Starting the Digital Transformation Journey

Digital Basics

As with any meaningful transformation, it is a business approach to faster and better results, not a technology improvement program.

Several factors are impacting success, such as leadership focus, technology skills, structures, collaboration, management processes, speed of delivery (or failure), and – critically – funding.

Optimising the digital foundations is a crucial underpinning transformational digital innovation capability.

Outsourced IT partners are working towards re-skilling and re-inventing themselves to fine tune their capabilities and costs.

What is the best next step?

Taking an independent diagnostic approach to gain insights on the present state is an ideal next step, whether the journey has begun or yet to launch. In addition to benchmarking the digital foundations, to find optimisations and funding through savings, independent mentoring can go a long way in defining a pragmatic digital agenda, plotting the journey and tracking the progress.
In dispassionately reviewing the present state of the digital journey, a structured approach is necessary – but only sufficient unless it is sensitive to business context, strategy, structure, current performance, partners and operational management. A quick-fire survey of digital technology adoption can be tempting, but may not provide actionable insights that are business-impact focused.

Multiple management tools such as structured questionnaires, executive level interviews, voice of the customer surveys, process assessments, time and/or SWOT analysis need to be deployed to plot the journey after assessing the facts, the possibilities and the ambition. Independent assessments that can actually can lead to clear directions ask some difficult questions:

  • Is there a digital business strategy agreed? Who owns the strategy? Is there a shared understanding of the strategy?
  • Is there a mechanism to identify, prioritise and review digital initiatives? Are all parts of the organisation engaged in the digital transformation plans?
  • How are digital innovation projects scoped and budgeted? How are they funded? Is the value expected from the projects defined and baselined?
  • How is the IT organisation structured? Is there a focus on innovation, speed and agility? How are digital innovation projects managed?
  • Is there a two-team structure in IT? What is the governance model for each?
  • Are there suitable hands-offs between the two teams? Are there suitable commercial and contracting mechanisms in place?
  • What are the key metrics for managing the two teams in IT? Are the metrics aligned to business expectations and SLAs?
  • How is the business involved in digital innovation projects? Are there mechanisms for ongoing strategy reviews to ensure relevance?

Hopefully our article has given you enough to think about when considering the best suited approach to moving ahead and to accelerate your business towards a sustained and successful digital transformation.

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