Digital Transformation is happening, it doesn’t matter if you are ready or not
In this ever-changing world, the term “Digital Transformation” has remained relatively popular. And perhaps become one of those overused buzzwords.
As per MIT, it is “The use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises.”
To me, this is more of a journey than a destination. Unfortunately, the aspirations of general business around Digital Transformation have mostly circled a fancy app or a slick web interface or cost-cutting exercise. This results in far too many fails, in spite of automation or digitisation, because the end to end process is not entirely thought through.
Very rarely do we consciously think about the impact of digital technology in our day to day life?
It has been taken for granted and has become a part of life. So, when businesses ask if we should take up Digital Transformation or not, my genuine recommendation is to embrace these opportunities and be part of this Digital Economy for pure survival. Today’s technology is generating incredible amounts of data, forcing organisations to flex their analytics skills and refine a customer-centric process innovation.
Entirely new customer experiences can be created by going digital – from startups to large, established, multinational conglomerates. True disruption has come to an entire industry, world markets, and even established brands with only a connected mobile app. That’s the power of Digital Transformation.
It usually does not need much convincing till here. Then comes the most important question as to where to start. And this is where it becomes interesting. Often, the conversations are mostly circled a fancy app or a slick web interface or cost-cutting exercise. No one wants to look at the end to end process and come up with business model changes.
Here is my take on three key things to understand before embarking on Digital Transformation –
Does your company culture cultivate innovation and agility?
The most important element of a Digital Transformation journey is the culture of the organisation. It needs to be able to encourage calculated risk-taking and accept failures. There needs to be an agile way to turn fast failures to success by learning from it and re-trying. The culture should encourage employees to be curious and eager to embrace change. Customer centricity should be at the core of this culture so that each employee, department, unit and function work for customer satisfaction. An open culture to debate and agree on the best possible way to get customer satisfaction should always be encouraged.
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Business models – less than 15 per cent of CEO’s are digitally transforming with a clear plan.
Almost 90% of CEOs know that digital transformation is impacting their industry, but less than 15% are digitally transforming with a clear plan. The goal of Digital Transformation should be to look for ways to disrupt the current business model. It is not looking for product variations, marketing offers or customisation, it is an overhaul of the entire business model.
It starts with identifying the digital journey of the customer and where one can create a disruption. Most successful disruptions have been in the areas of the business model, operating model. Success depends on connecting the dots and leveraging emerging technologies and allows alternative sourcing to satisfy complex business needs seamlessly.
Customer preferences and requirements in every touchpoint across your supply and demand chain requires you to integrate all business activities and optimise the related data. Promoting simplicity and innovation is the key to success here.
Ecosystems – Not just SaaS, PaaS, IaaS; how about BaaP?
In the current world, no single company can accomplish everything. You need to identify the correct partners to take your journey ahead. While we usually talk about SaaS, PaaS and IaaS here, I would also like to talk about Business as a Platform (BaaP) here. How can you create an innovation ecosystem around you? How can businesses come together to work as a platform?
Collaborative efforts among the participating companies to bring in customer delight can make a difference. How well do various players collaborate seamlessly to solve a problem or meet a specific business need?
Ultimately, success in the new world does depend on your Digital Transformation, and you need to have a proactive approach in managing in. A perfect moment to start is virtually not there.
The moment is now, so take risks, work agile and fail often, but recover quickly. It is essential to keep your business relevant and competitive in the future. Digital Transformation is happening, and it doesn’t matter if you are ready or not.