The Three Pillars of DIGITAL


What does it mean for a modern enterprise company to “be digital?” Some people think it means “to be present on the internet.” Perhaps this was once a valid response; however, that time has since passed long ago. Perhaps an online presence is a component of being digital. Having an IT Department also doesn’t make an enterprise “digital.” And while the argument could be made that we’re debating over a simple definition, its implications are paramount for companies seeking efficiency, profitability and customer loyalty…especially in the post-pandemic world. 

 Being DIGITAL – as we have defined it at DeepDive – is a never-ending cycle of studying, building, validating, and operating. Being digital means improving what and how your enterprise performs, generating big efficiency, new value & new opportunities. Expect tangible benefits to end-users. Being truly digital means introducing real, tangible, value-added change. And we wholeheartedly believe it requires three (3) specific components:

  • Strong IT infrastructure (the ‘backbone’ of the modern enterprise) 
  • Line-of-business applications (leveraging disruptive, new tech) 
  • Cybersecurity flavors (from infrastructure to line-of-business apps)

“Digital Transformation needs a holistic approach.”
Misha Hanin, CEO & Founder @ DeepDive Technology Group

Our company was literally built on this 3-pronged approach. It’s our internal mantra. We’ve added new departments, team members, products, and capabilities based on what we learned solving enterprise technology problems for over 25 years. We believe this has been our greatest “AHA” moment. And we welcome your feedback on it! 

Here’s our thinking: You cannot truly leverage the great benefits of digital technologies if you lack any one of these 3 components (above). When you start working on one, it inevitably requires consciously, strategically involving the others. 

Without a strong IT infrastructure, efficiency will be low, maintenance costs will be high, scalability will be non-existent, and system downtime will creep in…despite how many great, new products the company’s invented. Without great front-end apps taking advantage of new technologies, users can’t realize the value, benefits, efficiency, and opportunities created by “digital.” Without strong cyber security flavours covering the business from backbone to line-of-business products, one single unauthorized user could subject an entire company to privacy breaches, data leaks, ransom attacks, and even total shutdown. 

Ultimately, lacking any one of these core components to “being digital” can and does lead to the following:

  • Loss of money
  • Loss of productivity
  • Loss of market share

Any “digital transformation” activities should actively involve all 3 components for enterprise companies to realize the benefits of “being digital” in the first place. 

The following 3 stories outline our experience working directly with large enterprises that initially lacked, or had shortcomings in, 1 of 3 digital components… and precisely how we helped them. 


Strong IT backbone ✅ New technology apps ❌ Cybersecurity flavors

Time is a crucial thing for doctors. People’s lives depend on them, and their compensation reflects that. Optimization of even the most minute tasks becomes incredibly important, incredibly quickly. Yet at the exact same time, security and data management are prioritized (and for very good reason), creating conflicts between what’s fastest for users, and what’s most secure.

One of the largest healthcare authorities in Canada – with 62,000 users – came to us for help. Their IT infrastructure was aging, yet complete. Their security systems were robust, and certainly up to par. Yet from a user’s perspective, doctors and nurses were spending 1 hour per shift logging in and out of potentially dozens of unique applications PER SHIFT in order to do their job diligently.

Some of the most significant impacts included:

  • Inefficient use of time for high-paid doctors & nurses
  • Employee “workarounds,” loss of morale, and burnout

The “efficiency challenge” for professional healthcare users is widespread. According to the analysis in Annals of Internal Medicine, doctors spend nearly twice as much time doing administrative work as they do seeing patients [1]. 

The solution was to leverage a new and proven technology for doctors and nurses…in the form of small plastic cards. ‘Access cards’ were built to contain all relevant information for a unique user to access any application by swiping his or her access card at the working station. Instead of having to remember multiple usernames and passwords, one single access card became the solution to the problem. The solution literally gave healthcare professions 1 hour of time back – per shift – to prioritize patient care instead. 

To say that doctors and nurses were happy would be an understatement. 


Strong IT backbone ✅ New technology apps ✅ Cybersecurity flavors

Unfortunately, even companies that built their business with a solid IT foundation, leveraging the newest technologies get compromised! A world-renowned digital finance company contacted us for immediate help. Their innovative blockchain-based ecosystem was hacked, with roughly $50,000,000 stolen. We wish these types of events were more rare than they actually are…which seem to only be increasing in frequency, not decreasing!

The DeepDive task was firstly to find out how the hackers managed to break into their system, and where the money was moved to. We studied the technology stack, how everything was configured from a security point-of-view, we simulated new attacks, we ran penetration testing, we highlighted weak points and mistakes in configuration and tuning…and so much more. During our investigation, we discovered that the enterprise was “compromised” through nothing other than a personal cell phone. As the information was not encrypted, hackers were able to interfere with the company’s data exchange, conduct phishing attacks and ultimately stole passwords and codes used to extract $50 million dollars overnight. 

We tracked down every single cent. And yes…this is a humble-brag!

Following the return of the funds, we provided extensive recommendations on what and how security should be configured going forward, what protocols should be involved from a security perspective, and what business processes should be changed or adjusted to add additional security layers layered throughout the entire organization – from the back-end IT infrastructure through to the line-of-business apps which users and customers touch. 

Disclaimer: We worked with competent authorities to return over 95% of the monies stolen; it was not our responsibility to redeem the identified funds directly. 

What an experience! 


Strong IT backbone ❌ New technology apps ✅ Cybersecurity flavors

This is a story about the #1 Private Home Builder in North America. And while we certainly won’t make the claim that they did not have a strong IT backbone, we saw an opportunity to improve the backbone…for a fraction of the cost imagined!

The reputable home-builder had been a long-term partner of DeepDive across many years and many projects. We knew them well, and had worked together to build, manage and maintain their IT infrastructure backbone as well. 

The company wanted a highly-available messaging infrastructure for sending, receiving & viewing everything from emails to calendars, as a complete messaging and collaboration system. The only downside was the cost to do it. At that time, to build highly available infrastructure, enterprise vendors would commonly offer ‘load balancers;’ although effective, for large enterprises with many unique facilities, the approach carried a $70,000 annual price-tag to implement. 

DeepDive thought outside-the-box. And drawing on our “holistic approach,” considered a) their IT foundation, b) available new platforms, and c) the cyber security perspective. We also try to remain completely vendor agnostic…and this is exactly why… 

The solution? Instead of paying $70,000 per year, the enterprise home-builder could pay $20 PER MONTH by leveraging one small piece in Amazon’s cloud infrastructure product that would do the work at an absolute fraction of the price. It’s important to note that, at the time, the home-builder did NOT want to rely on the Cloud for its business operations; we were able to leverage a piece of cloud-based IT infrastructure, without actually “moving” anything off-premise! 

For DeepDive, this was one of the first projects where we deployed a cloud ecosystem in “hybrid mode,” soon leveraging multiple clouds in the same project. The end result was a better, faster, more cost-efficient, and more scalable IT infrastructure backbone!


We shared these 3 stories (above) to prove the point that “being digital” requires three (3) components which we internally refer to as “The Three Pillars.” In the first story, the hospital wanted better security, while overlooking new technologies to improve the experience for front-end users. In the second story, we see that good infrastructure and new technologies may lack the cybersecurity components and overarching strategy, unknowingly creating a paradise for hackers. And in the third story, a new approach to IT infrastructure provided a clear & demonstrable short-term ROI that will make business operations & scaling a whole lot easier for just about everyone going forward. 

To “be digital,” to really transform, and to benefit from the digital advantage, modern enterprise companies really need all 3 pillars to get DIGITAL “right.” 

  • Strong IT infrastructure (the ‘backbone’ of the modern enterprise) 
  • Line-of-business applications (leveraging disruptive, new tech) 
  • Cybersecurity flavors (from infrastructure to line-of-business apps)

We welcome your counter-argument, and certainly the chance to share more! 

Team DeepDive


Special thanks to Misha Hanin, CEO & Founder of DeepDive Technology Group, for continuously sharing his insights.

Special thanks also to our clients. Without the chance to solve real business problems, we wouldn’t have anything insightful to share!

  1. Annals of Internal Medicine, Allocation of Physician Time in Ambulatory Practice: A Time and Motion Study in 4 Specialties