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Digital transformation strategy is common language at Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone knew CDs alone wouldn’t cut it in the digital age. The language-learning company now helps people roll their Spanish R’s and sort out der, die and das in German with cloud software, available to them online and on their smartphones.

It’s something out of the digital transformation strategy playbook, if there were one: Using digital technologies like cloud computing to revamp business and better serve customers. That gives Mark Moseley, who leads IT at the Arlington, Va., company, the responsibility of not just supporting business but helping drive it.

But as cloud and mobile computing have made it easier than ever for business people to create new technology-enabled products and services, Moseley wouldn’t say he leads the company’s digital evolution in the traditional sense.

“I’d say I’m keeping pace with where my internal customers have been going,” said Moseley, vice president of IT at Rosetta Stone. “I lead with the best practices and with the element that guides them in the direction that I want them to go.”

A beacon for business

That direction is one that safeguards the security of the company’s data and its customers’ data, he said. And even the company’s large contingent of software developers, eager to try a new third-party service or get out the next product using the open source container technology Docker need guidelines.

“They may not be thinking about all of the different elements necessary for us to ensure that we’re meeting our corporate and compliance, legal and customer goals,” Moseley said.

Moseley doesn’t like to use the word boundaries — “because when you establish a boundary, it’s going to get crossed.” What he and his team do is make it clear that they are partners with users. IT is there to provide guidelines on cybersecurity and compliance, not slow them down in their quest to improve customer offerings.

That way, he said, “they’ll come and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to look at X service,’ or ‘We’re going to implement Y. How can you help us out to be faster than us just doing it on our own?'”

‘They can do it’

There once was a time, Moseley said, when IT didn’t have to focus on new technology. Instead, it set up the tools it had or ones it knew about. “You didn’t really think about it because you had a locked-down environment, and there were no options.”

Today, in a fast-moving, technology-driven business climate — and in a company where the business model is built on a digital transformation strategy — that’s not the case.

“Now if you don’t partner with your users,” Moseley said, “they’re going to bring in their own [technology]. They can do it. You’ve got to make those partnerships. You’ve got to stay on top of things.”

Mark Moseley talks more about Rosetta Stone’s digital transformation strategy in this SearchCIO interview.