We are in a confusing digital transformation whirlwind right now. While some organizations are getting stuck trying to define “Digital Transformation”, most organizations are already embracing the changing business climate. According to Progress, 85 percent of enterprise decision makers feel they have two years to make significant inroads on their digital transformation before suffering financially and/or falling behind their competitors. Digital Transformation is already here and we need to be thinking about how we change more quickly. The question is, “What can we do – as organizations and individuals – to evolve faster?” or, “How can we adjust our Digital Transformation agility?”
Digital Transformation is the evolution of business to drive new value in the digital ecosystem. We are creating new experiences and new business models by leveraging new technology and optimizing our processes. We have a newfound focus on the end-customer experience. This focus is rooted in analytics with an appreciation on how the customer benefits from this new experience. Companies need to optimize their enterprise and technology processes, especially across culture, practices, and innovation.
An organization will have a unique digital transformation journey. The items above are items that an organization may consider as they evolve their business. To increase our digital transformation agility we need to focus on what can be done so that an organization can move more quickly across each of these horizontal areas (i.e., Culture, Practices, and Innovation).
Culture is the foundation for digital transformation growth. Do you have the right people and organizational mindset to drive new experiences? Does your organization have the right incentives and leadership to continue your digital evolution? To jump start your growth in this area, focus on:
- A growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. A growth mindset includes continuous learning, high risk tolerance, and a willingness to explore new ideas and concepts. When we are in the same roles/positions for a long time, it is easy to become more fixed in our thinking. If you have a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset, you will establish a culture that evolves more quickly.
- Appointing digital transformation leadership change champions. You need several strong leaders who actively champion your transformation initiatives. Champions evangelize the importance of the growth mindset, educate others your digital transformation agenda, and help drive your change management program.
- An investment model for digital change. Your budget should include cultural and technology investment. This might consist of a communication plan; leadership and employee training; and/or outside support. If this investment is quantified and tied to outcomes it becomes more real. It will be needed to help you move quickly.
Organizations undergoing digital transformation have adjusted their current processes and practices to include Agile and Lean thinking but those moving more quickly share:
- A commitment to analytics. Organizations that are seeing rapid growth are those that have made a deep commitment to analytics and are starting to weave analytics into all business functions. They have established a data science philosophy and have tools and governance in place to further this commitment.
- Deep Agile alignment. Agile is in place and the organization is moving to a mature Agile state. Not only is Agile leveraged in technology initiatives but other business operations are embracing agile.
- Rapid learning and adjusting. Short delivery cycles are spurring quick feedback loops that are being used to make product and/or delivery adjustments. Analytics are also being used to identify needed adjustments.
Technology and innovation plays a role in digital transformation. Focus on a few specific areas to expedite your digital transformation momentum.
- Develop an Application Integration platform/approach. Today’s we have an abundance of technologies and solutions to integrate into our environments. Most mature organizations have a minimum of 25 technologies that drive their digital experience alone. Well over 6000 product exists today that are relevant in the digital ecosystem (and this doesn’t take into account development platforms, etc). If you establish an organizational approach and skill alignment to application integration you will prepared to quickly integrate technologies.
- Establish your cloud strategy. If you haven’t established a cloud strategy, you need to do soon, because the benefits and savings are well documented. Most of your modernization efforts should include cloud as an option.
- Openness to disruptive technologies. We will continue to see disruptive technologies rise and fall. With Blockchain, IoE, AI and others on the rise, the challenge is to rapidly identify and prototype how these technologies may influence your customer experiences. Establish how you will manage this activity.
- Identify and establish strategic partnerships. Deep domain knowledge and building something yourself is no longer required. Being more open for partnerships will be important for future growth. Use partners to assist with disruptive technologies. You benefit from their expertise while you increase your capacity.
Business will continue to evolve. The challenge is how quickly we evolve.