A Guide to Implementing Digital Transformation in Enterprises
Gartner’s IT Glossary states like this: Digital Transformation collectively refers to the effort to “…leverage digital technologies that enable the innovation of the entire business or elements of business and operating models”. Back in the 80s business ideas started with paper and pen, and gradually expanded to embrace digital strategy and transformation, digital operations, and digital customer experience.
Introduction of digital transformation in the enterprises begins with the customers. Many companies now opt to invest in the ERP, CRM and other technology-enabled changes which are the rudimentary units to reach the expected results. They can be further improved by envisioning new capabilities and process changes by providing better financial data for strategic decisions. Digital transformation in enterprises plays a very important role in the journey towards establishing a hassle-free, profitable and innovative business.
The digital enterprises revolve around making information mobile. Mobility has become the buzzword in today’s organizational culture. Employees can now get connected through the cloud to the company’s data as well as the data from the customers, dealers, contractors and other outside vendors, including social network and media.
It takes a lot of time and determination to get started with digital transformation. Watch out these points:
Get involved: The digital initiatives (visions and strategies) for an enterprise should start from the top of the hierarchy. The C-level associates- like CEO, CMO etc. can contribute considerably towards framing a vision for enabling digital transformation. Most of the highly performing digitized organizations have their top hierarchies sponsoring for the digital initiatives.
Collaborate IT and Business: Some business executives may bypass the idea of implementing the digital transformation and continue to wait for better initiatives. The most important fact that is to be understood and acted upon is that technology should be used in alignment with the current business scenario which is expecting to deliver better results.
Strategy, not technology: Successful introduction of digital transformation in businesses depends mainly on the strategy followed and not the technology used. The same output can be brought in by different technologies. But the way the implementation is planned, introduced and executed plays a vital role in the successful transformation.
Facility to adopt new ideas: Most of the business firms invest a lot in maintaining the existing systems. They have less room for innovation and implementation of new ideas and technologies. It is advisable to hold bi-modal structure where one mode is traditional and follows the current routine and the next mode is non-linear and exploratory, emphasizing on agility and speed. The second mode always focuses and vigorously works on all the innovations that may follow in the coming years.
4 Ps of Bi-modal IT: While implementing bi-modal IT, the development of the capabilities in the second mode needs to focus on the following aspects:
- People: Form small, cross-operational teams that can together deliver digital applications
- Portfolio: The initiatives that require a differentiated approach for the second mode should be identified
- Platform: Modern cloud platforms that can enable speed and agility should be implemented
- Process: Iterative development and quick deployment methods should be established
Classification of Application: The ideas to be implemented have to be identified and categorized based on the business priority. This will help us to implement the right idea first. You can follow this method while introducing digital transformation in the firm and later on, a more structured approach can be established to construct the roadmap to the implementation.
Practice Agile and DevOps: At times, the requirements for the digital applications seem to be ambiguous. So, it is advisable to work in short iterative cycles (“sprints” as termed in Agile). The entire application can be broken into small components and we can create proper functionality before releasing the application. Later it has to be iterated based on the user feedback. The DevOps fashion (agile practice to improve collaboration between operations and development teams) will ensure continuous delivery.
Provide the right platform: Providing the right source is very important. To ensure fast delivery, the employees must be provided with the right tools and software. As you grow up into the digital usage, further acceleration can be maintained by reusing the developed agile projects.
With the plan of evolving digital transformation, the enterprise should also gear up to face the outcome.
- Ability to meet and overcome resistances.
- Understand how to transform human needs into technical requirements.
- Every single step in digital transformation should be defined according to the company’s goal and customer’s satisfaction.
- Transformation process should not affect business performance.
- The journey towards digital transformation is long and challenging. Organizations should accept the facts and continue to work towards the transformation.
With proper orientation, people, process, objective, structure, insights, technology and execution, any enterprise is just a step away from a successful digital transformation.
How is your enterprise going about digital transformation? Leave your thoughts on this article.
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