By Jim Cook, Vice President of Services Sales, Logicalis US

People in this industry talk a lot about “shadow IT” as being a problem common in enterprise organizations, but what we’ve come to realize is that shadow IT isn’t really a problem – it’s a symptom.  There is a tremendous change taking place around the globe in the way enterprise organizations view technology, and it all started with the earnest adoption of “the cloud.”

Cloud computing opened a world of possibilities to business IT users. Now that people are tapping the power of the cloud and discovering the virtually unlimited potential it offers with cloud-based as-a-service offerings, the power of what technology can really do is being seen and embraced by people who, before now, never considered themselves technologists.  In the corporate world, this digital awareness translates to better, faster, deeper communications capabilities, and CEOs see a clear connection to sales, making the transformation from a company with technology in the back room to a truly “digital” organization a top priority.

In fact, this trend is becoming so pervasive that you could call 2016 the start of the first truly digital decade. As we talk with customers both in the United States and abroad, it has become increasingly clear that making the transformation to a digital organization is quickly becoming a priority for CEOs and CIOs alike. If you’re wondering if your organization is ready to jumpstart its own digital future, it’s easy to find out; there are a handful of characteristics that companies dedicated to the pursuit of all things digital have in common.

They are willing to transform.

Companies that are ready to embrace a digital future share a willingness to transform themselves through digital innovation and continual digital development, and they often embrace CXO-level ownership of their digital future by adding new, top-level positions such as a Chief Digital Officer.

They recognize the power of digital data.

Digitally driven organizations recognize the power, value and potential of their digital data; they recognize the need to create new forms of digital data and they are working to identify ways to exploit and monetize what already exists.

They are redefining work.

Organizations that truly embrace a digital future believe that governments, organizations and other institutions need to transform where and how people work, learn and live into digitally enabled places and virtual spaces.

They are aware of the dangers.

A digital future necessarily comes with some risk; organizations committed to a digital future understand the importance of addressing the security threats associated with their digital transformation.

They are preparing their infrastructures.

To take advantage of all that a digital enterprise – and a digital world – have to offer, organizations have to be willing to invest in digital-ready infrastructures that will accelerate their digital strategies and the digital experiences of their customers, employees, or citizens.

They know what “fast” means.

Organizations that are really ready for the advantages of a digital future know that status quo just won’t do; they accept that they need a transformed IT function that can operate and serve their business at “the speed of digital.”

Want to learn more? Watch a brief video about the service-defined experience, then find out why nearly half of all CIOs are transitioning to internal service providers. Here are 10 of the top factors driving this transformation: http://ow.ly/ZdIvS.  You can also watch a video about the service-defined enterprise presented by Logicalis US CEO, Vince DeLuca, and download a Logicalis white paper: “Why Every CEO Wants to Lead a Service-Defined Enterprise and Why the CIO Needs to Make It Happen”: http://ow.ly/ZdIGJ.