Authored by Christopher Crist, Chief of Development, Security, and Operations (DevSecOps) at US Transportation Command:
After six years of an active-duty commitment supporting and leading IT initiatives, I took a position as the Chief Information Officer of a regional hospital in the private sector. I noticed how difficult it was to implement change in this organization but soon realized that the CEO expected me to make it happen. How do you materialize change when your organization loses money every month, people are afraid of lay-offs, and learning new things adds to stress? It is possible! However, it requires digital transformation. The general definition of digital transformation entails rethinking how to incorporate and use technology to achieve business goals that impact how people accomplish their jobs and deliver to an ever-changing customer base. To achieve digital transformation, IT leaders need to focus on digital modernization.
Digital modernization involves adopting new or upgrading current technology to meet organizational objectives. Often, this means improving response time, how long it takes to resolve an issue, up-time, security, and end-user experiences. By focusing on digital modernization, an organization improves its chances of remaining relevant far into the future. Today, we see digital modernization centered around software and new coding practices. As many of us pivot toward software as a service (SaaS), companies invest more in software supply chain security. Additionally, digital modernization encompasses concepts like DevOps, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and maximizing cloud computing activities. Shifting to a cloud environment allows us to take advantage of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and even move toward platform as a service (PaaS), allowing organizations to focus on delivering new capabilities to their customers. The bottom line: if companies want to maximize their success rates, they must prioritize digital modernization.