Updated: Nov 1, 2018
Some dooms day techno prophets predict that, the two often contrasting and conflicting analog and digital worlds of IT will soon collide and things will get worst before they get better.
But, if we analyze our past and present we can foretell the future. Examining things under the lens of a microscope, we will see that rather than a bimodal IT, most organizations had and would always have a 2-geared IT in their environment. Things like coping-up with obsolescence, technology refreshes and upgrades are all part of IT’s routine tasks afterall. Hence, most organizations would have varying magnitudes of bimodality, and that is indispensable. So, rather than taking them as contrasts, they must be viewed as complements. These 2 modes of IT often complete each other (rather than compete with each other) to serve a higher end in the chain. They are like men and women, night and day, and the yin & the yang. These complements will never cease to exist. They are part of the same ecosystem that brings balance to the force.
The rat-race to a digital world:
Most organization’s digitalization journey starts with the facade, then they work their way in. The risk of doing so, is that when your backbone is weak, things will easily crumble and fall. But, if you don’t start somewhere, you will never start ever. So what do you do? Well, a good starting point is, “wherever it makes sence”. Usually, a customer-facing front-end system would be a good candidate, since you will have a bigger bang for your buck. However, the back-office integration must be strengthened as well to make the process seamless. The digital world is 24x7, it doesn’t sleep, it expects immediate response and results. Lag time or waiting-time as a consequence of a broken process could be the Achilles heel that can bring your digitalization journey to fail.
Focusing on end-to-end process mapping and applying stop-gap and/or final solutions like robotics process automation will be a key differentiator that will separate the men from the boys as you digitalize your world.
Note that, as digitalization thrive into the main stream, legacy systems will continue to exist. After all, legacy starts the minute you put something in production. Embracing both worlds, understanding their strengths and weaknesses will pave the way to the success of your digital journey.