Newsletter #107 : What is Digital Transformation anyway?

It’s that Friday feeling again and another edition of the 5-minute Tech Break .We start with a look into the topic of digital transformation … Much talked about, rarely understood.So it’s good news that our lead article this week was written by an expert on the topic as Gunasundaram Gnanamuthu explored 5 Ways An Organisation Can Fail Their Digital Transformation.Elsewhere we provide a personally curated list of articles, book, video … what you’ve come to expect from your favourite tech leadership newsletter.As always and more importantly, we wish you and yours a wonderful weekend and may you return next week feeling fully refreshed and rejuvenated.

Picture below is from our recent team day in London as Usaamah contemplates when he’s going to start tucking into one of my favourite books, The Lean Start Up … a classic for building validated products.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION  5 Ways An Organisation Can Fail Its Digital Transformation… Gunasundaram Gnanamuthu is a Digital Transformation Leader and Enterprise Architect based in Oman who this week wrote about 5 Ways An Organisation Can Fail Its Digital Transformation“Today we live in a truly digital era. The penetration of mobile phones and the internet has completely changed our lives with the pandemic accelerating digital innovation further and deeper into our societies and everyday way of life than we could have possibly imagined just 18 months ago.Social distancing forced people to be confined inside their homes and virtually connected to the rest of the world. As a result of the global lockdowns, digital platforms including e-commerce, remote work, changed from being “nice to have” to “need to have” capabilities in running our lives – personal and business. Governments, businesses, schools, colleges, etc. had to dramatically shift their entire models and transactions online from meetings/classes to offering services through digital platforms. Even those people who were not familiar or particularly comfortable with online platforms pre-COVID had to become accustomed to more regular use…“You can read the full article here. 

NEWS & VIEWS  Articles Catching Our Eye This WeekExpert’s Take: 13 Non-Obvious Habits Of High-Performing Employees … According to Elon Musk, when it comes to identifying and hiring high-performing employees, skills matter more than a college degree.While speaking at the US Air Force Space Pitch Day in 2019, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX revealed some interesting information on how his companies hire new talent. “Generally, look for things that are evidence of exceptional ability. I don’t even care if somebody graduated from college or high school or whatever…” he said. “Did they build some really impressive device? Win some really tough competition? Come up with some really great ideas? Solve some really tough problem?”Building on Musk’s mantra of hiring people with “evidence of exceptional ability”, Greg Isenberg, CEO of Late Checkout, has expanded upon 13 non-obvious habits to look for while hiring potential employees. “13 non-obvious habits to look for in hiring high-performing employees,” Mr Isenberg said in the first tweet of his viral thread, which has racked up thousands of ‘likes’ since being shared. Read the Expert’s Take: 13 Non-Obvious Habits Of High-Performing Employees
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Leadership Versus Management: Mindset Versus Killset … Ria Story states the words “leadership” and “management” are often used interchangeably in business, causing people to believe there isn’t much difference.But there is a world of difference between these character traits.
One is about mindset.
The other is about skillset. Management relates to managing things, projects, and processes.
We need management, and we need managers who are effective at managing.
Work requires management.
Projects at work must be managed.
Your personal life needs management too.
Laundry must be managed.
Your bank account must be managed. 
Management is a useful, valuable, and important skillset.
But there is a huge difference between management and leadership. Read Leadership Versus Management: Mindset Versus Killset

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How to Move Fast Without Breaking Security … “Move fast and break things,” is a familiar motto.The phrase, attributed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, helps to explain the company’s stellar growth over the past decade, driven by its product innovations.However, while it’s a useful philosophy for software development, moving faster than you’d planned is a risky approach in other areas, as organizations globally realized during the COVID-19 pandemic.While 2020 saw digital transformation program timelines advance by up to seven years, enterprises’ quick moves to the cloud also meant that some things got damaged along the way – including security.Asher Benbenisty’s recent survey conducted with the Cloud Security Alliance showed that more than half of organizations are now running over 41% of their workloads in public clouds, compared to just one quarter in 2019, and this will increase further by the end of 2021. Enterprises are moving fast to the cloud, but they are also finding that things are getting broken during this process.The research showed 11% of organizations reported a cloud security incident in the past year, with the three most common causes being cloud provider issues (26%), security misconfigurations (22%) and attacks such as denial of service exploits (20%). In terms of the business impact of these disruptive cloud outages, 24% said it took up to three hours to restore operations, and for 26% it took over half a day.Read How to Move Fast Without Breaking Security
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Work In The Flow Of Learning … Yes, you probably had to read the title again.While we have all been striving to embed learning into the flow of work, a year or so back, Anjan Acharya began wondering what would happen if he could orchestrate the opposite: get some work done while learning. In this article, he will share some simple tweaks he has been trying out over the past year.But first, some background:In the first 60 days at his new job, he took a 12-hour flight to meet the senior most stakeholders and present the awesome learning and development plan that he had put together for the business function that he would be supporting.He was armed with the slickest slide deck that he had vetted several times over with his manager, the global director of learning for the company, as well as the HR director for that function and a couple of peers for good measure.That Monday, Anjan expected to present his plan in 30 minutes to the leadership team and sweep them off their feet. Adrenalin pumping high, passion for L&D gleaming in my eyes, he started the presentation referring to Josh Bersin and some other very credible research, building up to his 5-point plan for the year.As he read the room, he was not sure of the expressions around the long conference table on the eighth floor — just one below the C-suite. Perhaps it was just a cultural difference, he thought, for he could not yet see anyone gripping the edges of their seat.Read Work In The Flow Of Learning  

BOOK OF THE WEEK  Go Tech, Or Go Extinct … Discover innovative acquisition strategies and mindset shifts to future-proof your company’s bottom line and market value.“A must read for senior executives looking for new ideas and fresh insights on innovation”– Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum and author of The Fourth Industrial RevolutionIn Go Tech, or Go Extinct: How Acquiring Tech Disruptors Is the Key to Survival and Growth for Established Companies,
 the author shares his revolutionary approach to transforming legacy companies into forward-thinking industry leaders through the strategic acquisition of disruptive technology companies.Insight into how you can maintain your company’s success in a disruptive climate. If you like straightforward advice, proven fact-based tactics, and don’t mind a departure from traditional culture, then you’ll love Paul Cuatrecasas’ tour-de-force. VIDEO OF THE WEEK Brendon Burchard…How Incredibly Successful People Think
 CTO ACADEMY EBOOK Have you got the latest version?Get your copy here with 90 Things You Need To Know, If You Want To Become The CTO.  CTO ACADEMY CAREERS We can help you get that dream job Our mission is to help you get the career and impact you want and deserve. Alongside our online courses and operational coaching, we provide a career development service that includes helping you build out a targeted career roadmap alongside CV/Linkedin reviews and interview preparation for when you land a breakthrough opportunity ….The careers team is headed by Richard Weaver with 20+ years of experience in placing individuals within high level IT roles so he knows his onions (that’s a colloquial english term for something of an expert) “I can’t recommend these CV sessions enough. The results were immediate, a tribute to their expertise but also the impact of subtle and astute pieces of advice.I also appreciated the fact they did this by probing and interviewing me, not dictating what to write.The result was a profile that was far stronger but still written in my voice.  Effective and well delivered expertise that I highly recommend” – Reda Hmeid, UK Find out more via our careers page.

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