On a scale of one to 10 where 10 represents “very ready” how ready do you believe America’s 4.6 million IT workers are to competently implement digital transformation strategies in the post Covid 19 economy?

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gary beach on Apr 21, 2020 • 4 answer
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There will be a big rush to "correct" company positions regarding remote workforce and broader digital transformation strategies, ie, DT. So let me rate that as an 8. Now … let’s just wait and see if adequate budget and staffing are also given in order to get these new demands done.

Personally, I think the DT terminology is just another example of a jacked sales hype term. In mean, haven’t we been doing "digital transformation" strategies since computers were first introduced as legitimate business tool??

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Dave Robinson on Apr 21, 2020
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Gary. This is a fun question. I believe people and organizations were already challenged to figure out what "digital transformation" means to them and where they are at the time of consideration. "Digital transformation" is nebulous like the words quality, testing, done, and cloud. I do see some themes that will require mind-set shifts first, then capabilities/skills thereafter. Leaders have to set the expectation first. For example:

- More automation, less manual intervention - everywhere
- More software defined everything, less manual construction of parts and pieces
- Log aggregation, filtering, event monitoring, and alerting
- More automated tests (infra, data, network, monitoring, pentest, vulnerability, compliance, etc.)
- Horizontal delivery pipelines that transcend departments instead of vertical, department based delivery systems

Simple examples: Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) / aka Infrastructure As Code (IAS) requires the automation script of the vendor in question (e.g., GCP, AWS, Azure). To write something that is vendor-agnostic (as much as it can be), like with Hashicorp Terraform, will require straight up command-line coding. Current team members who rely upon drag/drop//point/click behaviors will need to adapt or risk being left behind.

I think we're witnessing a pan/trans-industry change that first requires leaders recognize there is a need and opportunity for significant change. After that, teams will follow. If leaders don't change, the teams will more likely behave as they are measured, but not likely exceed the vision/capacity/capability/permission of their leader (or they will leave and go somewhere else).

I struggled to assign a 1-10 value. I think the answer depends upon the industry, company, leader, and context.

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Matthew D Edwards on Apr 21, 2020
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I agree with the first two responses. And, would add -- it depends on the strategy. Which depends on the industry and the company. And depends on where they were at relative to digital modernization, perhaps more so, then transformation. However, I would an IT professional would be ready, if a skill or competency they had mastered over the years, was not on a specific software language or network architecture or database. But rather had gotten skilled at learning new technologies. That, in my opinion, is the secret sauce in an IT staff. And, IT leaders help create that competency by encouraging curiosity and experimentation, and allowing time and budget for continued learning. I think to paint with a broad brush I would say IT workers readiness would look like a bell curve - with the curve area peak being around a 6 or 7.

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Gary Hassenstab on Apr 21, 2020
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A very valid and interesting question in these stressful times. I know that Digital Transformation (DT) has become a huge buzzword and lost a lot of its hype. And there are a lot of organizations that claim to be undertaking a DT but are really introducing some incremental change that just moves the needle a little but are not really transforming.

I define DT as a transformation of the business model and operating model of an organization through the use of data. In that regard, now is an extremely exciting time for many organizations especially in the retail, education, and healthcare sector to fundamentally transform their existing models and processes through the data gathered by a sudden switch to more eCommerce/Digital transactions.

Gary, with regards, to your question on rating the readiness of the US, I would put it at a 5 or a 6. Many of them have the will, but probably lack the skill and the ability to modernize their applications and technologies in short durations to achieve success in their DT strategy journey.

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Gautham Pallapa on Apr 23, 2020
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