This syndicated post originally appeared at Network World Zeus Kerravala.

The topic of digital transformation and the impact it has on traditional businesses has been a core part of my research now for a couple of years. There’s no doubt that natively digital organizations, such as Square and Uber, are upsetting the apple carts in their respective industries. The change is happening fast and businesses that can’t keep up face a gloomy outlook.

Darwin was rumored to have said “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Businesses need to change in order to survive. They need to be agile, flexible, and able to adapt to competitive situations quickly.

However, saying this and transforming the business to be agile are two totally different things. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill, snake oil, or panacea that can help businesses with this. Just a lot of work on the horizon. In a blog post I wrote last month, I pointed out that the tech industry was lacking services firms capable of helping IT and business leaders make the shift to agile, innovating organizations.

This week, GreenPages Technology Solutions announced the launch of its Transformation Services Group (TSG). The practice offers a new set of transformation offerings designed to help organizations align the business across the realms of people, process, and technology. As far as I know, GreenPages is the first service provider to build a practice around all of these areas in a technology- and vendor-agnostic approach.

If you’re one of the few natively digital organizations, you may have figured this out already, but for the other 99% of the world, it’s not realistic to build an entirely parallel business to enter the new digital world. Instead, IT organizations need to find a way to evolve the legacy infrastructure and modernize applications, process, and people into the digital era without disrupting the status quo.

The TSG group at GreenPages addresses this challenge by acting as a strategic partner to its customers by taking a lifecycle approach to the deployment of transformational technologies. This includes consulting, planning, design implementation, and management across a wide scope of technology disciplines. GreenPages is able to ensure success through a standardized framework of repeatable processes to transform legacy IT into secure, agile, innovation-focused organizations that can lead the business.

Speed and agility can be thought of as the foundational components to innovation today, and it is critical that businesses find a way to make this shift to adapt quickly. There are lots of technologies out there to help us do this, but tying it all together and structuring the IT department accordingly is just not something that most businesses can do effectively. In fact, all of this new technology can overwhelm the IT department and actually slow innovation. The standardized, methodological approach being offered should take much of the “black magic” out of using the cloud and other emerging technologies, helping organizations achieve business agility without having to go through a painful migration period.

Which companies will be the next Uber or Square to disrupt their industries? Without a crystal ball that can see into the future, it’s too hard to tell. The one thing that I do believe is true, though, is that those disruptive companies will be highly agile organizations with the proper business acumen and advanced technology to do something not possible today. In all likelihood, most organizations won’t have the skills to make this shift alone. Instead, they’ll need to find a service partner to ensure they fully understand the implications to the business, process, people, and technology.

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Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.
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