How to Start your Digital Transformation - A Point of View

Biplab Roy, AVP Head - Agile Practice, AltimetrikBiplab is a visionary leader, Transformation specialist, Focused executor and Trusted advisor with 18 years of experience in IT Industry on various software platforms and technologies with a zeal for excellence and growing business

Digital transformation is in fashion now-a-days. Small or large, every enterprise needs to or wants to transform them to survive and create their own positions or to remain relevant and competitive. A lot has been said and documented. Many have already gone through the journey to some extent, some have just started and some want to take wait & watch approach and strategize on when & how to start.

At this juncture, we may want to take a step back to reassess our understanding of this whole transformation, its key elements and tipping points to start and envision the possible roadmap of this journey.

In my view, digital transformation is not about technology. It is about redefining your value proposition and engagement with customer to solve their problems. It is about integrating innovation, business capabilities, customers and technology together into one platform. It is about understanding your customer’s current and/or future needs and provide an integrated innovative solution leveraging the advancement of technology and business capabilities with a superior customer engagement. It must be fast, flexible, stable, secure and sustainable and continue to do so by responding to the market condition, to stay competitive and not to get disrupted.

Two of the most important elements of this transformation are Digital Strategy and Digital Leadership.

Digital Strategy

Digital strategy is a business strategy inspired by the capabilities of readily available technologies with an intent to deliver unique integrated business capabilities in a way that are responsive to constantly changing market condition and customer expectation.

Key Aspects of this Digital Strategy are:

* Value propositions of Product or Services

Combination of SMACIT along with biometric & cognitive computing and other latest technology advancements are actually transforming the fundamentals of our ability to provide products and services to our customer. In fact, it is changing the way we define our products and services.

* Level and Depth of Customer Engagement

Customer engagement is the relationship with our customer. It must be built on trust, loyalty and passion. It is about how well we are taking care of our customers while providing the products or services. The level of information and depth of knowledge we have about our
customer with respect to their needs and necessities indicates our engagement level. Enterprises must leverage this information to create innovative value propositions.

* Enabler Ecosystem

Enabler ecosystem has two core aspects to support the execution of strategies. Digital service Backbone is the digital capabilities, engineering assets and ecosystem to support delivery with speed and quality. The second aspect, Operational Backbone is the operational aspects of the organization. Startup does not have this and larger organization cannot change the existing engine so easily.

Digital transformation requires fundamental architectural change of the business and organization

So, How Do We Start this Journey?

Everyone has reached to the tipping point. Importance has been felt. Every organization must transform. It’s a survival need. So, how do we start? Does an organization need to disrupt its existing ways of business and operation? Not necessarily, however, in this journey, eventually existing business and its ecosystem will get disrupted and take a new form. New product or service portfolio, new engagement model and some new ways of doing things will emerge and that will become the new norm.

Well, any transformation journey requires cultural change of the organization. Especially, digital transformation requires fundamental architectural change of the business and organization. But of course, we cannot stop the existing business to transform ourselves to make us more competitive and relevant – i.e. digital ready. We must start small and move fast, and progress towards making the organization ready. Speed is the essence here. As different disruptive innovations are entering to the market every now and then, existing organizations must move faster before new entrants disrupt the market. Instead of waiting for someone to take the lead, initiate the journey. Pivot the decision based on market response.

Six Key Steps to Start the Journey and Continue Successfully in this are -

1. Strategic Alignment & Planning

  • Establish a grand vision of your transformed Organization

  • Define your digital strategy

  • Alignment and direct involvement of top Leadership (CXO Level)

2. Get the right Talent

  • Get the right leadership on the ground

  • Get the right engineers and /or groom existing one to make them digital workforce

3. Set your Approach right

  • Establish a culture of continuous learning with Reward and Risk

  • Fearless culture of innovation with Reward

  • Highly collaborative team

  • Global mindset

  • Fail safe environment

  • Empower employees

  • Product based innovation

  • Decentralized decision making

  • Data Driven execution and management

4. Build Digital Capabilities – Though it takes time, start building capabilities

  • Continuously build business aligned digital capabilities

  • Integration of advancement of technology with business capabilities

5. Flawless & Fearless Execution

  • Execute | Execute | Execute – Remember, Speed is the essence

  • Optimize and/or calibrate operational engine

6. Set the Governance Mechanism

  • Measure | Decision | Pivot