Digital Transformation – The Buzzword Simplified – Part 3

 

In my last post, I had detailed the key approaches to Digital Transformation. In this post, I will focus primarily on useful tips, prominent roles, all the known pitfalls for any digital transformation journey.

The idea is to understand all the learnings from different customers experienced on their digital transformation journeys and ensure that one takes good care in not succumbing to known issues. The posts also lists some best practices that should be embraced for the entire journey, this will make the implementation more efficient and effective and less cumbersome for the people involved.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION TIPS

Let us briefly cover the six tips that govern a successful digital transformation journey

The question remains: when should you make preemptive changes? The observation of biological systems teaches us that it is optimal for companies to begin searching well before they exhaust their current sources of profit, and that firms should use a mix of ‘big steps’ to move to uncharted terrain and ‘small steps’ to uncover adjacent options at low cost. Regardless, having a strong bias toward change is critical.

ESSENTIAL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ROLES

While emerging tech and revamped processes are crucial, having the right skills on staff is essential to any digital transformation.

Software engineers, cloud computing specialists and product managers remain key roles for companies seeking to roll out new products and services. DevOps leaders galvanize software development by merging development with operations, enabling companies to continuously iterate software to speed delivery.

Data scientists and data architects are also in high demand, as companies seek to glean insights out of vast troves of data, and transformations lean increasingly on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Plus, IT departments supporting business-wide transformations also require UX designers, digital trainers, writers, conversational brand strategists, forensic analysts, ethics compliance managers and digital and workplace technology managers.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PITFALLS

Digital transformations are lagging or even failing for several reasons, including poor leadership, disconnects between IT and the business, lagging employee engagement and substandard operations.

The primary obstacles include the ability to move fast and to innovate while stripping down legacy processes and technical debt investments that have served us well for a long time. The key culprits of a derailed digital transformation are obsession with big bang change, focus on cost cutting as a business driver, and failure to loop in the business.

Boardrooms and C-suites talk about digital and there is pressure to show something and show results, which creates wrong expectations about how quickly what can be done and when. When the investments don’t pay off, people blame the CIO, who finds himself or herself out of a job.

Moreover, approaching digital transformation as a technology journey independent of the business is a recipe for failure. If a clever CIO comes up with a clever idea to change something with new tech, that’s great. The next step is bringing it to the business and having the business own the process. When they own the process, you drive end-to-end transformation that includes processes, people, policies and tech.  The siloed approach always fails.”

A typical role distribution for digital jobs within a company is depicted below for reference.

Adapting to change is nothing new in our industry. But the unprecedented pace of change and colliding trends like the internet of things, digital partner ecosystems, rapid cloud adoption, and machine learning are creating the perfect storm. A storm that is changing the business landscape. There is no one size fits all approach to digital transformation, each strategy will be unique to each organization. However, a focus of balancing activities across the right business model, right partners, right technology, right mindset provides the compass to guide a successful transformation.

Stay tuned…. Part 4 of this foray, we will look into some of the outlooks, optimizations and innovations that are key to any Digital transformation journey.

Please feel free to review my other series of posts 

Authored by Venugopala Krishna Kotipalli