Accelerating Digital Transformation (Part 1): From the WHY to the HOW

Accelerating Digital Transformation (Part 1): From the WHY to the HOW

Digital disruption has become the new normal and is redefining the way organisations operate (Fit for Digital)

The need for organisations to transform digitally is now widely accepted by most senior executives across the public and private sectors. Few remain to be convinced about the disruptive impact of emerging technologies.

The argument ‘WHY transform’ has been won. The focus now has shifted from the WHY to the HOW of digital transformation, overcoming the many obstacles and barriers preventing companies from leveraging the full potential of digital technology for supporting sustained business growth and competitiveness. For senior executives in the public sector, the challenge now is to implement successful digital transformation programmes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery in an era of austerity.

In a forthcoming series of blog posts, to coincide with the planned relaunch of the Bridgeall web site, we will examine the key pillars of successful digital transformation, providing highly practical advice on the key steps involved in ‘getting there’. Using illustrative case examples, we will profile the key technologies and project management procedures required to deliver certainty in your transformation initiatives – ensuring  that the digital actions and initiatives you take are fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives, delivered on-time within budget.

The Five Key Pillars of Successful Digital Transformation

As the focus shifts from the WHY to the HOW of transformation, a growing digital divide is emerging between organisations who ‘get IT’ and those who don’t; between those using digital technology to successfully transform their organisation and those still stuck on the starting blocks.

There is growing evidence that this digital divide is having a major impact on subsequent performance with ‘leading digital’ organisations outperforming others.

There will be ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in an era of disruptive digital change. In our experience, ‘winners’ will be those organisations who leverage the full potential of digital technology for building transformation advantage in at least five key areas (see Figure 1 below):

Figure 1: The Five Key Pillars of Successful Digital Transformation 

The Five Pillars of Digital Transformation

  • Engage and connect: Leveraging the full potential of digital technologies to enhance the customer experience with your organisation, especially at ‘Key Moments of Truth’ in the customer journey.
  • Digital operating advantage: Technology embedded at the core of your organisation, building a Digital Operating Advantage difficult for others to copy. Using digital technology to streamline internal systems and processes, maximise efficiency and reduce costs, building a more agile, fast-moving, data driven organisation.
  • Actionable insight: Developing actionable insight from the wealth of data your organisation holds – the missing link between data and deriving business value from that data. Developing actionable insight requires the use of modern, visual based, self-service Business Intelligence Software.
  • Collaborate and share knowledge: In a fast moving environment characterised by turbulent digital change and digital disruption, leveraging the full potential of emerging technologies for supporting collaboration and knowledge sharing, internally and externally with business partners, is critical.
  • Transform: Leveraging technology to transform the way you engage and interact with customers, the way you operate internally and, where appropriate, your underlying business model.

The Six Key Steps

The series of blog posts to follow will provide highly practical advice on the key steps involved in successful transformation covering the issues shown in Figure 2 below:

Figure 2: Digital Transformation Roadmap

Digital Transformation Roadmap

  • Digital Landscape Analysis (External): The current and future state of digital disruption in your industry, the key technologies involved, emerging opportunities & threats and likely impact on your own organisation. How big will the impact of digital disruption be (‘the size of the bang’) and over what time period will your industry be disrupted (‘the length of the fuse)? How will industry dynamics change? Who is ‘leading digital’ in your industry?
  • Internal Digital Audit: Based on the premise that the best way to move forward is to take a brief step back, a self-reflective ‘Digital Gap Analysis’ can be very useful in evaluating the digital progress being made by your organisation benchmarked against the rapid pace of digital change taking place. The resulting ‘Gap Analysis’ i.e. the gap between where you are and where you should be, provides a very strong basis for future strategy development and implementation. Your Internal Digital Audit should cover the five key pillars outlined above.
  • Vision and Strategy: The importance of developing an agreed Digital Vision and Strategy fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives. A vision and strategy with measurable KPIs and targets to be achieved. A vision and strategy that is customer focused, including ‘internal’ customers.
  • Implementation: The key digital actions and initiatives you need to take, the technologies to be used and how to overcome internal barriers and obstacles to change. There is growing acceptance that the main barriers to successful transformation are organisational, people and cultural related rather than technological. Legacy management thinking not just legacy technology. Accelerating transformation requires technology/software certainty AND organisational change.
  • Performance Measurement: A framework for measuring digital transformation performance and business impact.

Part 2 to follow shortly.