Go digital in 2018: find your real enemy in IT
As soon as we talk about digital transformation with people with a business profile of the various obstacles they face, you can be sure that an answer invariably arrives: IT.
IT prevents jobs from going fast, IT poses too many constraints when you have to be agile, IT wants to rationalize everything when you have to try, see what works and post-rationalize. So yes IT is the great enemy and CIOs the embodiment of the devil.
The CIO is not the devil and it’s you build hell
A vision that I do not subscribe to. Indeed sometimes they could be a little faster, agile, accommodating. On the other hand, it is also them that we will attack if one day everything explodes, a major problem appears or a flaw is exploited by the first hacker.
Precisely, let’s talk about flaws.
The post 2005 web version is great, since 2010 it’s nirvana. No more complex integrations, endless specific developments to make two applications communicate with each other: there are APIs.
Before, you had to build an opening on each side and then create a pipe between the two. Today, the sockets exist, what can be asked of them is documented, all you have to do is build the pipe. Sometimes it’s still more complicated than expected but it has nothing to do with the world before.
This addresses a real problem: to make two applications talk to each other that have nothing to do with each other to share data or trigger actions. So much less manual work. And now that it has become simple, we have had it all.
“Say I can plug my CRM into your customer file?” ” ” But yes “.
“I need to take data from the CRM to pass them into my marketing automation”. ” No problem “.
“Say I can connect to your emailing data for…. “. ” Of course “.
Everyone took what they needed where it was available and that’s great because that’s exactly what it was designed for. The problem is that it goes piecemeal, depending on the opportunity, sometimes even under the radar.
Today, in theory, everyone knows where the application we have installed takes data and where it returns.
The bomb of lack of data governance
Very few know if, once sent “elsewhere”, the information cannot go again elsewhere because a similar “deal” would have been concluded. And so on.
From branch to branch, no one has a clear vision of where information is going and who does what. And as it is done piecemeal without governance, it is hard to disentangle all this.
One day, as it passes from application to application, information will end up in a place of less security without anyone being aware of it. Because a person will not have been vigilant enough, the whole chain will be endangered, something that no one can identify because everyone only has a view of what he has done at home. With the coming GDPR, we can have funny situations.
Having asked the question to a few friends working in reputable companies serious on the subject, it is obvious that everyone “hopes” not to have made a dumpling but that after years of multiple projects where we plugged in and unplugged, where the applications have been added to each other, we start to have trouble knowing what goes where.
A risk in the event of a security breach in one location. But also a risk if suddenly we decide to disconnect an application without knowing that by acting in this way we will have a set of dominoes which one step further will prevent the operation of 2.5 or 10 other applications.
For those who are already well advanced in the digital world, there is an urgent need to try to clarify everything that has been done. A real challenge when you think of projects carried out “under the radar” and the fact that we often did not build a global map as we went along.
For those who are just getting into the fantastic world of data, let them worry about this from the start.
But there is a real subject there then, instead of mistaking the enemy, on the contrary, that trades and IT collaborate to avoid a future tragedy.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.