“Do I want my company to be on the menu or on the table,”  

…….the fundamental decision regarding digital transformation.

by Roger Strukhoff

The ongoing proliferation of several powerful technologies can lure us into the weeds of technical and tactical discussions about deploying enterprise IT.

But the view from the C-suite and the board of directors must encompass the entire landscape, the DXPlanet.io view. Digital Transformation (DX) is the strategy; everything else is a tool.  Creating the Digital Enterprise Transformation Culture

The big-picture questions seem to be a.) what should your company’s IT be doing right now, b.) how should it be doing it, and, of course, c.) WHY?


The “why” part of the question is the most important part, and the easiest to address.

First of all, it’s a matter of pure survival. The facts are ominous: 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies in the 1950s no longer exist, and 50 percent of the Global 2000 from just 20 years ago have either been bought out or no longer exist.

Forget Noble Purpose! (And no one should…), But ask yourself, instead, “Do I want my company to be on the menu or on the table,” because that is the fundamental decision to be made regarding digital transformation.

The prime disruptive, technology-enabled change in business over the last generation: a shift in customer focus from the “inside-out” to the “outside-in.”

………..a data-driven revolution in which customers are increasingly telling 

companies what they want ………. and what value they give……….

rather than companies telling customers what they need ………….

and how much they’re going to pay.

Social media and cloud technology have conspired to create a data-driven revolution in which customers are increasingly telling companies what they want — and what value they give — rather than companies telling customers what they need and how much they’re going to pay.

Companies have been reaching out to customers for many years, customizing their products and services as much as they can, offering a flexibility through online services that weren’t possible in an earlier age, and collecting as much data about markets and customers as they can.

The basic information flow has been from companies to customers, with a certain percentage of feedback guiding companies about what to do.


But today, the primary information flow is from customers to companies.

Customers are now gripping the steering wheel, with the ability to trigger corporate crises from single, negative comments on Yelp, Twitter, and Facebook. Social media managers have among the most stressful jobs in the organization and can be blindsided 24/7/365.

The use of real-time data collection at the IoT edge of the cloud, from shopping habits, traffic flows, network traffic, and many other sources adds another dimension to this outside-in flow.

As a result, the amount of data created in the world is doubling every three years, and is now being measured in zettabytes — soon to be yottabytes.

Source: Engadget.com


Problems and opportunities have always represented a two-sided coin – or a two-way street, if you prefer. But the continuous, rapid growth of data dramatically speeds up the process of dealing with the problems and grabbing the opportunities — and has the potential of automating it.

Disruption and creative destruction are not just interesting topics at tech conferences. They are real. They have already arrived at the corporate doorsteps of every G2000 enterprise, whether their C-suite executives and boards know it or not.

A recent graphic, put together from a variety of trusted sources, illustrates that many companies have realized the urgency they face, even as there are some troubling data points in the graphic as well.

To the good:

  • Note how 71 percent of organizations have either the CEO or the CIO in charge of their companies’ DX vision.

  • Also note how respondents think this responsibility should be shifted slightly downward, to the now-emerging office of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). (I imagine this category also includes the CDO’s sibling, the Chief Innovation Officer).

  • The wide majority of organizations view DX as an opportunity, with a relatively small number represent it as a threat.

To the bad:

  • The first two reasons given in the left lower quadrant as barriers to DX scream out. See how 43 percent of respondents said their top people are simply too busy to deal with the issue adequately. One-third of the companies say they lack an overall strategy, a reason that is no doubt tied to the excuse about being too busy.

It’s easy enough to understand how someone would want to make the excuse of being too busy, given the multiple pressures of top management at a big company. The emergence of the CDO and C(innovation)O ought to reassure us, though, that this excuse may not have a long shelf life, as enterprises focus their DX efforts on a C-suite officer who should be uniquely qualified and uniquely tasked with developing a winning vision.


The use of cloud computing infrastructure and platforms, creation of a DevOps culture, widespread application of AI and ML, intriguing emergence of blockchain technologies, and deployment of IoT projects in diverse forms through all sectors are examples of the tools that are being brought to bear on the problems and opportunities being created by this new, massive, outside-in data flow.

Yet, in the absence of a comprehensive DX strategy, these tools can do little more than create a lot of noise.

DXPlanet.io covers the disruption, technology, people and companies that comprise the landscape of Digital Transformation. I hope we can play a role in inspiring all who join us on our journey through this brave new landscape.

Summit Series, Montreal, October 24: Creating the Digital Enterprise Transformation Culture 

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Recommended: Understanding DX is a Matter of Semantics


Roger Strukhoff is a co-founder of DXPlanet and Director of Enterprise Research at Altoros, Inc. He also serves as Conference Chair of Cloud Expo and Executive Director of the Tau Institute of Global ICT Research.

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