I am sat in another vendor event and the presenter is delivering the keynote on digital transformation and what organisations should be doing to achieve the holy grail of going 100% digital. Whilst the content is great and relevant, as soon as the word 'dinosaur' is mentioned the crowd looks uneasy, an inaudible question seems to reverberate around the room - "Is that me?"
Digital Transformation is the current buzzword which, just like Cloud or Big Data, everyone is talking about it. What is your digital strategy? Where are you on the journey to digital utopia? Are you a digital laggard?
The answers are not the same for all organisations, so let's review the basic tenants of Digital Transformation:
- Digital is about connecting people, places, partners and things. This is where you need to put your thinking cap on. Is there a better way you can do the things you do today? How do people want to interact with your organisation? Speak to your customers and evaluate if you are delivering your services or products the way they want to consume them.
- It is not all about the technology. Start with the culture within your organisation, is it ready to change how it has done things for the last X years? Digital is not a perfect art and mistakes will be made along the way, so is your organisation ready to accept this and learn from them? This is why organisations like IDC state that change needs to start with the CEO.
- Data is the new form of capital. To really gain business advantage you need to look at all of the data you store today and the data that will be available to you in the future. How are you going to gain value from the data? What insights does this data provide? Now this does not mean you need to store absolutely everything and suck in data feeds from everything around you. What it does mean is that you should have a strong information lifecycle policy in place as well as the necessary tools to gain valuable insight into this data (listen to our podcast 'Is Information Lifecycle Management Dead?').
- Cloud (oh no I've mentioned the C word!) can be an important enabler for Digital Transformation. Just because you have a strategy that includes cloud it does not mean you are on the way to digital utopia (read our blog post 'Why Cloud is not a Strategy'). What you should be doing is looking to leverage cloud technology to improve your processes, but do not assume it is a silver bullet!
The mistake many people are making today is thinking there is a simple process to follow to achieve digital transformation. There is no right way of doing things and what works for one organisation may not work for another. The real advantage of digital is finding a competitive edge, so take a hard look at what you do, what things can be done differently and start the ball rolling.
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