Digital Transformation Is Not About Technology.
Digital is quite often used as an acronym for Technology. However, in the context of digital transformation, technology is only a catalyst in the process of re-imagining businesses and enabling new business models. Digital disruption is already happening and we have already seen many disruptors like Amazon, Facebook, Uber, Netflix etc redefine the traditional business models and customer experiences. Many of the organisations across the globe have realized that digital transformation is an existential necessity. Nevertheless, the pandemic convinced any remaining sceptics.
The purpose of digital transformation is to empower companies across the world by reimagining and remodeling their existing business processes.
It is the enablement of an autonomous digital eco system networked and driven by customer insights and data. The outcome should be a company with products, services and business models that are relevant to the foreseeable future.
The approach towards digital transformation for an organisation has to be very different compared to the conventional ones. We have seen a project start project completed approach for a very long time in the IT industry. It always has a start and end date with defined outcomes. This paradigm has to shift to a customer centric customer driven product development approach. In this scenario, more than the products identified, the vision of the company is re visited, strategies created and prioritised and finally executed to realise the vision.
Digital business transformation is all about transforming your business and reimagining your customer journeys so as to leverage competitive advantages. This is a necessity, and I would advise business leaders and technologists in this journey to adopt scientific methods like customer discovery and customer validation to be applied. This will help in order to understand the problems within the existing strategies and opportunities to evolve current work to new business models. Digital transformation partners need to act as coaches, partnering with clients and give them an understanding on how to build and leverage capabilities.
Critical success factors for a digital transformation initiative from my experiences are
Strategy: An integrated business strategy supported with a digital transformation (DT) roadmap derived using inputs gathered through scientific methods like customer discovery / design thinking.
Customer experience: A product development mind set is critical which is very different from the typical project mindset. A diagnostic phase with in-depth input from customers that involves individual interviews, surveys etc. Product experiences need to be designed based on these inputs.
Change management needs highest attention during the digital transformation journey. Buy in from the board and leadership team is mandatory. Instead of getting everyone from outside focus towards up skilling the internal stars and making them an integral part of the journey. Employees shouldn’t have a job fear.
A fit-for-purpose, modern technology architecture driven by business needs to enable secure, scalable performance, rapid change deployment, and seamless ecosystem integration.
Data driven decisions fed back to the visionaries is the key to drive business both pro-actively and reactively. Carefully curated Data lakes that works on seamless batch of raw data is very much essential to provide adequate recommendations that could be fed back to the system and at the same time help with governance.
Long story short, business should be the driver for using any technologies and not the other way around. Many organizations by mistake define a machine learning strategy or IoT strategy before developing an integrated business strategy and DT roadmap.
We believe that our customers can use these capabilities to help themselves improve upon how they engage with the world digitally, to create what is called as “a real competitive advantage.”