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SOA & WOA: Article

The Business Transformation Big Bang Battle Zone

Modern businesses are typically built around a complex array of disconnected and often competing individual silos

This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise Services

We are all aware that business needs to change into business 2.0 today - or even some version of business 3.0 if you truly want to start placing new social and semantically-aware labels on the modern business model of today.

It sounds simple enough on paper doesn't it?

Bring in and deploy new collaborative and connected workflow models with new (very often) cloud-based underbellies that drive new business efficiencies on all sides.

Sisyphean Trials
But, in reality, The Sisyphean trial toward business transformation Nirvana is beset on all sides by the inequities of modern business.

One of the most prevalent and obvious real-world obstacles to business transformation is the fact that modern businesses are typically built around a complex array of disconnected and often competing individual silos. The transformed business of the future works in harmony but, in truth, the real business of today works with elements that actually perpetuate in opposition to each other.

Vestigial Business Boundaries
What is even harder about overcoming the transformation process that we need to undertake here is finding the borders between these silo-separated business departments. We could call them vestigial business boundaries if you wish. These sometimes quite intangible divisions have little worth and not very much meaning.

But what is most important of all is that we recognize these partitions as separations that were put in place before digitization, automation and inter-networked web-based connectivity.

The truth is, these walls have to go.

The trouble is, you can't just break up a business structure overnight (or even over a year) and so this process needs strategic planning and management.

Otherwise, business transformation turns into a war zone.

Business Streamlining and Rationalization
It's easy to use the term "business streamlining and rationalization" as we approach the transformative curve, but it's a far harder task to pull it off.

Organizations large and small that are looking to achieve transformation still have the ongoing daily obligation to deal with short-term issues like monthly profit margins.

There's a complex and sensitive piece of analysis to be done here. The big question centers around when we get the payoff from the transformation that we seek to undertake. Adding in new layers of technology and implementing new collaborative systems costs money; so when do the efficiencies arise and arrive from this investment such that they position our firm to be more profitable and agile in the future?

Pinning Down a Moving Target
This is an economic business model that has a deep-rooted connection to information technology that may in and of itself be still-nascent and quite dynamic in its nature. It's hard to pin down a moving target, especially inside the business transformation battle zone.

Principal for global social business services at Hewlett-Packard, Oliver Marks is of the opinion that his company is one of the few companies on the planet with what he calls the "heft and neutrality" to engender and carry off social business transformation at scale, from datacenter underpinnings through to enterprise services strategy to digital apps across all devices.

"The reality is that many companies are too siloed to be able to go through the big bang effect of becoming a more connected, agile business without significant help at this point in history. Although the attraction of becoming more holistic and cost-effective is very attractive and cost-effective to many, technical and cultural barriers can make goal setting seem ambitious," said Marks, writing last year in 2013.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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