How digital is your business?
By 2023, digitally transformed organizations are forecasted to contribute to more than half of global GDP, according to Statista.
2023 isn’t far away, so I agree with Forrester’s view that “2021 will be the year that every company — not just the 15 percent of firms that were already digitally savvy — doubles up on technology-fueled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems.”
What does that really mean and how does it impact your organization?
If you’re one of the business leaders planning to put digital transformation initiatives in place, where is your main focus? Are you developing applications and services for external use without using digital to transform your internal processes and the way your people work?
In discussions with senior executives, I’ve found that many now recognize the importance of a more balanced approach and are prioritizing internal initiatives. Ignoring internal transformation is like Microsoft overlooking Teams for its own communications or SAP using spreadsheets for internal ERP.
While it’s true that high-profile initiatives like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things or Big Data are critical to long-term success, you must have a strong internal digital culture in place to support and accelerate innovation in those areas.
People tend to get really excited when they recognize and understand how being digital can improve the way they work. That enthusiasm quickly becomes contagious. Soon, you’ve got people aligned behind your digital initiatives. And, they will recognize that your clients could benefit in the same way, which leads to a greater customer focus throughout your business.
When your people think digital, you have a great foundation for success. If a digital initiative transforms efficiency and productivity for your business, you’ve got an effective baseline for developing solutions for the market. And, you’ll have a convincing story to tell your customers — credibility and trust go a long way in launching new digital products successfully.
If internal digital transformation is so important, where do you start? Transformation sounds like a big, all-embracing task…Not necessarily.
From discussions with successful ‘transformers’, it is clear that an effective Governance model along with an agile approach focusing on small initiatives within a strategic roadmap is the key to success. These four key initiatives build momentum and spark innovation.
Those initiatives are practical and achievable with existing technologies, but they also need to be driven and governed by a number of core principles.
For a start, you’ll need a clear roadmap and responsibility of ownership for the project. Within the roadmap, prioritize the most critical use cases and focus your teams on those projects using analytics to monitor progress. Building an ecosystem of partners can give your teams wider skills, knowledge and resources to improve results even further.
Use agile techniques to accelerate progress and deliver short-term gains, but don’t worry about any minor failures along the way. And don’t forget to communicate and share the benefits of transformation initiatives — that helps build a culture of innovation and a commitment for continuous improvement.
If, like me, you’re convinced that internal digital transformation is essential to the future of your business, it is time to act now!
Digital Transformation Consultant