What do Leonardo DaVinci’s parachute design and IT transformation have in common? The answer might surprise you.

Even now, centuries after DaVinci’s death, his parachute proportions are the only ones that work. Thus, even as science and technology have advanced significantly, it’s evident that, at least when it comes to parachutes, age-old wisdom doesn’t always need replacing. The same holds true for IT transformation. More often than not, it’s best to start with what works and increase its impact by building from this solid foundation.

By combining vetted technologies and approaches with new ideas and disruptive innovations, companies can harness technology at scale for business change. With that in mind, what are the “it” factors that power successful IT transformation?

Thinking Big

Of course, you don’t want to overcommit to a project or invest in more of a particular technology than your company is prepared to deploy. But it’s important to begin with a well-planned yet ambitious approach in order to realize the most optimal benefits. Let’s take AI as an example. It might seem appealing to invest in a chatbot, and the technology would certainly drive customer experience improvements. But taking a step back to think about AI at the macro level and devise an overall enterprise roadmap is much more likely to result in positive gains for the company as a whole.

Focusing on People

The right culture and people are intrinsic to the success of any IT initiative. No technology will reach its full potential if the workplace doesn’t have the necessary skills to complement and enhance its outcomes. Employees need to view technology as a business enabler, and the organizational mindset must shift to accommodate this as well. It’s time to finally say goodbye to the notion that the business is IT’s customer and instead view the two as part of an aligned and mutually beneficial relationship. None of this is possible if companies neglect to focus on their people as part of their transformation initiative.

The Framework

Arguably the most critical “it” factor is ensuring that the framework for IT transformation is never rendered obsolete. After all, transformation is an ongoing exercise, and a static framework that requires frequent updating will do little to drive the business forward. Companies must devise a flexible, adaptable framework that can easily evolve in-step with the introduction of new technologies, microservices, and ecosystem partners.

DaVinci’s parachute design has certainly stood the test of time. Will the same be said of your IT transformation? For more on these three essential traits, take a look at this recent InformationWeek article.