My Digital Transformation Path: Keeping It Real

Within the IT world, I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands dirty with everything from the nuts and bolts of data center operations and application development to steering the ship on big IT transformation projects.

But let's keep it real – not every project crossed the finish line as we had planned. Some didn’t pan out as we hoped, while others surpassed our wildest expectations. In every outcome – win, lose or draw — there was a lesson to be learned. Each project – successful or otherwise – was a chance to refine the approach, and a way to get smarter about navigating the complexities of digital transformation. It’s this cycle of trying, learning, and improving that’s at the heart of what we do at LSA – being agile, not just saying “agile”.

From Tech to Real Impact

Tech is cool, but it's not the whole story. I've seen firsthand that throwing tech (alone) at problems doesn't fix them unless you've got the whole package – people, processes, and technology, and an agile approach to rapidly learn and iterate. For instance, when I was working with one client, we didn’t just install a new version of the software and upgrade their tools. We took a step back, looked at what they really needed, and rationalized their systems – helping them prioritize which systems to maintain, and which ones to upgrade/consolidate. It was about making the tech work for them, not the other way around.

Simplifying the Complex

At LSA, we call this the “Digital Formula.” It’s about cutting through the noise and making sure we’re all on the same page – where should we invest, how do those investments help improve our services, and how are those services providing better, more secure User Experiences (UX). But let me break it down simply: we make sure everything tech can actually do what it’s supposed to, make both internal teams and customers' lives easier, and keep the big goals in sight.

Real Talk, Real Examples

Let me give you a taste of what this looks like in the real world. At one client, their technology was ineffective – slow, clunky applications, that don’t integrate, resulting in poor UX. We jumped in with a rapid, 90-day plan to maximize value from what their existing technology, or with small improvements – get their team up to speed, make their processes leaner, and tie it all back to what they were trying to achieve. Near-term, outcomes were better – and longer term, their system wasn’t just newer; it was smarter and a whole lot faster, reducing the “daily grind” and delivering faster, better service.

Lessons Learned

The biggest two lessons I’ve learned?

  • Keep it agile and flexible. Whether it’s fine-tuning a process or overhauling a system, small steps and rapid learning can lead to huge leaps – and your next step might be different than what you thought it was.

  • It’s rarely just “one-and-done”. We put in lots of effort to “transform”, so let’s think about how we can sustain the results beyond the “big investment” – for example, training people to operate and maintain the portfolio of IT solutions over the long term, and deliver value in an agile way.

Looking Ahead

So, what’s next? For me, it’s about keeping things simple, staying focused on the human side of tech, and always being ready to adapt. The digital world is always changing, but with the right approach, you can make sure you’re not just keeping up but setting the pace.

In the end, my journey through digital transformation is all about making real changes that deliver real results. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. With my LSA team by my side, I’m all in for whatever comes next by keeping my mind open to what it takes to not just play the game, but to win at it.

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Lean more about how LSA's Digital Formula has been effective for delivering and sustaining integrated Digital transformation value.

Keith Mangold, Application Portfolio Rationalization Expert
Keith Mangold, Application Portfolio Rationalization Expert