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Expert Interview Series: Jason Bloomberg of Intellyx

Jason Bloomberg (@TheEbizWizard), president of Intellyx, is the leading industry analyst and globally recognized expert on agile digital transformation. He writes and speaks on how today’s disruptive enterprise technology trends support the digital professional’s business transformation goals.

Here he discusses digital transformation and the evolving nature of being a digital professional.

Can you tell us about Intellyx? When and why did you start your site?

I spent 12 years as managing partner and later president of ZapThink, the leading industry analyst firm focused on service-oriented architecture (SOA). At Intellyx, in contrast, we focus on agile digital transformation. Instead of narrowing our topic to a particular technology area, we have a cross-cutting focus area, helping the digital professional understand how all of the disruptive trends in enterprise IT fit together to support their business transformation priorities.

Tell us about your background and interest in enterprise technology.

My long-term focus on SOA deepened my expertise on enterprise integration, enterprise architecture, systems architecture, as well as IT and business transformation. However, the downside of such a focus was that I became typecast as an “SOA analyst.” In contrast, digital transformation is a broad and turbulent area, so I write on topics as diverse as mainframes and digital marketing, cloud computing and cognitive computing. If one topic becomes passé, I simply move on to others.

How would you define agile digital transformation?

We define digital as customer preferences and behavior drive enterprise technology decisions.

Thus, organizations require transformation because internal organizational change is necessary to maintain focus on the customer in today’s digital world.

Such transformation must be agile because organizations must capitalize on disruption to achieve greater innovativeness and resilience in the face of digital transformation priorities.

Why should organizations care about digital transformation today?

As our definition of digital suggests, such transformation is customer-driven, and in fact, absolutely necessary in order to maintain a focus on the customer. Without the customer, you’re out of business.

What enterprise technology trends are you following right now? Why?

We follow every disruptive trend in enterprise IT. If some new technology or competitive angle promises to shake up the market, we follow it. As a result, we only cover interesting topics!

What trends do you think are overrated or over-hyped?

All emerging trends are overrated and over-hyped at some point. Such hype is an essential characteristic of emerging markets. Vendors need language they can use to explain and differentiate innovative offerings, so they rely upon buzzwords. As a result, much of the analysis we do is cutting through the hype and explaining the real value behind the buzzwords.

What types of enterprise technology do you think more organizations should invest in and embrace? Why?

That will depend upon their particular needs and the needs of their customers. It is tempting simply to list, say, cloud, big data, or the internet of things here, but in reality, you need the right tool for the job. No one tool is right for every situation.

How is business evolving for digital professionals today?

Even the meaning of “digital professional” itself is evolving. That phrase used to indicate someone who focused on user experience, front-end technologies. Today, however, enterprises realize the digital challenge is end-to-end, involving all the technology in the enterprise and transforming the entire organization. In the digital organization, everyone is a digital professional.

What should digital professionals be doing right now to position their businesses for the future?

Again, it’s difficult to provide general advice that suits everyone, but here’s one pointer that would apply broadly: remember that the pace of technology innovation is exponential, not linear. In essence, Moore’s Law is kicking in across the board. As a result, even when some technology lacks maturity – take AI, for example – it will be mature before you know it. Plan accordingly.

What’s one piece of advice you find yourself repeating to clients over and over?

Never forget that digital transformation is about the customer. It only involves technology because today’s customers increasingly want to leverage technology to interact with the companies they work with. But never make the mistake of assuming digital transformation is only about the technology.

As Jason points out above, it’s important to stay on top of technology’s quick-paced trends. One enterprise IT trend making a fast approach: connecting Big Iron to Big Data. Learn how to get your mainframe data into Hadoop with the free eBook: “Best Practices for Bringing Mainframe Data to Your Big Data Systems.”

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