Predicting the chances for success of a chosen transformation initiative isn’t a black box. Often, it’s directly related to your people and their ability to apply critical thinking. But they need the space and time to do so. 

In this article, I’ll take a high-level look at a common transformation pitfall, and explain how a flexible approach to consuming technology can help to avoid it. Flexible services are truly critical in this digital-first landscape where people need technology to empower them, not hold them back.

Flexibility Enables Adaptation in Real Time—and Adaptation Will Be Constant

Your business will always evolve and adapt organically in real time. 

Transformation is about harnessing this change to be productive, and continually aligning these evolutions and adaptations with your broader transformational goals. This requires frequent, efficient course corrections.

Rigid technology is the enemy here.

Four Parallel Realities of Transformation

To help you perform this continuous progress assessment and make necessary course corrections, you’ll want to keep track of four parallel realities of your transformation and what defines each.

  • The reality where your transformation program is conceived
  • The reality when your transformation program completes
  • The reality you’re in right now (things will have changed since day one)
  • The reality you’ll be in next week/month/year because real life happens while your transformation program is in progress

Most transformation programs account for the first and second realities—they’re the pillars of the “what” and “why.” But the bigger and more complex the change is, the more time and effort the program is likely to take. During that time, everyday real life will play an important role—but you can (and should) lean into that. And when you provide people the flexibility to harness their creativity and ideas through that evolution, true transformation can take root.

Fair warning: If your transformation is rigid, your people will be less able to apply their creativity and their critical thinking to in a positive way. There’s a way around it, but be careful you don’t fall into a common transformation trap…

Don’t Let the Solution Become the Outcome 

Many transformation programs have been created, justified, and predicated on business cases that show a sufficient delta between predicted cost and expected benefit. There are also mandatory transformational changes driven by industry regulation and data compliance, but these still yield business benefits—mostly in the form of risk mitigation and cost avoidance.

The real problem arises when the future solution that the transformation program was originally designed to deliver is inflexible. Worse, when investments are made up front in one fell swoop, you risk committing multi-year spend to a solution that you might need to change but can’t. 

Example: A 10-year transformation program is deployed on a specific technical solution, which will be migrated to over a 2-year span. Only, as early as year one, significant changes to the business mean different demands from the solution. The transformation is at the mercy of an inadequate solution, with teams facing an extensive, expensive redesign, introducing new risks and multiple outages.

How can this be avoided?

Try not to focus on the originally devised delivery milestones of your transformation program. Instead, measure a program’s fitness against: 

  • Alignment of solution to business need
  • Expected outcomes of delivering the solution
  • Operational, Security, and Risk-based benefits of delivering the solution 

And then, the most critical capability…

Be Able to Make Course Corrections, When Necessary

Consider the third and fourth realities mentioned above. Are your people so entrenched in delivering the solution that, over time, it’s become less clear if that solution can even deliver the desired outcome?

As things change organically within your business, you may find the original solution is harder to deliver. If it starts to feel less compatible with your evolving needs, course corrections can right the ship—and a flexible subscription model can help you make that pivot.

Nurture Creativity in Innovation with Pure Storage

As your business adapts to changing market conditions, natural and human-made disasters, new business opportunities, and geo-political unrest, you’ll want solutions and services that can help you respond quickly and efficiently, without creating stranded infrastructure, wasting investment, and adding risk.

Pure’s solutions are available to consume as fully flexible “as-a-service” models, meaning you can fully depend on Pure as a transformation partner, enabling you to make incremental course corrections along your transformation journey.

Your people are at the heart of your organization, and your people need flexibility to make your transformation a success. With flexible services, they’re less likely to feel like transformation is happening to them and more likely to feel it’s happening for them—a true transformation win-win.

Download our free guide to discover human-focused strategies and solutions to help you drive transformation at your organization.