Paul Lewis

Digital Transformation: Operational Efficiency in List Form

Blog Post created by Paul Lewis Employee on Sep 16, 2016



I take pleasure in the art-form known as the Listicle.  (side note: who knew there was an actual word to describe my lazy writing style)


In an effort to ease into the topic, let’s start with my ongoing and apparently endless list of people-centric observations I don’t completely understand:


  1. How often I tell myself self how self-assured I am
  2. The overuse of the word “authentic”
  3. How dull it is to use a logic argument
  4. The art of motivational yelling
  5. Ordering a hamburger with no onions, and a side of onion rings
  6. The self-centeredness of babies.  It’s ALL about them.
  7. Tweet-depth knowledge of any topic
  8. Ghosting
  9. Champagne taste on a beer budget
  10. Purposely ordering a salad for a meal


That was a finite, concrete example of a list.  Arguably a highly efficient method used to convey a series of seemingly inconsequential and obscure references, tied neatly into a consumable bow-tie pasta dish.  I’ve already increased the time it took to get to the “meat” of the blog, by my overwhelmingly fastidious attention to short, easy to read sentence structures. 


So far, your entire experience has been the impeccably operationally efficient.


Your business, however, isn’t as efficient. 


Don’t get me wrong.  It’s HIGHLY likely that you employ a team of operational effectiveness professionals who review, in detail, the person hour/minute/second effort it takes to perform the thousands of operational activities executed by thousands of business operators on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.  All of that quality data is summarized, graphically presented, and six sigma/lean processed into saving 1.67 person minutes per task.  Combining thousands of tasks, the net results are significant savings and faster time to market.  But…is it good enough?


Tightening the operational effectiveness, especially under continuous review is necessary and highly valuable, but it likely doesn’t appreciably help with your competitiveness in the marketplace.  A marketplace increasingly impacted by Digital Disrupters.




These disruptors don’t play the same operational game.  They grew up digital.  They operate and survive exclusively in the cloud. 


Most businesses today are built upon well-defined and institutionalized processes and policies. They have large, often dispersed teams with varying skillsets.  And they have a mix of legacy technology and systems that are deeply integrated into their business.  To succeed, business and technology leaders have to completely re-think traditional approaches as their existing and new customers are deciding what service is best for them. With the rapid pace of change in today’s business landscape, business must transform ahead of the competition (those digital disrupters).


The new business strategy of Digital Transformation focuses on three pillars of change.  Rethinking Operations and Processes is the first step.




Rethinking Operations and Processes, in list form:


1.  Start with your business model:  Decompose, document and detail the elements of your cost structure and revenue model, your partnerships, you key activities, customer relationships and segments.




2.  Draw upon your core value proposition:  it may be your heritage, your experience, your diversity, or your culture.  How, at your core, are you a differentiating factor for your customers?  Keep that factor, and allow every other part of your business model to change.

3.  Break out of your logistics:  Re-evaluate the current partnerships and go to market philosophy:

  • Instead of designing your product, manufacturing your product and delivering your product to stores.  Evaluate supply-chain partnership that can deliver faster, cheaper.
  • Outsource or out task non-essential activities; do what you do best and leave the rest to the professionals
  • Buy assets that would be more valuable, and divest of assets that do not deliver your core value
  • Invest in sales channels not currently used to reach a customer market not currently served


4.  Create independence between how you make money, and how you spend money:  Don’t tie your $/widget or $/service directly to the costs associated to deliver the service.  The tie-that-binds reduces the freedom to make holistic and dramatic changes to the delivery and costs models.  Create an overall direction on profitability, and let the operations team determine the best way to spend the cost portion; both Opex and Capex, short term expense and long term investments

5.  Find operational effectiveness throughout the organization, in every department, for the entire value chain.  When competing for fractions of percentages of market share, every dollar counts:

  • In marketing, increasing the lead to deal ratios through a thorough understanding of customer behavior and segmentation; this requires a detailed appreciation of Data Analytics
  • In Risk Management, decreasing slippage/loss/failures by implementing strong but flexible operational governance; this requires a detailed appreciation of Data Governance
  • In Supply Chain and Procurement, increasing the value of total partnerships, and decreasing the cost of those partnerships over time; this requires a detailed appreciation of Data Mobility
  • In IT,
    • Eliminating the knots of software, infrastructure, and data by creating environments of focused on high level of replacability and LOB cost effectiveness; this requires a detailed appreciations of Data Management
    • Implementing complex business agility by differentiating 1) what you buy, 2) where you put it, 3) who manages it, and 4) how you pay for it; this requires a detailed appreciations of IT Agility




And we can’t implement these refocused Operations and Processes by ourselves.  We also need trusted partners (because we don’t know EVERYTHING….unless you have 100% market share locked up in 100 year exclusive relationships.  If so….congratulations!)


There are very few partners that understand the complexity of diverse operations, and business models; delivering locally and globally; understanding that the underlying DATA and AGILE IT needed to deliver on these experiences.  Hitachi and Oracle Partnerships and Solutions offer that experience and technological innovation by accelerate your Digital and Business Transformation while lowering TCO with an infrastructure for your Oracle database & critical applications that is Intelligent, Agile & Efficient.


The solutions address your top IT challenges:


    1. Reduce the footprint of the hardware & software infrastructure that runs Oracle workloads including the Hitachi all-flash for performance gains to avoid adding server capacity or additional licenses
    2. Evolve from CapEx to OpEx with Hitachi private cloud pre-integrated Oracle software
    3. Lower the cost of IT operations with increased automation & simplified infrastructure management
    1. Lower IT operations & management costs w/ a standard, pre-integrated & validate storage, converged or cloud solution
    2. Streamline IT service delivery for infrastructure & applications and DevOps projects
    3. Hitachi services methodology designed to achieve fully deployed solution in days compared to weeks with legacy systems & solutions
    1. Automate infrastructure management to enable Oracle DBAs to focus upon strategic initiatives as opposed to managing hardware and software
    2. Unified data protection for Oracle ensures critical data and apps are always available and recoverable within minutes in case of outage 
    3. Proactively identify and address potential problems to ensure optimum database and app performance and availability


So where can you explore more ways to discover “Rethink Operations and Processes for your Digital Transformation Strategy?  With Hitachi at Oracle OpenWorld !



I know I’ll be there, I have to be: