You are in the middle of a chaotic tornado caused by immature I.T. landscape and practices, manual procedures, and loosely integrated data sources. It ultimately led to problems such as reporting gaps, costly human mistakes, and absolutely no aid to agility to name a few.
Having the latest technology or buying the most expensive product are some of the major misconceptions of digital transformation. Just because your organization has a website and smartphone application, it doesn’t mean you’re already transformed. And “Switching to the cloud” is just a simple technology change and not a total digital transformation. The Wizard of Oz is how most of us think about technology and transformation – A wizard behind the curtain that will seemingly solve all our problems away.
It’s inevitable that organizations need to evolve, therefore, it puts more pressure to corporate executives to figure out the right path.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is changing how a business operates and how value is delivered to customers through integration of technology. Beyond that, it’s a cultural change that encourages organizations to be agile, experiment, and challenge the status quo.
The Digital Transformation Guide:
IDENTIFY CUSTOMER CENTRIC TRANSFORMATION VISION & OBJECTIVES
Assuming you already gained the full support of management, articulating clear vision and objectives is essential to resonate with your stakeholders, customers, and employees. It’s also vital that transformation strategy directly translates and supports business outcomes. Here are some questions you should consider:
- Why do I need to transform right now? What is my transformation vision and objective (short, mid, long term)?
- How much transformation am I willing to make?
- What are my transformation focus areas/ prioritization essential to overall business success?
- How will this change deliver value to our customers?
- What are my success indicators by the end of the transformation?
MAKE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION EVERYONE’S GOAL
Employee’s resistance to change and lack of buy-in are the most common problems any executive may face in this journey. That is why the following tips are advised:
- Open communication: Executives should communicate at all necessary levels the WHYs, WHAT, HOW, WHEN of the grand plan. Most importantly, answering the question “What’s in it for me as an employee?” proactively is a good start to get the buy in.
- Visualize how employee experience will change/improve throughout the DX journey.
- Identify upskilling/re-skilling opportunities to ensure that employees will be ready for the changes to come.
- Empower employees: At management level, the roles and responsibilities in the DX journey tends to be clear. However, it’s important to clarify as well what roles employees will take in order to contribute to the overall success of the project/s.
- Be open and responsive for concerns.
PLOT YOUR JOURNEY WITH YOUR TEAM AND/OR TECHNOLOGY PARTNER
Without a roadmap, your organization may be spending money on loosely coupled, siloed, and duplicated initiatives. A roadmap is a high-level blueprint that allows you to align business objectives with digital initiatives. This plan is typically focused on the short to medium term activities. Together with your internal I.T. teams, executives, and technology partners, there is a need to:
- Assess the current state and determine your digital maturity
- Evaluate how your current digital tools address your immediate and future needs
- Research and analyze the market by considering digital technologies, platforms, technology vendors, and solutions.
- Identify realistic, achievable, and significant milestones.
- Identify internal / external talents we need to involve in this transformation and their roles
- Identify the baselines and KPIs (e.g. inventory cost reduction, reactive maintenance reduction, incident reduction, customer retention & loyalty increase etc.)
- Identify critical immediate steps to get us started
THINK BIG, START SMALL, ACT NOW
Working on small proof of concepts before implementing the entirety of the project will save your organization significant time, effort, and money in case the concept failed. It will also give you a guarantee of quick feedback loops and improvement areas during larger implementations. Simultaneous micro projects will allow you to move forward towards the larger vision in iterative manner. One of the keys to succeeding is by failing fast; the faster a failure occurs, the faster it can be fixed.
A WORKFORCE CULTURE OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”- Peter Drucker
Since digital transformation is not a once off event but rather an ever-evolving process, a continuous improvement mindset is necessary to fuel the transformation forward. Corporate executives and managers should seed cultural change by rewarding innovation, encouraging radical thinking, and ensuring metrics align with customer outcomes.
Overall, there are multiple factors to consider in order to transform successfully. In order to bring your digital transformation visions to life, executives should look beyond technology transformation as the end all and be all of the journey. Considering the proper integration to organizational goals, vision & mission, carefully examining value proposition to stakeholders, getting buy-in from employees, instilling the proper organizational culture, assessment of current state and processes are some of the aspects that will make your DX journey into a more holistic approach.
Tina Cabias is an IT Delivery Manager leading DevOps projects for global consumer goods companies. Her career mission is to mold Filipino IT talents into industry’s best in class experts. Her personal values of integrity, excellence, accountability, and authenticity are at the center of all her working relationships. On her personal time, she is a mom, wife, gardener, and a frustrated chef.