Building a Digital Transformation Strategy

October 11, 2019

Part 3: Fortify Your Digital Backbone

The human spine is a remarkable feat of evolutionary engineering: 33 individual bones cushioned with fibrocartilage discs, bound together by interlocking joints and ligaments and connected to muscle by tendons. It’s a delicate balance between the rigid structure needed to support upright movement, the strength to protect sensitive nervous tissue, the insulation to absorb mechanical impact and the flexibility to bend and reach.
 
An organization’s IT infrastructure is its Digital Backbone—the support system for all business operations—and it must strike the same delicate balance: sturdy enough to safeguard internal assets from outside threats, but not so rigid it’s immovable or, worse, it breaks.
 
The beauty of the human spine is that, while each region and even each vertebra is uniquely designed to perform a specific function, they share the same basic structure and work together harmoniously. The Digital Backbone must manage to do the same, even as the scope of demands placed on it increases.
 
Middle market organizations are in the midst of digital transformation, an evolutionary response to the disruptive forces of rapid technological, competitive and market changes. Today’s digital economy is one of accelerating connectivity and complexity, rife with opportunity to create and capture value in new and exciting ways. But that opportunity comes with significant digital risk: massive volumes of ungoverned data, more interdependencies, relentless cyberattacks, devastating privacy breaches and new regulations with hefty penalties, as well as the existential threats of automation, commoditization and capricious customer expectations. We now live in a continuous state of persistent threat. And there is less time than ever before to react and respond.