Digital transformation A necessary disruption to deliver value to customers
On a larger canvas, Digital Transformation has instigated a big shift in business management and customer value enrichment, with technology as a main enabler. By definition: – At a high level, digital transformation is about how an enterprise uses technology to radically change business processes, how customers are served and how value is added to the stakeholders.
Basically, it starts with the CEO – the executive sponsor, who defines the KPI parameters which will largely impact a larger portion of business operation. For obvious reasons, such large scale changes are targeted towards new business models, and new revenue streams. These are often driven by changes in customer expectations around products and services.
Digital Transformation Strategy
It is extremely important to note; unlike many common misconceptions, a successful digital transformation does not start with technology at the center stage. Technology is used as an enabler to achieve the end result. Instead, it starts with a foolproof strategy that focuses on revamping the organizational priorities with a customer-focused goal in mind and keeping customer satisfaction at the forefront. Having said that; there seems to be no silver bullet in digital strategy; it has to be carefully analyzed and crafted.
Business leaders, now understand that their business will remain relevant, only if they are innovative and ready to exploit the wealth of data and capabilities within their organization. This seems to be the top most priority of any CEO.
Importance of Building the Right Team
Having the right team to manage the digital strategy building and implementation is extremely important. There is no guaranteed success to a digital transformation initiative, even if all advanced technologies and agile processes are employed, without an expert team at the helm to manage it. Now, this aspect can be real challenging given the vast scope of digital transformation involved specialists in any project, including cloud engineers, data scientists, programmers, hardware engineers, UI-UX designers, functional consultants, digital marketers, and business analysts.
At the end of the day, new digital processes drive new thoughts that may require reskilling or fresh infusions of talent.
Digital transformation misconceptions
The primary misconception is that the term “digital transformation” is a synonym of new age technology. While technology remains at the center point of a digital transformation, but emerging digital capabilities are impacting all aspects of the business right from business initiation to daily business management to customer management. So, it’s important to remember that this transformation is not confined to a single area of improvement, rather has an organization-wide impact, and is all about strategic focus from a business leader to an end consumer.
However, much larger misconception is that Digital Transformation is a program and after that we are “Done” implementing. Logically, it is a journey, which demands constant evaluation, course correction, and quick adaptation due to the changing technology landscape. In short, these fast evolving digital technologies are driving businesses to re-prioritize their goals, in order to lead the competition, and match the soaring customer expectations.
Why Do Digital Transformation Initiatives Fail?
Even though most digital initiatives are designed for success, still they may not work. Lack of agreement on what digital transformation means poor leadership, lack of executive support, lack of focus on the end result, difference between the department goals, lack of budget, talent deficit and too much focus on the technology execution. Important aspect is the change management as organizations don’t adopt the change very easily.
Lead Digital Transformation for Success
Organizational restructuring, adding key technology roles or reskilling existing workforce, and establishing the innovation labs can be a good starting point, but they are not enough to meet success. One need to attempt a change management and secure the buy-in from the executives and business departments. Execution team must loop in product/service managers and functional heads to build digital services intended to boost customer engagement. There needs to be a constant communication about the intent and the end goal; about the progress made, and a careful review of the adoption. This should be seen as a leadership transformation, and it needs a carefully crafted organizational level change management.
Essentially, Digital transformation is being adopted faster, putting pressure on organizations to rethink and restructure their business for better outcomes. As change happens, it’s important that leadership keeps focus on employee and business process transformation to be successful in the digital journey.