The customer’s needs and priorities are changing. Slowly but surely the way businesses treat the customers, employees, as well as the way they work are also changing. But is it enough? Sure, if you do not believe in evolution. Darwinism in business stresses on constant evolution to stay sustained in various conflicting situations and raising above them by acquiring knowledge, adopting survival methodologies, all the while being prepared for the next unforeseen conflict. What’s better time to discuss ‘Unforeseen’ than 2020?
As per a recent study by Everest Group, 73% of enterprises failed in generating any business value from their digital transformation efforts. 78% failed to meet their business objectives. In other words, only 22% achieved their desired business results. This is fearful and shocking. Given the technology democratization and emerging suite of next-generation technologies, can companies afford any loopholes in their Strategy to Execution? I guess not.
Its high time the strategic priorities of a business’ Digital Transformation journey to be redefined especially for the mid-sized and growing organizations. Anything long-term must feel unsafe to the leaders. Because, if the transformational model is not planned to be ecological to the business, anything can go wrong. With a haphazard DT model,
- The expensive digital strategies may swerve from your business priorities
- Inconsistency of approaches across different parts of the organization may end up confusing customers
- Interruptions and overlaps in delivery would waste both opportunities and resources
- ‘Digital’ might end up becoming a project rather than a root and branch transformation; and
- In the end, you may see a lot of activity, yet little practical achievement
While slow-and-steady is the way to go, there is no reason one cannot make those small initiatives powerful. From companies who stepped towards going paperless (aka Digitization) a couple of decades ago to the firms who are converting their existing offline channels to online channels (aka Digitalization) to ease operations, anyone can turn the tables against ‘unforeseen-ness’ using the right Digital Transformation framework. Here, Right translates to Sustainable.
At Qentelli, we serve clientele from assorted lines of businesses and industries. We aim to offer digital solutions that bring in lasting success, with an approach that differs based on the company’s long-term and short-term goals. In this article, we discuss the fundamental transformation framework that covers all phases Discover - Deliver - Recover; along with our focus areas at each phase to ensure the aforementioned - lasting success.
The DIGIT framework has been around for a while and research institutions like CDAIT vouch for it. They say it is a pragmatic, iterative process for digital business transformation. According to this framework, Phase one is to contextualize the current conditions through a SWOT analysis. Then identification of solution and suitable interface, medium, and technologies must take place. The right technical and operation framing decides the success/failure of a transformation strategy. Defining the KPIs and ROIs happens in this stage too. Then comes the next stage – setting up Governance. Project governance and leadership are crucial to achieve sustained success since digital business transformation is not just about modifying the company’s technologies and processes but also its identity. Before implementing the actual proposed solution, it is important to identify project advocates who will act as change agents within the organization. Their key responsibilities will include - ensuring the solution aligns to the enterprise framework and the expectations of results are managed. Tracking the process and results is the next and most crucial phase of digital transformation. Not just establishing measures of success but also putting those results into business context helps organizations to adapt Continuous Innovation mindset faster.
Here’s what makes the framework sustainable. All the learnings from Tracking along with the reception and responses of customers collected from various channels will be circled back to the phase one of next set of improvements/initiatives. This Feedback loop is the most underrated yet (if executed well) more rewarding phase of the entire Digital Transformation model.
Translating this Digital Transformation Strategy into a much simpler equation,
Technology became a very accessible commodity. In the age of Digital natives, the differentiation factor for the business transformation initiatives is the attitude towards it. The objective should step up from bringing in Digitization to creating Digital Business. Digital modernisation initiatives are taking place across many organisations already. They are accelerating the digitisation of their core assets, rebalancing expenditure toward digital (employee & customer) engagement and experience channels, fixing flaws in their tech stacks, and replacing their legacy infrastructure with cloud technologies. Such initiatives are essential for organizations to remain competitive and relevant to be able to adapt quickly to market changes, speed up the deliveries of new products & services, and maintain good stakeholder relationships.
In addition to modernising existing ways of working with digital technology, rethinking the approach to all aspects of business models: expanding the base of customers, quantifying the customer value, customer interaction channels, cost management, competition assessment and partnership opportunities, etc. also drives the digital transformation of a business.
Based on decades of collective experiences* with a wide variety of industries and businesses, we believe that there are five core areas that helps organizations to consistently create value from digital transformation.
(*collective experience of the business and project leaders of Qentelli)
Design thinking is proven to be a problem-solving process that combines creative and analytical assessment. Whether you are interacting, selling, or serving digitally; it is important to empathize with your customer’s emotions, define the problem statement, ideate a possible solution, generate a prototype and test for user feedback. This helps gaining a deeper understanding of customer’s needs and stimulates innovation for future deliveries.
Contrary to a popular belief, Agility is not equal to Speed. It is about responding faster using iterative processes and capabilities backed with effective change management to stay ahead of the competition. In the technology world, bringing Business and IT together and deliver high quality applications helps teams to unleash their full potential which will result in swiftness. Agility promotes curiosity and cross-skill across teams to turn them more resourceful.
Lean Infra and Ops
Most of the digital businesses have started accelerating their speed of transformation through cloud computing and DevOps automation. To stay more responsive to your customers’ feedback and response to the last release, tech leaders need to spruce up innovation and accelerate deployments. The nirvana is reaching the capability of one-click deployments. Leveraging the benefits of various PaaS and IaaS providers can be a good start to cut down early-age investments on Infra.
Low code and No code
In a world that has over 27 million software developers, high-skilled developers and testers are very scarce. While not every tech business can afford a fully equipped software development team, low to no code application development platforms are a boon. Their visual development tools that include widgets, connectors, ready-to-use templates & cloud deployments foster rapid development AKA Continuous Delivery.
Technology Business Management (TBM)
As Digital Transformation arguably comes with its own set of technology investments, IT leaders will have to gain more visibility into the IT costs respective to the business value they translate into. Tracking run-of-the-mill expenditure against innovation expenditure and ensuring it does not go beyond the agreed ratio becomes crucial. CIOs become responsible to set up a methodology for TBM and guide the teams.
Digital business transformation is a broad-based, long-term, dynamic process, that includes many moving parts. Making DT an exclusive technological endeavor is absolutely risky if not dangerous for the organization across various dimensions - not just technical; but financial, operational, and cultural. A proven successful Digital Transformation Strategy straight out of book can risk the company’s brand and reputation if executed without proper infrastructure, communication, and monitoring processes.