Chapter 9. Exploring Paths, Destination Unknown

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

—Prime Minister Winston Churchill, when asked why he’d changed his mind

Risk. All change comes with risk, and as people involved in providing financial services, no one is more aware of the burden of trust that falls on our shoulders than we are. Risk is our bread and butter, and with no risk, there is no return. No risk of pain, no opportunity for gain, and if you’re going to harness the benefits of transforming your value chains to take advantage of the age of cloud, change is potentially massive—as is the potential for pain.

Baby steps are the key to building and executing a successful cloud digitalization strategy. You want to take small, experimental, highly reflective steps toward the signals of ROI that everyone knows are being sought. If a step is big, question and analyze it until you can make it small. If it looks impossible to do without everything, everywhere, all at once, you’ve not explored it enough.

Can You Stop (and Still Have Gained Value)?

Each step on your digitalization journey, while being experimental, should deliver valuable increments. Even if the only value you get is the insight that a particular step did not deliver any signals of the ROI you’re hoping to move toward, that’s an ROI in itself. You’ve surfaced new information to feed back through your Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (OODA) loop to redirect your efforts elsewhere, and that’s ...

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