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Digital Transformation, UC&C, & Doing What's Right by Your Company

Digital transformation is one of those grand concepts that takes the business world by storm... everything gets caught up in the digitization wave, from IT initiatives to business unit processes, marketing outreach, and well beyond. But for those organizations that haven't duly prepared, what's left behind is nothing but the detritus of shattered programs and broken promises.

As I prepare for Enterprise Connect, convening in Orlando, Fla., this coming Monday, March 27, the idea of digital transformation has been very much on my mind. The communications industry has certainly been stirring up the waters of digital transformation, so one of our goals for the conference program is to help our enterprise IT attendees find calm in all the madness. We asked ourselves: How could we help enterprise IT understand not only the role of communications and collaboration in digital transformation but also how best to help their organizations not just survive the storm but emerge out of it much stronger and more agile?

One of the best ways we know how to do that is to present research-based insight from experts who are guiding enterprises through their digital transformations and, more importantly, to share first-hand experiences of enterprise IT executives involved in digital transformation themselves. What has worked? What hasn't? And why?

For the research-based insight bit, we turned to Robin Gareiss, of Nemertes Research. In a detailed study, Nemertes has evaluated the digital trends and best practices among nearly 370 companies, as Robin discussed in an August 2016 No Jitter post, "Turning the Gears of Digital Transformation." As with most any grandiose concept, level-setting has to be the starting point, she noted -- "simply understanding what digital transformation really is, and what principles comprise the latest buzz phrase."

Robin did a great job of giving us the lay of the land in that post, and will further explain in one of her sessions at Enterprise Connect, "Why UC is Crucial to the Success of Your Digital Transformation Project." The basics, she'll tell you, is that digital transformation requires three interlocking components: the innovative application of technology, the need to improve a business process, and the ability to drive value.

The need to improve the customer experience is a major influencer for digital transformation, as she'll explain. That means how a company collaborates, especially with customers but internally as well, is critically important. And here's the clincher, for me at least -- companies that are successful in their digital transformation initiatives are investing in UC and collaboration technologies 72% more than those whose gambits fail, Nemertes has found.

So you better believe that when Robin and I take the main stage on Tuesday morning to co-moderate the annual Enterprise Summit at Enterprise Connect we'll be asking our panelists to what extent they and their staffs are involved with digital transformation initiatives. We'll have lots of ground to cover in our discussion beyond digital transformation, of course, but I'm hoping to hear that the folks we have lined up do indeed see digital transformation as a vital role for IT in general and specifically for the collaboration team... or, that if they're not driving digital transformation themselves, they're deeply involved in the strategic conversations and decision making around digital transformation. The discussion should be particularly interesting, seeing as how the enterprise panelists come from a broad swath -- health services (Cigna), insurance (AIG), local government (Pinellas County, Fla.), medical technology (Medtronic), and restaurant (Yum! Brands) -- presumably all coming to the table with a different perspective and unique requirements to share.

That all said, the real opportunity for us to share first-hand experience on digital transformation comes on Monday morning, when I'll be sitting down for a fireside chat with one IT executive we know for sure has a big hand in helping to drive digital transformation for her organization. That executive is Erin Leary, who as IT leader for collaboration services at Boeing is responsible for providing the platform and tools that connect the company's 160,000 users.

I've had the privilege of speaking with Erin in preparing for our fireside chat, and I'm quite pleased that she has so graciously agreed to take the time to share her story with her peers at Enterprise Connect. As you can no doubt well imagine, finessing end-user services for a behemoth like Boeing is difficult enough without tossing digital transformation into the mix. But nevertheless, even as I write now, Erin is busily overseeing the transformation of end-user services to a digital workplace (for more on that topic, see Robin's No Jitter post, "Digital Workplace: Moving Ahead One Step at a Time," and do plan on sitting in on her digital transformation session I mentioned above). From the cultural to the technological, Erin has some great lessons learned and best practices advice to share based on her experiences at Boeing, and you'll be sure to walk away from this fireside chat with some ideas you can put to use within your own organizations.

When Enterprise Connect wraps up next Thursday afternoon, I hope anybody who has come to the event hoping to get a handle on digital transformation and the role UC and collaboration play in it walks away with a big smile and lots of to-dos to add to their lists -- and, who knows, maybe even a story or two to share with next year's crowd.

As I've mentioned, Enterprise Connect kicks off on Monday, March 27, and runs through midday Thursday, March 30. If you haven't yet registered, no worries -- there's still time, and we even still have a discount for you. Register today using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass, or a free Expo Plus pass.

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