Digital Transformation in a Nutshell

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A recent survey of  directors, CEOs, and senior executives found that digital transformation risk is their #1 concern in 2019. Yet 70% of all Digital Transformation initiatives do not reach their goals. Of the $1.3 trillion that was spent on Digital Transformation last year, it was estimated that $900 billion went to waste. All of this came from a recent Harvard Business Review article that looked at the plight of digital transformation and what it really entails. The same article went on to state that if people lack the right mindset to change and the current organisational practices are flawed, Digital Transformation will simply magnify those flaws. This is pretty damning news to those that are bringing Digital Transformation to the fore of their strategy without an understanding of the significance of change and more importantly organisational change.

So what is Digital Transformation …. a simple question to ask but does not always get a simple answer. So here is the answer … digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, it is fundamentally about changing how we operate and deliver value to customers. Let’s not forget though. it is also a cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure when trying to deliver value. Some of the organisations out there call this their 2.0 … and it is about an organisation can challenge it’s status quo internally and externally to bring about change that deliver flexibility and innovation. All big words I know … but that is really what digital transformation about … change, flexibility, value and transformation.

Although digital transformation will vary widely based on organisation’s specific challenges and demands, there seems to be a few things that are referred when the conversation starts. It is these common themes that exist among various organisation and studies that exist at the moment. The digital transformation elements that are often referred to are in our experience:

  • Customer experience
  • Operational agility
  • Culture and leadership
  • Workforce enablement
  • Digital technology integration

One of the more popular frameworks out there is from MIT Sloan (The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation), and while there are many references to comply with, it is often a few that make the top of the pile. It is worth noting that when it come to Digital Transformation, that the actual technology itself is only piece of the five piece pie. Many people think Digital and go … oh yes … that is technology enablement … and while to a degree this is correct, it is the technology that drives the change to deliver value and operational agility.

Often time Digital Transformation is more about shedding outdated processes and legacy technology than it is about adopting new tech. There is still an reliance on legacy technology in a lot of the industries and while these types of technologies are seen as a blocker to the Digital Journey. To embark on a successful digital transformation strategy, organisations need to stop investing in current technologies and start a journey of innovation and change. But, as we all know, this is easier said than done.

The bottom line is simple of the Digital Transformation Journey, if we want to be successful in achieving our goals, the change of technology must be embraced as the enabler to delivering a better service and ultimately being customer focused … what is stopping us … the word that has been mentioned before … culture. To adopt of Digital Transformation we got to embrace a culture of innovation and creativity … as we move along … foster the innovation and the transformation will be delivered.

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