Season 2 Episode 7: Driving Change: How to Tackle Common Pitfalls in Digital Transformation

Driving Change: How to Tackle Common Pitfalls in Digital Transformation

In Season 2, Episode 7 of UX Leadership By Design, host Mark Baldino chats with Mike LaVista, CEO and Founder of Caxy, a digital transformation constancy. They explore the importance of clear goals, change management, and mitigating risks for successful transformations. They also highlight the need to involve customers in the process and consider future-proofing these systems. The conversation emphasizes the importance of building a strong business case, prioritizing pain points, and introducing new features to drive adoption. They explore the importance of legacy app modernization, and the practical steps organizations can take to mitigate risks associated with these transformations.

Key Takeaways

  • Definition and Impact of Digital Transformation: Digital transformation involves a comprehensive integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how organizations operate and deliver value to customers. Mike emphasizes that it’s not just about technology, but also about driving change that enhances business performance and sustainability.
  • Challenges of Legacy Systems: Legacy systems often pose significant challenges due to their outdated technologies and architectures. Both speakers discuss the complexities involved in modernizing these systems, including the risks of disrupting operational continuity and the difficulty in managing change among stakeholders.
  • Risk Mitigation Strategies: The discussion highlights the importance of a proactive approach to risk management. Mike suggests that addressing potential pains before they turn critical and involving key stakeholders early in the process are crucial steps in mitigating risks.
  • Change Management as a Key Success Factor: Effective change management is critical for the success of digital transformation initiatives. Mike points out that organizations must focus on managing both the technical aspects of the change and the people side, ensuring that all employees are on board and aligned with the new direction.
  • Future-Proofing Through Incremental Improvement: Both speakers agree that future-proofing business technology requires not only replacing old systems but also continuously improving and updating new systems. They discuss strategies for making incremental improvements that allow organizations to adapt to future needs without extensive rework.
  • The Role of Leadership in Transformation: Leadership plays a pivotal role in driving digital transformation. Leaders must not only endorse technological change but also foster a culture that embraces continual learning and adaptation.

About Our Guest

Mike started Caxy over 20 years ago and has led digital transformation efforts across a wide range of clients and industries. He is passionate about innovating products for clients that revolutionize their markets and create an unfair advantage. He’s also an avid guitar player and is launching a new podcast in the summer of 2024 (stay tuned!).

Resources & Links


  1. Introduction to Digital Transformation
  2. The Essence of Digital Transformation
  3. Legacy Systems and Their Modernization
  4. Recognizing the Need for Change
  5. Challenges and Solutions in Digital Overhauls
  6. Managing Risk and Ensuring Successful Implementation
  7. Incremental Improvement and Future-Proofing
  8. The Role of Leadership in Transformation Initiatives


Mark Baldino (00:01.55)
Mike, welcome to the podcast.

Mike (00:05.385)
Pleasure being here, thanks Mark.

Mark Baldino (00:07.438)
I appreciate you taking the time and energy to chat about a topic that I'm really excited about. But before that, as I ask all my guests, you give folks a little bit of a sense of your background, a bit about your consultancy Caxy.

Mike (00:25.321)
Sure, so I'll start backwards, which is kind of where we are now. We'll talk about how we got there. So right now, Caxy is focused on digital transformation, so a great topic for us to talk about today. And I think we really like to think about starting with looking at an organization and doing a process documentation and analysis and coming up with here are the places that there are kinks in the hose and we can help you fix it. And then I think on the backend we do most of our work is probably in the software development space. So once we figured out what needs to be fixed, we'll help you figure out what to buy and what to build and what to kind of leave as is. And I got there. So I've been doing this now about 22 years and started off kind of really backwards. I was in a different career. I was playing music in a cover band for a long time and started this company as sort of like a day job kind of idea and then dot com boom hit and we're off and running and a lot of self -taught stuff but really ended up moving from probably early days and marketing sites and marketing technology support and then the last 10 years has really been focused on both the customer software side of things but then the consulting around.

What should you do? What's the best way to invest and get something back using a technology investment? That's kind of where we've spent the last, like I said, about a decade.

Mark Baldino (01:42.926)
Fantastic. Well, I just passed 15 years running Fuzzy Math. I think you have 20 plus at CACSI. So just want to say job well done. And although this is maybe a topic for another episode, it's been a challenging few years for consultancies. So we're glad we're having this conversation. And I was in a class talking to a class of designer, a group of students at Northwestern yesterday. And I had the term digital transformation up on the slide. And it was like one of the three things we do. And I tell them that I don't always use, I change that term a lot, depending on who I'm talking to, because the term digital transformation means different things to different people, kind of confuse people. And I tend to sometimes talk about like legacy app modernization as opposed to digital transformation. But from your perspective, I mean, those two things are related. Like how do you define digital transformation? What part of that does legacy app modernization play in those spaces.

Mike (02:44.489)
I feel for your quandary because I also dance around what words and ways to describe the work that we do and what this topic is. I think they overlap a lot and there are probably some other terms people use. And really the idea is, is an organization decides to do better, do more with technology. I think digital transformation falls under that or that's what digital transformation encompasses and within that is you've got legacy apps littered around your enterprise and across the world and you need to make hard decisions around like is it time to Look at dumping this thing and buying something new or building something you're fixing it and all those all those questions drive you down this digital transformation path and I think as I think about like in organizations right now, like thinking about these journeys, these transformation journeys. I think the choice is between do it or be obsolete because at some point competitors are going to outdo you in efficiency and what they're able to produce and output. And you'll just slowly, you know, you'll die the slow death riding these old systems into the ground. And so it's a really hot topic. And I feel like at least management now knows this term digital transformation and whether they know they're doing it or about to do it. You know, this is like, I think it's the term of art that fits. And in a way like legacy modernization, probably to a CEO is like a bunch of words that don't make sense. But, you know, the transformation piece that I think that's, that's resonating.

Mark Baldino (04:10.094)
Yeah, that's a good point. And so the telltale signs are like extra essential crisis facing the business or competitive. They now have a competitive disadvantage. Like what are some of those telltale signs that an organization needs to go through a digital transformation?

Mike (04:23.561)
You know, in my experience, it really is the existential crisis. These conversations don't seem to start until there's so much pain that it's really time to do something about it. But I think when you look at, ultimately, there's some business goal that isn't being achieved. Our margins are decreasing. It's taking more and more people and more and more time to do things. And ultimately, all roads probably lead to this one system or lack of a system you have where people are double entering or it takes too long or there's a person involved, something where there's just a problem with your process. And if that's the symptom, the cause might be the technology, it might be your systems and other things, but a lot of times that's how you find the thing to go work on. And I would say I'm sort of surprised at how many companies really do have these legacy systems that they're tied to. I was working on one or looking at a potential one the other day that is written in Perl, which I haven't seen in 15 years, 20 years or something. And it looks like there's, you know, updates from 2013 in the code. So like sometimes people sit in these things for over a decade, really not knowing what to do. And it's not that you get to a place where it's like, I don't know if there's any more parole programmers. It's almost like, you know, when the banking crisis hits, it's like, you've got to get all those cobalt programmers out of cold storage, not a retirement and off the golf course and remember how to do this stuff. And that's, I think that's kind of, that does happen.

Mark Baldino (05:47.086)
Yeah, well, these tools run and run and run. We had a client who had an enterprise data management software and it was run for like 30 years and it was fine, right? And so there's a sense of, you know, there's a lot of change and there's a lot of risk associated with making these changes and organizations kind of have to be ready for that change.

Mike (06:05.801)
Absolutely. And I think sometimes the reason they've got these 30 year old systems is because it's not worth, they want to break it. And then there might be millions of customers on this old system and you want to kick the can down the road. And eventually someone's going to have to figure out how to deal with that.

Mark Baldino (00:01.986)
So Mike, given the folks that you're working with, are they generally aware that they're in the midst of a digital transformation? Are you kind of trying to convince them that they need to go through a digital transformation? Maybe it's a bit of a combination of both.

Mike (00:17.839)
You know, the hypothesis I have is that here we are in April 2024.

The two kinds of CEOs kind of have to be ones who realize they need to be more digital and those who are gonna be irrelevant or extinct in the next couple of years. So I find that most of the time we encounter people, they know they need to do it. They probably in some cases have started it or done something with it. And the success rate is really low. I think the number that I've seen in Gartner, 72% of these transformations fail. I have some opinions about why that happens. But generally speaking, they don't pick really clear goals and they don't focus on change management enough. I think that's really the big one that gets people.

Mark Baldino (01:01.654)
Okay, well, let's talk more about that because I feel like there's a ton of risk in these transformation. I mean, anytime you put transformation or innovation, you're introducing a lot of risk and people don't keep legacy apps around for, they keep them around for good reason. They work. We worked with a enterprise data management company. I think the software had been running in a client's install for like 30 years or something. So it's like these things work and it is expensive to change them, right? Like, so you have to do some convincing, and then you're gonna introduce a bunch of risk. And one of the things you mentioned is like change management and what that means and how that maybe can help mitigate risk and support. So talk about what your, you know, what's your take on A, how do you help your clients mitigate risk? How do you get them out of probably, you said they've kind of started, maybe they started and stopped, it's not working. How do you get them out of that? How do you get traction?

And then how do you help them mitigate risk and kind of introduce maybe more robust change management policies.

Mike (02:05.755)
Yeah. So I hate to say it, but I think the biggest motivator I've seen has been that there is either a current or impending pain that is so great that we have to do something starting now. And usually the starting now was like a year too late. But like in recent memory, I can think of a client who was on a platform where the underlying technology had been end of life since 2016. So in other words, it had been eight years since anyone had even thought about this underlying technology, let alone the ability to try to find someone who could work at it. So the idea that if that computer, that I think might have literally been under someone's desk, if that computer turned off, there's a chance it wouldn't come back on and the business would literally be dead.

And so that's kind of okay, we got to do this. And then there are other clients who look at it like, you know, we've got you know, we have a legacy system that works well enough. And this actually has calls on in the last couple of days here. It works well enough, but we're hearing from customers that they hate using it enough that they're considering moving off it when the contract ends or.

The UX is so convoluted that, because one of the things I find frankly, is that these legacy systems often were designed by engineers, thinking it was for engineers and screens of like a 100 drop-downs and things that make no sense unless you've worked there for 10 years. They're just not modern enough to be effective in terms of getting what you need from your investment.

When I think about how to motivate people, it ends up being like you've got this huge pain, right, that needs solving and that's why they fix it. I found that this sort of more opportunity-oriented transformations go slower, have less teeth, and don't really get anywhere fast. So it's like you gotta have, like this has to happen now kind of mentality, in my experience, to really get the organization behind it.

Mark Baldino (04:04.334)
It's got to be sort of an existential crisis here. Either, as you said, competitors are coming to eat our lunch or this thing is on its last legs and we maybe don't have a replacement in mind. I mean, those are, I think really, as a little bit of a side sort of tangent, I think really fun problems. I think a lot of people think about new technology or they're talking about AI or they're talking about design trends. A lot of people will put it in kind of the consumer facing world. That's the bleeding edge.

Mike (04:06.235)

Mike (04:24.079)

Mark Baldino (04:35.202)
I feel like transforming or taking a legacy tool that's extremely powerful, that's been around for a while and moving it and literally modernizing it from a UI, from a UX, from a process, from a backend to front-end technology are really thorny challenges. They live at this really complex overlap of people, process, and data. And they're just, I think, really fun design challenges. And I know we both live in this space and we're both own consultancies. So we're probably biased in this type of work. But I think some people kind of shy away from it. I just think there's so much actually good fun to be to be had by getting into these really complex egos and helping them move forward.

Mike (05:15.879)
No, that's totally right. And actually being able to play devil's advocate to the thing I just said. There's a lesson for people in our space to think about, which is like a lot of times what we wanna do is we wanna do it because it sounds like it's definitely a cooler, better idea. But if it doesn't make sense to the business, they're not gonna do it. And I'm reminded of something, cause you said earlier, like these systems that are out for 30 years. A number of years back we did some work for Motorola that involved how they roll software out to their phones. The engine behind it was a mainframe, which at the time I think had been on for 30 years, these giant systems and things that people built in the 70s and 80s. There just isn't a compelling argument to be made to risk their 200 million global customers on whatever it was to redo it because it was cooler that's just not gonna fly. This is a really bad, super high risk idea. And so, you know, what we ended up doing is something that sort of maybe batched some things up in the format that it wanted in a better way, but we were never gonna touch that system. And so maybe that company, you know, you know, will have an existential crisis in 10 more years or something when it's like, we really should start doing something about this because it might die. But you really gotta look, you have to make a great business case in addition to this will be much better for you.

Mark Baldino (06:31.166)
Yeah. So I want to return to, I mean, part of this business case is, you know, what are the risks that we as an organization are facing if we don't do this, right? Like what's, what's the cost if we do nothing? And I think, when I'm talking to clients and you're talking to clients, we're trying to help them kind of quantify that risk of doing nothing, but there's a risk of, of doing something, of modernizing these legacy systems that have been performing well at some level, but, but you know, need change and you mentioned change management. So like, what's your take on how to help your clients mitigate risk? What is change management mean? And how do you help your clients sort of introduce it into their processes and what does it enable your clients to do?

Mike (07:13.323)
Yeah, so when I think of change management, what I think about is there can be two kinds of things you're gonna change. One is gonna be the how we do things here change, and then there's gonna be the how we think here change. And there's kind of a lesson that I always forget in leadership, which is that the main idea that you have, you wanna get out to the company, you can't say once, you can't say twice. You gotta make it, that you're saying it so often that people have this like, oh my God, he's doing the thing about the quality of delivery, talk again. So much so that it's almost like an inside joke and we're tired of it. And now you hear other people talking about it and it becomes what you talk about. So I feel like unless you do that about digital transformation, what you're gonna get six months in and you can almost set your clock by it is, well, this isn't really going to work and I'm just going to keep my old spreadsheet and don't turn the old system off because I'm going to need it for this other thing that I used to do and you're just never going to get there. And instead, what you need to think about is like, because I, so I think about digital transformation is if you don't do it, the thing you mentioned, like you're going to end up paying like a tax, which is.

Everyone else is going to transform and you're going to have this tax that you're paying people to do inefficient silly things that either drive your costs up or your margins down to the point where you can't even compete. Like imagine, you know, you know.

a big enterprise competing on a really well-designed system, an ERP, competing against a system, another company that's got paper and faxes and all this stuff. They're going to crush them in the long run, not even the short run. So if you start with a digital transformation mindset change, what you're telling people is, listen, we need to out-compete and out-compete. And frankly make your lives better and easier, but we need to out-compete our rivals by being efficient and smarter and better. And customers can't be frustrated when they call us up and we have to call them back tomorrow with a piece of data that our competitors have right there on the screen for.

And so once people realize that actually it is an existential crisis for them, for the salespeople, for production people, all that stuff, if we don't do this all together, we are going to fail together. I think where you get buy-in is the next step, which is on the process part, which is, okay, let's look at what we do. And we're going to go talk to, you know, everyone's going to have a chance for buy-in. We're going to talk to people in the warehouse and sales and, you know, customer service and all these people, you know, distribution and supply chain, all these people. Get them together. We're going to map everything out.

I'm sold this crazy thing I do every day. I take the stuff from shipping I copy it out one at a time and this other thing and I have 200 orders today. It takes me all day Well, that's you know, that's really not gonna cut it It cost us somewhere it cost us margin probably and so let's give you an opportunity to tell us about all the things you don't like and We're gonna commit to changing it to being better But like you have to start with the mindset of like guys we need to all do this together and we can't go backwards it's the I

I'm going to mess up this cliche, but whoever said when we land, we're going to burn the boats. Like we're here. We're going to make this work. So that's I think the mindset you've got to take.

Mark Baldino (10:26.73)
Yeah, fantastic. I like the dual component there of, you mentioned earlier, like building a strong business case, changing the mindset, and then that is kind of the first part of getting people on board with the process, and then actually kind of showing them what the process is going to be and how the process is gonna be improved. And so how does change management fit into all of that?

Mike (10:50.835)
So I think you got to start there and I'll admit like we sometimes forget sometimes it's so fun to get in the tech We dive in there, but I think Probably you need to evaluate how ready your organization is to do this change You know how excited are people to do something different like are they tired of are they are they reach that point of like, you know

Mark Baldino (10:57.36)

Mark Baldino (11:04.046)
Thank you.

Mike (11:12.619)
And if not, I think like a strategic plan and a communication plan around talking about it, you've got to start there, or you'll get nothing but slings and arrows the whole time. And so I think it starts at the top, here's the vision, and you got to say it until you're numb.

Mark Baldino (11:28.642)
Have you ever encountered a situation where the new product that's being rolled out or processes supported by technology falls short of the capabilities of the previous one? And the idea here is like, hey, we're going to get there, but we needed to kind of be smarter about what we decided on. We had to prioritize this first version. This is V1. And that's where you I've seen moments of real resistance and arrows when somebody's looking at this old tool and it's like, well, I could do 100% of this stuff and you're giving me this tool and it only does 70%. Like, have you run into that from a, we run into it from a design perspective all the time.

Mike (12:07.399)
Honestly, it almost has to happen. And the reason is that when you've got a legacy product.

Mark Baldino (12:11.118)
Mm, cool.

Mike (12:15.711)
The legacy product is the end result of, make up a number, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years of ongoing refinement, hardening, fixing, optimizing of this new system. And then I don't know what your MVP schedule is, but we like to be out in six months, nine months, you know, the most, right? And there's no way you can bake 30 years of knowledge into that. And so it sort of has to be an incremental improvement when you strategize about how to roll it out, I think the way to do it is to pick the like take chunks of features that you can replace one at a time and then kind of slowly you know you change the mixing levels of each and you dial up channel one and dial channel two down as you go because I think the wholesale replacement you know is really hard to do and take a long time and honestly it's an opportunity to cut because I think a lot of times these legacy systems.

There are probably whole chunks that you don't use anymore. There are systems that we've now optimized from three to one. Like there's opportunities for that. But that's another one of those mindset pieces where people have to be ready for. Part one is just gonna be, you know, invoicing. And part two, and the follow-on is gonna be, but we did invoicing first because, and there has to be a because, and it's because, you know, our time to cash is too long. And if we take, you know, takes us 32 days to create an invoice. Well, if we could make that two days, then all of a sudden we can afford to do these other things. There has to be a reason behind it. I always pick the biggest pain and the biggest money first.

Mark Baldino (13:52.95)
Yeah, I think, you know, it's just a reality as you said, and I like the way you said it was almost has to happen, but there's this sense of leadership at an organization needs to be really honest, you know, and clear and transparent about it. That we're gonna go through this period where we're gonna be using, we might be using dual systems, right? You could only use, you can use invoicing in the new tool and everything else in the old tool, we're gonna sunset invoicing. Now we're gonna live in this weird bifurcated world for a while, but that is inherent. So you gotta be transparent about that. There's gonna be some struggles here. And especially when talking to customers, right? Like the customer is gonna wanna use old and new, what's that gonna look from a design technology perspective? Like, but you gotta kind of get out ahead of it and not catch anybody by surprise because once you catch somebody by surprise and they're living in this world they're going to continually try to claw back into the old system and use that old system and want to use it. And I also think another thing that we try, and I really like the prioritization around pain and kind of impact to the users. The other lens that we've helped our kind of clients understand is like, where are there a few accelerators that you can put into this new tool? So as you said, maybe it's an efficiency gain in invoicing just by getting off the old system or there's something we're going to integrate. And those sort of like shiny objects, they need to be useful. They need to increase efficiency and effectiveness in these sort of business applications. But there are things that people see as like, oh, this is actually a capability that we're extending a little bit. It's not replacing 100%, but it's actually something out there that users or customers can see that's going to actually increase them and kind of help with the overall adoption of the new platform. Yeah.

Mike (15:39.399)
You will say one little kind of, you know, just like a clickbait title, but one weird trick you can do to make sure this actually works better is if you also introduce something they couldn't do before. So there's making something better, but there's a like, hey, by the way, in the new system, you can finally, blah, whatever the finally thing is, you can finally get your real time shipping quotes or you can finally, you know, automate blah, blah. Now you've got some reason to kind of move in that direction. If it's just like we made, we literally made the mousetrap better.


Mark Baldino (16:10.518)
Yeah, not at all. And I think that's where a lot of people start, right? Which is, let's just duplicate this 100%. And at some point, at some level, you probably have to do that for the most meaningful features. But right, like start with what your limitations are in your current software. Get people into that mindset of there's a gap here and what we could be doing. And if we invest in this new platform, lots of time and energy from everybody, we can actually have a not just parity, right? The term I use with some of my clients is, yeah, we can duplicate this in the new tool and we have parity, but what's parity plus or parity plus look like? Like what can we do even in the short term that's gonna give a real benefit to your users or your customers?

Mike (16:46.759)
Thank you.

Mike (16:53.458)

Well, it's funny because we're talking about modernization. I think a lot of what we just described for me and at least the model I've been using is what do internal modernizations look like. And I think for external tools, there's that same thing. But now you've got customers. And customers behave differently from a change manager in front of you. So if you want to go down that rabbit hole, we have a number of situations where we've got a V1 to a V2 kind of situation happening. And thinking about how that's going to work, how it's going to benefit the customers too, is a lot of the same sort of leading

going to be different and better because if we just if we redesigned it and it's faster or it's whatever it's that's great but it doesn't really feel like an upgrade you it's really got to be new stuff and you know you know customers can leave if they don't like it whereas you know internal people can just not use it or try to use other things but like I feel like that's just as a maybe even more important to think about impact when you think about making sure your customers are served in a one to two kind of migration

Mark Baldino (17:58.699)
100%. And you know, the new product instantly and transforming, and moving everybody over. But that seems like it's pretty, it's kind of dangerous. I mean, one of the ways from a kind of customer perspective that we help our clients think about is like, is pulling them into the process, right? Get your customers into the process, understand them, empathize with them, and take them along for the journey as opposed to, hey, too much, you're gonna get this new release, kind of figure it out. No matter how many demo recordings or how much help text.

Mike (18:38.024)
Great fun.

Mark Baldino (18:51.018)
you're right, they're still gonna be really, really confused when they see this new tool. So it's like, bring them along for the journey and get them excited about it. Start to explain, not from a sales perspective, which you're gonna get of, hey, this is what the platform is gonna do, but from like an efficiency and performance perspective, how it's gonna make the jobs better. What about from a tech perspective? Like, how do you help?

What are some strategies for mitigating that risk from a customer for these customer facing products in terms of rolling out new features or a new platform?

Mike (19:23.716)
Part of the answer is so boring. It's like kind of watching the Patriot kind of situation, but a lot of it is you need to be really certain about your testing and you know, we're all from something that is almost by definition existing products are really hardened and work really well because again, they've undergone, you know multiple years, maybe decades of picking and poking at the different bugs and stuff. So having a really solid test plan is really important, I think to your point involving customers in that. So there's some, I don't know if I would call it buy-in, but just sort of like we're working on this together, sort of empathy about here's how we're gonna make this work. But ultimately you gotta make it, it's products that don't do what they're supposed to do are not successful. So you gotta really share about that kind of thing. I do think one of the things we've done that we've called progressive rewrite. I don't know if that's a common term in the world, but we've done in the past from like a one to two situation where we wrap the whole old app in like the new wrapper. And then just slowly kind of, if you think about like, if you look at an app and it's like something, slash feature, slash the dashboard slash purchase, whatever, and just start taking off those slashes one at a time, you reduce your risk about the customer losing where they are and what's happening point of view, you're just kind of taking the pieces one at a time and rebuilding in a little bit safer way, that's been really successful when it's been possible. And other times you just had to do the old, you know, you pull the whole sheet off the, you know, the dining table and all the silver is still there.

Mark Baldino (20:59.958)
Yeah, yeah, no, let's go. No, I think the introduction of design overhauls, design systems, that's has been, as you pointed out, kind of a good first step, which is let's kind of, let's brighten up the look and feel. Maybe we're not changing the usability as much, but we're gonna provide kind of a common future-facing UI, just as you said, a wrapper from a navigation perspective, a look and feel, and then start to build out the new features in the new with a new set of usability and workflow and then slowly migrate over. I think that sounds simple, it's really, really hard to do, but it does work effectively. And I think it gives a little bit of breathing room to organizations that are gonna go through these big shifts and kind of make them seem a little bit less scary.

Mike (21:46.519)
If I can introduce a super high level meta idea, I think the other thing to think about is, we live in a, this is gonna sound silly, we live in a world where computers and systems like these are not going away. And I think there's this idea that, forgive me if I'm getting this wrong, but I feel like there's a word in Japanese that where they think about what a company might do over a hundred years as opposed to our typical three or five year plan. And when you think about the systems that have been built that we encounter, they really look like for this one thing and they never thought about what's gonna happen in five or ten years. I don't even know that the future me doesn't exist it's just like this we're building. So I almost feel like there's some really intelligent thinking that people in organizations can be doing around like whatever we build now in this V2 we'll call it as we've been kind of discussing. Think about V2 in a V3 and VX context, and you'll be so much better off. And I think about, like in our lifetime's really dramatic pull the rug out kind of situations, this may be a really long time ago, but if anyone remembers the Mac OS 9 to Mac 10 transition, it was like, hey, anyone that has this old system, screw you, you're done, we're starting fresh. That was a really bold move to make, I can't think of how many times people have been successful doing that. And we've talked about these mainframe companies, like there is a kicking the can down the road scenario where eventually those things stop and someone eventually stops making parts for them. But like really think about how can I design this in a way that is future friendly to things that I don't know about yet? And so that's hard to do, but we think about, we haven't, we haven't opened the AI cannon worm jet, but like these, these modernization efforts, if they don't include AI, you did it wrong, probably. And so thinking about like, just try to like, think about what that would be like in, in 10 years as someone inherits a thing that's like, oh my God, why is this so closed up and this is gonna be so hard to deal with and now I put my company at existential risk again, 10 years later. It's not super easy to do, but I think even the consideration gets you somewhere further and saves your future self.

Mark Baldino (23:54.622)
That's a great call. And I think it pulls your organization and your team out of being really focused and too narrow, you know, and being, being really, you know, at the, at the micro level and not thinking kind of at the macro level, but you're, you're trying to future-proof this so you don't have to do, you know, another, you know, legacy app modernization or digital transformation in, in 10 years. I think that, that view of where.

It's hard to predict where the market's going to be your users, but instead say, what's it going to be like to consume the software and use this software a number of years, like a really good long-term strategy and kind of, again, a way to break out of like, we have these 50 features, we got to define them and we got to build them one by one based on the priority or something like that. It's like, let's take a broader picture of this. I really like that thinking.

Well, awesome, Mike. I think that about wraps up our time, but I just want to say thank you very much for chatting about digital transformation and legacy app modernization. It's a topic I spend a lot of time and energy thinking about and talking about, so it was great to bounce some ideas around. If people want to find you, I know you're pretty active on LinkedIn. Is that the platform of choice? All right, and then we will look forward to this article on

Mike (25:04.882)
LinkedIn's the place to be.

Mark Baldino (25:12.066)
the seven stages of digital transformation? Yeah, okay. Well, great. Thank you very much for your time and energy. Appreciate the conversation today, Mike.

Mike (25:13.639)
Yeah, I believe so.

Mike (25:20.399)
Yeah. Hey, I feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't mention I have a new podcast relaunching called the Digital Transformist. And it's going to talk about stuff just like a lot like a lot of stuff we just talked about maybe more in depth and I'd love to have you on.

Mark Baldino (25:36.266)
Awesome, well, I would love to be on. We will help cross promote that when it's launched. Luck on the new endeavor and looking forward to listening. All right, thanks, Mike.

Mike (25:44.295)

envelope mail-envelope-closed file_pdf arrow-up chevron-left arrow-left close x linkedin twitter facebook mailbox search
Work with Fuzzy Math
Small teams of passionate people working towards a shared vision.