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Journey to the Peak of Digital Transformation

Mount Everest sign to base camp

Digital Transformation

Journey to the Peak of Digital Transformation whilst avoiding the Pitfalls

Blog by Jason Normanton, CSI Head of Cloud Services

This is the first in a series of three blogs on workload modernisation.

I recently had the pleasure of reading an article by Alexander Pan an Australian-based mountaineer who climbed to Everest Base Camp back in 2010. The article is well worth a read on a humanitarian level, but the element that resonated with me the most was how similar Alexander’s experience was on a personal level to some of the digital transformation challenges I have seen with clients, right back to my time at Gartner in the early days of cloud, up to and including today.

Alexander states that the whole Everest experience was “by far the most challenging and rewarding thing” he had done in his life, “but it wasn’t the immense physical and mental toll that stuck” with him the most. So, I wonder what did stick with Alexander the most?

Here are some of my thoughts, which could have technical analogies also:

  • Was it the beautiful scenery?
  • Perhaps the new equipment or tools he used for the first time?
  • Maybe the way base camp had been configured and the logistics?
  • Was it the new food and delicacies he ate?
  • Or just the thrill of being so high up in the largest mountain range on earth?

Whilst I suspect that all of the above had an impact on Alexander, how smoothly his expedition went and how fondly he now remembers it. It was particularly interesting to me that he still called out the ‘Human Element’ as his most profound experience.

“The trio of Sherpa guides – Dawa, Krishna, and Lakpa – assigned to take me and my group of fellow trekkers to the base camp of the world’s highest mountain. In the course of two weeks, seemingly endless exhausted steps, and a visit to a rocky camp located about 5,200m above sea level, a quick and close bond quickly formed between Dawa, Lakpa, Krishna and I – one that I still occasionally dwell on today.”

Sherpas hiking Everest

So how does this relate to digital transformation, I hear you ask?

In my humble opinion, after working through several digital transformation (DT) programs as both client and partner, DT would qualify as an “Expedition” in its own right, for any business. Whilst for most organisations it will be the first expedition into the unknown world of cloud platforms, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Function as a Service (FaaS), containers, orchestrators, operations support systems (OSS), Infrastructure as Code (IAC), agile development, micro-services, AI and machine learning (ML) to throw all of the buzzwords at you in one go!

Some of these “Discoveries” will provide the business with destinations and new horizons to aim for, whilst some will provide their own challenges, pitfalls – even crevasses – to overcome in order to allow the journey to continue. Challenges in the form of technology integration, new skillsets, updating processes, enhancing security, operating model definitions, and new architectures or ways of developing applications need to be embraced and then mitigated. One thing is for sure though, and that is that the choices made during the planning and strategy phases of the “Expedition” need to be the right ones, especially if the expedition is to deliver back to the business the return on investment required to be viewed as a success.

Why mention this in my first blog since joining CSI in January 2021?

Well, as we set out CSI’s vision for the coming year, we as a company will continue evaluating toolsets and destinations, to really break through the hype and select the right component parts for our clients to ensure that their transformation journey is a success. Like the Sherpas, we listen to your requirements, advise you on the pitfalls, then work hand-in-hand with you to build out the solutions you need to achieve your business goals.

Through solving problems together, CSI will continue to execute on our technology-agnostic, ‘trusted partner’ philosophy, where we become the “Sherpa” for your IT organisation and your business transformation journey.

In the same way that the Himalayan Sherpas take care of the route, logistics, and heavy lifting required to establish camp, CSI will provide you with the logistics, support and professional services needed to guide you along the safest route between Point A and Point B.

Video: Containers are critical in the Application Modernisation journey

Below is the first of 3 videos that were recorded during a webinar for a customer audience in the US with IBM, which I hosted as Tectrade, a CSI Group Company.

In this video, I explain why container platforms and their associated ecosystems are such a big deal in application modernisation, and why selecting a specialist partner to Sherpa you along this journey is advantageous. 

For the next blog in the series, please click here for instalment number two: Evolution of Application Workloads


Jason Normanton is Head of Cloud Services at CSI. If you wish to get in touch to discuss anything raised in this blog, please use our Contact Us Page.

Jason Normanton