Hard Truths About Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

A transformation that promises not just higher RoI but is also imperative to keep abreast of the industry and customer expectations – is a journey, not a destination

The CIOs are well aware that though digital is supposed to be about speed, the transformation takes a long time. The definition of success for IT leaders is no more about executing a strategy, but being able to execute the constantly changing strategy.

This need for constant change remains a huge pain point for the CIOs who are executing on digital goals. Most companies think that digital transformation is chasing digital offering and products. But all digital solutions do not add business value.

Experts suggest that setting parameters around digital transformation can help in continually testing hypotheses, gain learnings, and decide on whether to adopt or discard experiments. For smooth experimentation, companies must link innovation to a big-picture vision and make experimenting easy for employees.

To become digital companies, experts suggest building blocks to consider that include sharing customer insights – opposed to data silos; technology that handles core operations – opposed to being an operational backbone; having accountability frameworks to balance autonomy and alignment and keeping external developer platform to reach customer demands.

Companies that put these blocks together might have powerful new ideas for new solutions, but the question that remains is — are customers willing to pay for these changes? Experts have observed that especially in B2B while developing, a manager might think that they have brilliant ideas, but the client or the prospect might not agree. Successful companies focus on eliminating complexity and creating a digital-ready company where they believe that customers make decisions.

When it comes to innovation, experimenting is the key but teams cannot afford to waste resources and time on the initiatives that don’t add value. Experts believe that during the process of digital transformation, it is essential to embrace the collective intelligence of teams to make experiments more fruitful. Open systems can prove to be helpful to solve specific customer problems faster.

It is essential to understand that data is an important component of digital transformation. Creating data strategies still overwhelms many companies as they either have volumes of data and are not prepared to use to their advantage, or the data is siloed and inconsistent. To solve this, CIOs suggest identifying data that people can find, trust, and use and also using platforms that serve data fast and reliably. Though the question on the RoI of organizing data always lingers, experts suggest that data science can detect insights that humans can’t and can have a better understanding of customer needs.

While all goes well during digital transformation, experts warn CIOs to take care if the teams do not get fatigued. IT leaders who try much experimenting at once might see digital fatigue set among the troops. Experts suggest that the old rule of ‘test and learn’ applies here too. Picking one empowered team, allotting one demanding customer, and focusing on one service problem can help make progress and develop the culture of ‘getting stuff done.’

The companies that have been successful in the transition are the ones that have assigned accountability and ownership in a cross-functional manner and removed the distinction between IT and others.