The Digital Transformation Spiral Model

March, 2022

The March 2022 tech talk was presented by Dr. Barry Dwolatzky

Abstract:

Digital transformation has become an imperative for organisations in the 21st Century irrespective of size, sector, or geographic location. Studies have shown that a very high percentage of digital transformation journeys have failed to deliver the desired results. In order to mitigate some of the risks associated with digital transformation and its associated organisational changes, we have proposed a lifecycle model approach. We call the lifecycle the “Digital Transformation Spiral Model”, or DTSM. It is an iterative and incremental model with both a “design and development” cycle and a “governance” cycle. The focus is on continuous innovation via continuous improvement. The DTSM draws on a number of tools and frameworks including the Business Model Canvas (BMC), CMMI, and Kent Beck’s 3X model.

About the Presenter 

PROFESSOR BARRY DWOLATZKY, BSc(Eng), PhD, FSAIEE, FIITPSA

Barry Dwolatzky is professor emeritus in the School of Electrical & Information Engineering at Wits University. He is the founder and Director of the University’s Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE). He is also the founder of Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. While he remains the Director of the JCSE, in July 2021 he was appointed as Director of Innovation Strategy in the Office of the Wits Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation.

Barry’s undergraduate (BSc(Eng) ) and postgraduate degree (PhD) are in Electrical Engineering and are from Wits. In 1979, he left South Africa and worked in the UK as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), Imperial College, London, and at the GEC-Marconi Research Centre. Over this period, he worked on a number of large software research and development projects.

Barry returned to Wits from the UK as a senior lecturer in 1989. He became a full professor in 2000. In December 2017, he officially retired from Wits and was appointed a professor emeritus. His primary focus over the past 30 years has been the growth and development of the South African software engineering sector.

In 2005, Dwolatzky was the major driver in setting up the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits. The JCSE aims to grow skills, promote the adoption of best practices, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in South Africa’s digital economy. In 2007, he became Director and CEO of the JCSE.

In 2013, Dwolatzky spearheaded an initiative at Wits to establish a major digital innovation hub in the Braamfontein area of inner-city Johannesburg. Called the “Tshimologong Precinct,” the project has attracted significant support from government and a range of major local and international companies. IBM Research has established their 12th international laboratory in Braamfontein as an integral part of the precinct.

In recognition of his contribution to the South African IT industry, Barry Dwolatzky was named the “South African IT Personality of the Year” in 2013, and received an award for “Distinguished Service to IT” from the Institute of IT Professionals of South Africa (IITPSA) in 2016. Also in 2016, Wits University presented him with the “Vice Chancellor’s Award for Academic Citizenship.”

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