Why we need to talk about digital transformation
The constant need for business transformation is a result of the fast and dynamic pace of technological progress in consumers and social behaviours. Disruptive technologies are reshaping market dynamics and triggering challenges to their existing digital transformation roadmaps. From social media and cloud computing, to real-time data and artificial intelligence, technology is progressing at an accelerated speed. At the same time, businesses are struggling to keep up with technology and its impact on customers behaviours and expectations.
Many businesses are already experimenting with digital transformation and recent studies of success stories have shown that the enhanced competitive positioning of successful firms does not depend solely on the technologies they adopt, but, more importantly, builds on the strategies that their leaders deploy.
Despite the great urgency of this topic, especially within big established companies, decision-makers are still struggling to develop viable digital transformation strategies. Research shows that 20% of leaders are still not sure what to do when it comes to digital transformation. Conversely, 1 out of every 3 companies are currently incapable of keeping up with the pace of technological change (Newman D., Blanchard O., 2018).
Change agents must step outside of their departments and collaborate with other functional and executive leaders in order to foster real holistic, persistent, and meaningful enterprise-wide transformation (Solis, 2016).
Consequently, in the context of developing digital transformation strategies, decision-makers require an instrument that indicates specific possible areas of action, helps them make sense of the phenomenon, and serves as a boundary object to communicate goals between the different stakeholders and change agents involved in the process.
To define the urgency of developing digital transformation strategies, managers need to understand the different dimensions within an organisation influencing the stage of digital maturity. Understanding the influences and restrictions in the process of digital business transformation can immensely help organisations prioritize different courses of action.
As digital transformation is a complex change process, it is necessary for all stakeholders to establish a common understanding of elements of digital transformation. Typically, digital progress requires multidisciplinary involvement of (1) Leadership, (2) People and operations, (3) Customer experience, (4) Data and analytics, (5) Technology integration and (6) Digital literacy (Solis B.,2016). To create a sense of urgency for transformation efforts, stakeholders need a comprehensive assessment of the current barriers influencing these digital transformation elements. Identifying the development maturity stage and the key organisational strengths and weaknesses, helps build a core coalition to form a strategic vision.
To get all the stakeholders on board, remove barriers and reduce friction, my practice is built on a proprietary DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FRAMEWORK and DIAGNOSTIC TOOL.
The approach assesses the current state of the key factors influencing digital transformation and helps stakeholders better navigate structural changes and build capabilities for Digital Transformation. By identifying the maturity stage of transformation and pinpointing the key organisational strengths and weaknesses, we provide a practical guide and prioritised roadmap for digital transformation.