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Image: Why You Need a Microscope and Binoculars to Navigate Your Digital Transformation Journey

At Flexera, we pride ourselves on providing unprecedented insight to CIOs and their IT people to help them save money, identify vulnerabilities and make better business decisions. This insight is especially critical as senior execs look to IT for fast-tracking digital transformation. The insight we bring has two aspects. One is an inward insight into the assets your organization owns. The other is an outward insight into how your peers around the world are dealing with digital transformation.

Flexera brings your IT assets into a clear focus for inward insight. We help you maintain visibility and governance as you transition from the old way of doing business to become an even more effective digital enterprise.

You may not be as familiar with our highly regarded research arm. We have exceptional researchers and analysts who conduct surveys and develop in-depth reports that give you outward insight into what IT people are doing around the world, the challenges they face and how they are addressing those challenges.

I look at Flexera’s role as providing both a microscope and binoculars so you can get a complete picture of the world in which you operate. The microscope gives you a highly granular look inward at your IT assets. The binoculars help you look outward, giving you a close-up view of the larger IT world.

To provide these “binoculars,” Flexera is investing in in-depth research with targeted surveys and reports that bring important industry concerns and considerations into focus. For example, the Flexera State of the Cloud Report examines trends in public, private and hybrid cloud adoption, while the Flexera State of Tech Spend Report delves into how organizations worldwide are allocating their IT dollars. We’ll continue conducting these two surveys and reporting our findings annually to keep the data current and uncover emerging trends.

Because digital transformation is top of mind for pretty much every CIO, we also analyzed the wealth of data presented in the State of the Cloud and State of Tech Spend reports through the lens of digital transformation. Our analysts synthesized the data to create the Flexera Digital Transformation Planning Report, which applies the fascinating intel we gathered to digital transformation.

More than half of the organizations we surveyed report that digital transformation is their top priority, and 84 percent have adopted a multi-cloud strategy to make transformation possible. Multi-cloud is also serving another critical purpose: enabling CIOs to avoid the vendor lock-in that has hobbled IT in the past.

More than three-fourths of respondents say that governance is their top cloud challenge. That’s not exactly an unexpected finding, considering the complexities involved in managing multi-cloud environments. These are areas where a microscope helps.

One significant thing we learned is that customer experience is the underlying driver for digital transformation. I view this as an indicator of the continually evolving role of IT—from a cost center that implements technology to an equal partner of the business and key participant in strategic planning. Getting closer to the customer means getting closer to the business.

We also see that business units are gaining more control over technology decisions and IT spend, which isn’t a bad thing. Decentralized control enables line-of-business managers to make decisions faster. And that ability to respond swiftly is what allows the business to avoid obsolescence.

But decentralization of IT spend control also has some negatives. Our research shows that, in these decentralized environments, central IT and business units have differing views as to who is responsible for what. Business units often think central IT is accountable for a particular aspect of governance while central IT thinks the business units have it handled. That’s when governance tasks slip through the cracks and business risk rears its ugly head.

Getting the business units and central IT to work together gives you the best of both worlds. The business units retain control of IT spend with IT acting as a trusted advisor in technology decisions. So business managers continue to enjoy the agility that spend control gives them. At the same time, central IT brings the IT assets belonging to the business units into the enterprise governance framework.  That ensures compliance with corporate security policies, industry standards and government regulations.

We’re extending the range of vision of our binoculars with research specifically targeted to CIOs and other senior IT executives in larger enterprises. In the not-too-distant future, we’ll publish our report describing the perspectives of senior IT executives on the impact of digital transformation, the shifting technology landscape and IT’s changing role in the business.

I invite you to take advantage of the insights provided by these reports. I believe they’ll help you navigate your digital transformation journey.