Kathy Gibson at IDC’s CIO Summit in Johannesburg – When we talk about digital transformation, it means more than a technology refresh or a new system – it is about a continuous process by which enterprises adapt to or drive disruptive changes.

Jon Tullet, research manager: IT services Africa at IDC, says about one-third of South African organisations were implementing digitalisation, about one-third were considering it, and one-third were not considering it all.

The group that is not considering digital transformation is ow about 8% – and that is only because there is no budget available.

“So just about everyone is either effectively doing it, or planning it,” Tullet says.

The technologies driving digital transformation are cyber security, mobile and analytics. “If you don’t have those under control, you will find digital transformation difficult.”

IoT is also important – even more important than cloud. “We are seeing a tremendous boost in that, and we are seeing investment in the networks to drive IoT solutions.”

Many CIOs are being pushed to digital transformation, but Joe Baguley, vice-president and chief technology officer of VMware, believes it can never start with the data centre.

“Digital starts with the user.”

The focus in the past to align IT to the business was probably the wrong thing to do, Baguley says. In fact, many existing systems were designed to make the job easier for the administrators rather than helping the end user.

“Ask yourself what you are doing for your users. If you change their lives, you will start to change your business.”

Companies cannot push systems to users – they have start with the users, with approaching users in a whole different way.

The top business outcomes are agility, mobile experiences and the protection of the brand and customer trust.

IT needs to go around the loop of app, data, analytics a lot more often that they do. “This is what makes companies win,” Baguley says.

This is closely tied to being digital, he adds.

“The most exciting conversations we have with CIOs are about how to get around the loop quicker.”

The biggest stumbling blocks, he says, are people, processes and technology.

VMware addresses the technology issue with its software-defined data centre concept.