Research suggests that 70% of businesses fail to realize their digital transformation goals despite investing millions into implementing new technologies.
Does this mean that the idea of digitally transforming operations is a pipe dream? Absolutely not! It means that digital transformation must be more than technology integration.
Digital transformation is about carefully analyzing customer journeys and consumption patterns, re-engineering opportunities, and focusing on how the available resources can be better leveraged by employing the new technology.
Simply put, the need is to facilitate a holistic view of business processes and create a cohesive and engaging digital platform that can offer new growth opportunities driven by improved efficiency, greater agility, better resilience, and more responsiveness.
Let's dive deeper to understand how digital transformation entails a convergence of technologies, business processes, people, and systems to generate the best results.
Developing a strategy that caters to the changing business landscape is the starting point for a successful digital transformation initiative. Without a strategy, you may find your organization being forced to be reactive, which is never a great idea, especially in today's hyper-competitive business environment.
"There is no single technology that will deliver "speed" or "innovation" as such. The best combination of tools for a given organization will vary from one vision to another." — Tabrizi et al., Harvard Business Review.
You might have cutting-edge tools and scalable data repositories converging to contribute to analytics engine; however, if you lack the right intelligence to derive insights, the vision to reshape business models, and the idea to rationalize the technology stack, your business will not derive any value from the powerful tools.
An enterprise might consolidate ServiceNow CSM, SAP ERP, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM into their workings and remain oblivious to the part they can truly play in driving transformative outcomes. In such a scenario, a company could be plagued by slow and inaccurate data and erroneous outputs, preventing it from accomplishing what it set out to achieve.
Ensuring, monitoring, and recording the impact of all the components being integrated is essential to drive digital transformation initiatives forward. This is also the first item on the agenda when it comes to monitoring if the digital transformation investments are being utilized effectively. Another way to keep a close eye on the results is by formulating a strategy based on deep research — one driven by data analytics.
Like business strategy, it is imperative to keep a watch on how the different teams are contributing to the overall efforts. For instance, at ITPN, we explicitly emphasize how we can help our enterprise customers migrate to modern frameworks and evolve in the process. This “evolution" not only promotes assimilation with the new-age methodologies but also how people across roles and functions can drive this assimilation.
Take the example of a manufacturing firm that has international operations, and the supply chain team is keen on moving to an online platform. This way, production orders can be tracked more effectively and shipped directly to the customer. Owing to the tremendous nature of the shift, the IT and HR departments need to be equally involved in this project to schedule and implement training programs. However, what happens when these two teams have no guide on how to work together? This is where you realize that having an organization-wide strategy is critical to driving a holistic change. These strategies are often driven by CIOs, and we recognize that they may need mentoring, handholding, and advice as the change sets in too.
The customer's journey is where the rubber meets the road in enterprise digital transformation. It is impossible to reimagine business processes or models without studying this aspect in-depth.
While doing so, you need to analyze the data points that matter to the customer. For instance, do they require a paper trail that can be used to track shipments? Is there a privacy concern? As you speak with the stakeholders and understand their business priorities, you can derive key insights from the data and develop the right digital solutions that help power new features or operational improvements that will find favor with customers.
Steven ZoBell, a Forbes Councils Member, argues that while enterprises are focused on adopting modern assembly lines, they hardly bother making the employees aware of the "platforms that provide visibility across the entire assembly line and automate individual and cross-functional work."
In fact, both modern tools and models can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, these tools can help the business grow faster, and, on the other hand, they can exacerbate or accentuate the problems of employees. This can drive down usage and hinder digital transformation efforts.
The challenge lies in how you can make such tools and models accessible to the employees without lowering the morale (or demotivating them) or rendering them redundant. And this challenge can only be realized successfully by altering the business models to match trends, skills, interests, and needs.
Enterprise digital transformation is the need of the hour. Nevertheless, driving a meaningful initiative entails understanding how all the constituents are working in sync to create a holistic experience for customers, users, and stakeholders alike. The core of this experience can be successfully supported by leveraging a powerful mix of digital platforms that follows a holistic approach to business process management and the associated digitization. But, as we have seen, the platforms are only tools. Digital Transformation needs more from strategy, employee engagement, and process improvements to become impactful and sustainable. From productivity improvements to refining business models and evolving the resources at disposal to embracing modern methodologies, ITPN helps businesses develop a digital strategy that is powerful in every sense of the word.