here’s some food for thought. It starts with people

Image via BigStock

and processes. Keep in mind that those who develop with hardware and the physical infrastructure typically leverage a waterfall methodology. They plan a process based on deliverables, development with few unknowns and forecast for the high cost of R&D. Software teams, on the other hand, tend to leverage a more agile approach, ensuring preparedness for constant change, and not necessarily planning along the same timeline or expectations as hardware teams.

So, create a unified view. Enterprises seeking modernization or The Glass Core Company, start at the top and trickle down a team mindset, orchestrated around a clear, unified plan for the future.  Another pointer I’d like to pass on is one some may not be so happy to hear. Put team members in the same physical location. Yes, I know. It’s blasphemous to say this in our ever mobile, ever more dispersed working world. But, if possible, put everyone under the same roof, and enable an environment of collaboration. In a world where things can change on a dime, a uniform unit performs far greater than a pack of loan wolves.

Excuse me while step off my soap box.

We are in the midst of change. It is all around us. Serving to empower this change is interoperability, integration and collaboration. As themes, they permeate the technology landscape. How are you engaging teams to drive digital transformation?

The new community poll is up. Let your voice be heard!




Edited by Alicia Young

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