Keeping it Real: Overcoming Digital Transformation Challenges to Realize Results

If we can’t realize value, then what’s the point of digital transformation?

I recently hosted a Thought Leaders Panel Discussion at the Micro Focus Realize 2019 events in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. We had great panellists who provided insight into how we can effectively manage change and realize value from digital transformationYou may also be asking yourself what is Digital Transformation?

To make the panel format more engaging we polled our audience on four questions and found the results to be consistent across all three locations:

– legacy systems and processes remain the top barrier to IT delivery;
– as we digitally transform, organisations are adding or modifying KPIs;
– Customer Experience (CX) is more topical than Machine Learning (ML); and
– Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is leaving robot vacuums behind.

We built this city on Legacy Systems and Process

This is the second year that we asked our attendees about barriers to IT delivery. Across 2018 and 2019, Legacy Systems and Processes has remained at the top of the list with 61% of respondents highlighting this as one of their top 3 barriers, an increase on last year. Overcoming such barriers was a relevant topic of discussion for the panel, given our mission at Micro Focus is to help our customers bridge existing to emerging technology.


As you can see from the chart above, there were small reductions in Business Silos and Cultural Problems compared to last year, but an increase in the number of respondents selecting Internal Politics as a barrier.

It was invaluable to have Sue Lindaard from Bank of New Zealand on the panel, sharing her experiences in using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to improve IT Delivery on top of existing technologies. One of the key points Sue made about cultural change was the importance of clear communication and alignment across all stakeholders.

The KPIs they are a-changing

According to IDC, “By 2023, 95% of entities will have incorporated new digital KPI sets – focusing on product/service innovation rates, data capitalization, and employee experience – to navigate the digital economy” (IDC FutureScapes 2019). Mirco Hering from Accenture made a great point that as we improve IT results through automation, the targets and assumptions underlying our KPIs also need to change. And Niranjan Murthy from Infosys agreed that many organizations will need to adopt new digital KPIs to drive alignment and success with their transformation projects.


Our second audience poll confirmed that most respondents are already seeing changes to their KPIs, with almost half adding new KPIs in the past 12 months. It was interesting to see that fewer KPIs are being dropped as new ones get added. This could require organisations to go through a more strict rationalisation in the future, to determine their core set of KPIs.

CXy and you know it

As part of our broad discussion on digital transformation, we explored the question of running fast without breaking things. Reuben Sinclair, Micro Focus Cyber Security Director, noted that security continues to be incredibly important and shared a few cautionary tales. Aaron Bernays from Micro Focus professional services observed that security needs to shift-left and be built-in to the application development lifecycle. Marc Heimlich from Vertica shared some examples of the way that analytics and machine learning are allowing organisations to improve customer experience and unlock the value in their data.

We asked our audience about some current trends/issues and how topical they are. Customer Experience (CX) topped the scale and the results were almost identical across the three locations (Melbourne shown below). And as Krissie Auld from Microsoft highlighted, these items are all inter-related and not really seperate.

It’s a long way to the top…if you’re a robot vacuum

The final audience poll we conducted touched on the hot topic of software robots driving digital transformation. The panel agreed that Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are getting a lot of hype, and that there are real opportunities being created to create business value, improve efficiency and save costs. A full half of respondents indicated that their organisation is exploring Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with Virtual Agents and Machine Learning not far behind. I’m excited about some of our new Micro Focus technologies entering this space. Sadly, Robot Vacuums seem to be getting left in the dust.


The vast majority of content from the fabulous Micro Focus Realize 2019 is available now on-demand, for those unlucky to have missed this year’s series, click the image below to get you there:


Find me on Twitter to talk more and don’t forget to visit to find other exciting events we are participating in soon…….



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