Analog -> Digital

The Digital Transformation Revolution

Analog – The Good Old Days

Digital – Our Brave New World

Welcome to the year 2025. How is this possible? The COVID-19 Pandemic has accelerated the Digital Transformation Movement. The Pandemic represents a “CTL-ALT-DEL” (reboot) for all of humanity. For business, Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” speaks louder than ever before.

In Canada, city highway traffic has been replaced by internet traffic. Downtown offices are sparse as remote work locations are permitted. City apartment renters are moving out of the city, becoming distant, promising homeowners with newly acquired remote office privileges. Teachers are learning hybrid in-class and distance teaching best practices. Students at home are mastering new distance learning techniques and technologies. Parents have become the home IT help desks and work/school master time management schedulers. Home internet bandwidth usage is stressed at an all time high during daytime peaks. Business lunch meetings are being held on Zoom calls catered by Door Dash food deliveries compliments of the meeting host. Vehicles have become safe zones for meeting and eating. Mobile app developers cannot keep up with the demand for food ordering applications. Uber drivers are now moving both people in their vehicles and hot prepared food in insulated containers in their trunks. Doctor appointments are now home video calls with patients taking their own blood pressure, weight, glucose levels and reporting symptoms of isolation and Zoom fatigue. Both process and technology adoption at a speed never before experienced by Canadians.

Corporate playbooks have exceeded their shelf life, while some continue to refer to a “game” that is now obsolete. Companies are converting low paying contact centres (aka call centres) into strategic, omnitouch, revenue generating “superagent” pods addressing the needs of inside sales, service and support departments. Companies are overwhelmed and saturated with the choice and speed at which both new technologies and new competitors are entering the market. Like all of the examples just shared, companies and their respective organizations need external help to identify their shortfalls and shortlist the solutions to address these needs and requirements.

Note: Company logos are live links to the partner website

Change can be challenging for organizations that have embraced and invested in information technology for competitive advantage over the years. For newer startups, the transformational steps may be almost non-existent, hence their rapid entry and success in the business markets. A Trusted Advisor understands and appreciates both legacy technology investments and new disruptive technology innovations.

Historically in an analog world, technology yields a common theme of being “anchored” to something such as a television, a telephone, a video rental store, a library, a photo processing store and a restaurant. In business, a corporate data centre, a branch office, a meeting room, a desk and a telephone represents anchor points. Digital Transformation enables a decoupling from all of these anchors.

Today, business agility, innovative applications and time to value are key success factors. Return on investment is more aligned with speed to market, competitive advantage and unique customer experiences. Transformation is about turning complexity into simplicity. A key transformation ingredient is velocity (speed plus direction). It has a hardened starting point and a dynamic end point target.

The hub (data center) and spoke (branch office) architecture represents a typical starting point for digital transformation initiatives. The centre, the Data Centre, represents the anchor. Digital Transformation has turned network topologies inside out. The term “Data Centre” is now an oxymoron (like jumbo shrimp).

Edge Computing, commonly referred to as “the Edge”, have antonyms that include Data Perimeter, Data Limit and Data Boundary to name a few. Branch Offices, mobile devices and remote work locations such as home office make up the Edge. Machines (manufacturing, vending, home appliances) that are network addressable (have an IP address) are also part of this Internet Of Things (IOT) edge environment.

Corporate Data Centres are no longer the “belly button” for Corporate IT infrastructure. They have become a highly specialized branch, equipped with specific IT infrastructure and talent. At the lowest common denominator, remote workers and branch offices, are smarter, better equipped and more sophisticated than ever before. Multi-Cloud and Intelligent Branch Office/Remote Worker Edge form the foundations of a digital transformation strategy.

With the exception of essential services such as healthcare, food and fuel supply for example, the COVID-19 pandemic has us once again, anchored in many ways. Despite this current reality, we are unlimited in the way we can use next generation technology to collaborate and conduct commercial and personal business. COVID 19 has accelerated our learnings and adoption of these disruptive innovations.