Nimble fingers go further than heavy hands for technology startups in the blink-and-you’ll miss it era. Digitally transforming enterprises change their minds and business strategies with kaleidoscopic variance. They can move at a frustrating pace — for themselves and vendors.

“We’re in the era of throwaway technology,” said Alan Boehme, Global chief technology officer, vice president of IT services and chief IT innovation officer at The Procter & Gamble Company.

I need to be able to use and invest in technology for specific purpose, for a specific period of time and be able to move on to the next one,” Boehme said. This fickleness can sting a bit for companies trying to secure lifetime customers with very broad technologies.

“Startups shouldn’t’ be looking at the big picture; they should be looking at the tail on these investments,” Boehme said. They need to build solutions that laser in on specific information technology problems of the moment. Otherwise, they won’t keep pace with digital transformation happening at enterprises, he furthered.

Vendors can’t nab customers with their tech, no matter how cool it is, without deep understanding of problems companies actually deal with. “The large corporations understand this, because they’ve been around through the entire journey of computing with these large corporations,”Boehme said. “The startups need to step back and take a look and see, where do I add that competitive advantage?”

Boehme spoke with John Furrier (@furrier), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Mayfield People First event in Menlo Park, California. They discussed how digital transformation is throwing IT into disarray, and how enterprises and startups can manage the mess. (* Disclosure below.)

Sometimes you feel like cloud-native, sometimes you don’t

Entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones that need to get used to surfing the IT seachange. Many enterprises still pout over the hassle of working with multiple clouds.

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“Everyone’s looking for one-cloud-fits-all,” Boehme said. They should instead embrace the fact that different workloads are suited to different clouds. Architecting multicloud is like fitting a bunch of Legos together, he said.

Businesses on a digital-transformation starvation diet must accept that sometimes the right Lego is an oldie but goodie. “You need to kill the old sometimes just because it’s old and it’s time to go. Other times you do need to repackage it, and other times — I hate to say it — you do need to lift and shift,” Boehme said.

Legacy businesses often have old processes that are still valid; they might look at breaking them down into services, or putting them into containers (a virtualized method for running distributed applications), Boehme said.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Mayfield People First event. (Disclosure: TheCUBE’s coverage of the Mayfield People First event is presented by Mayfield Fund LLC.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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