Far too many enterprises are investing in digital tools and technologies without trying to drive changes in the operating model, working practices (people), and culture.
Companies focus too much on the technical and customer facing aspects of digital transformation, forgetting that true value can only be leveraged by aligning people and processes.
Professor Raffi Amit at Wharton, pointed out: “It is not technology that is the obstacle to digital transformation, it is people”.
With constant technological innovation and competitive activity, crafting a digital transformation is not just an event but a continuous journey.
5 Essential Practices to Create and Execute Digital Transformation
1) As with most successful business transformations, senior team commitment and sponsorship is essential.
2) Set a clear vision and then translate it into a set of measures and targets to drive the desired results from their digital transformation.
3) Organisations need to undertake a benchmarking exercise to identify best digital practices both within and outside their own sectors. Priorities need to be set based on the areas that are likely to have the most impact: (1) productivity, (2) customer value, (3) revenues, (4) time to market, (5) cost position, (6) innovation, etc.
4) Communication is essential to get the entire organisation engaged around the transformation as well as to manage the traditional resistance to change.
5) The right digital skills might not be available across the organisation, so it is important to have a well articulated digital training plan to start injecting the right skills in the right places at the right time. It is important to develop a mix of digital competences across all functions, such as marketing, HR, sales, and IT. Equally, investing in people development and connecting the workforce to improve sharing and exchange will be key to leveraging the people side of the transformation.
Further reading: Didier Bonnet, Patrick Ferraris. Transform to the Power of Digital: Digital Transformation as a Driver of Corporate Performance. Capgemini Consulting, 2011.