The Problem With Digital Transformations

Digital Transformation is one of the most ubiquitous buzz words zipping around the hipstersphere these days. Every day we hear a new approach to DT, Agile, agile, cloud transformation, containerisation, data centre grandfathering… etc.

What does Digital Transformation actually mean?

Most people bearing solutions want to sell you something more complicated than you have before – at a price. It looks great and will propel you into the next century and end all your problems, right?

However, the key problem that most businesses and government departments face today is that they consistently fail to remove complexity as they try to transform. A successful transformation plan should look to reduce complexity first rather than changing technology for the sake of it. In fact I would go as far to say that digital transformation is not about platforms or web pages or agile, it is rather about quantifying the data that needs to flow in and out of your department, Ensuring you can secure that data properly then finding simple innovative ways to let the user access that data to scratch an itch. Anyone that turns up at your door telling you that you need a new web portal/phone app or widget as the focus for transformation is going to add complexity and should be avoided.

Simplify, prioritise and standardise. These are your paths to digital transformation success…

Cynefin And Complexity Theory

Introduction To Complex Systems Theory

As an outspoken character, Dave Snowden usually provokes an opinion from most people with whom he comes into contact. Best known for his creation of the ‘known knowns’ to ‘unknown unknowns’ concept, fewer people have studied the official body of work from which this is derived – Cynefin.

However his theories on complex systems theory are undoubtedly provocative and noteworthy.

I’ve found his theories on complex adaptive systems to be of particular relevance to cloud computing, micro-service oriented, adaptive software development.

Below is a pithy but insightful summation of his opinion of traditional management/development practices.


For more, see his full talk on Agile development practices:


Although the public cloud comes with great financial and technical benefits, like any other infrastructure, it also has its share of threats. Over the years, we have seen a rise in both attack frequency and diversity of malicious software used. With increases in cloud incidents related to vulnerability scanning, web application attacks and brute force attacks, it is crucial for you to understand the types of threats potentially targeting you on the cloud so you can build a security-in-depth strategy to defend your environment from malicious attacks.

Cloud security reports for 2014 indicated that web application attacks, brute force attacks and vulnerability scans were the most pronounced attacks experienced in the Cloud Hosting Provider environments, each impacting over 40% of the cloud hosting base. Brute force attacks have surged, likely due to the increasing presence of valuable data in the cloud, with vulnerability scans typically coupled with brute force attacks in terms of attack style and process.

Real-time analysis across 2200 customers with 232,364 incidents. Source: Cloud Security Report 2014.
Real-time analysis across 2200 customers with 232,364 incidents. Source: Cloud Security Report 2014.

In the next post we’ll look further at understanding this shared security responsibility model and what you can do to secure your cloud deployments.