Digital Transformation Starts With People Accepting Change

Digital transformation is a buzzy term, but accurate in describing the tremendous change organizations are experiencing. We are all shopping, banking, and keeping in touch with friends and family using applications. To stay relevant, companies, governments and service organizations have had to embrace this transformation in the way they interact with customers, citizens and employees.

I joined Palo Alto Networks a few months ago and immediately started meeting with customers. In all of my conversations, whether with Fortune 500 brands or regional universities, there is one thing that was consistently shared as the most important (and often the hardest) part of this change. It’s not deciding on a certain vendor or deploying new technology; it’s getting people to think differently and change the way they work.

Tech innovator and entrepreneur, Salim Ismail, has said that if you try to do something disruptive, the immune system of the organization will attack you. Organizations are structured to work in very specific ways. Once they are established, changing an existing process or mindset is challenging. Salim will be sharing his thoughts on driving change at our Epic Cloud Event today. In addition, IT leaders from Capital One, The Coca Cola Company, PwC and Schlumberger will share how their organizations are successfully navigating the change.

Disruption is here. As data and applications move to the cloud, IT team boundaries are getting blurry. The silos that they are used to working in are inevitably coming down, and bridging gaps is more important than ever. Here are some of the ways our customers are addressing this:

  • Talking to other companies in similar situations
    For many organizations, understanding that large businesses are facing the same challenges as they migrate to the cloud is helpful and validating. One recommendation is to schedule an hour each month with a peer or peer group to share ideas and best practices.
  • Spending more time on cloud education and learning
    There is a need to change the way IT teams view the cloud. Investing ample time here helps ensure that teams have a shared baseline understanding and similar mindset before beginning any project. Making sure team members get training on best practices for developing, deploying and securing cloud applications is a great start.
  • Bringing key players together into one agile team
    Organizations may have different names for “agile teams,” or operating models for how to bring members out of their silos. Regardless of what these teams are called or how they come together, it’s clear that a unified team with clear objectives and defined responsibilities makes any journey easier. Interactive workshops with stakeholders across IT functions can help define new processes that will work for the whole team.

While resistance to change is inevitable, companies that manage change effectively are the ones which will come out on top. I invite you to learn more about what we’re announcing today from Palo Alto Networks to help with successful digital transformation.