Digital Transformation – Leading the Way or No Way Jose?

Digital Transformation – Leading the Way or No Way Jose?
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It’s a Question of Digital Digitisation

As we approach the end of the calendar year, I’d like you to ask yourself one question: ‘What has Digital done for my business?’ Now, before you answer and sing the praises of your company’s digital transformation from the electronic rooftop, take a moment to really think about it and give me an example.

If you answered ‘my business can now process one hundred times the widgets’ or that ‘my customers now have access to webchat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week’, then that really is great. But, now ask yourself a slightly different question, namely, is this is actually digital change or is it just automation and the natural evolution of your business?

It’s been the buzz word for longer than I care to remember, but what is this becoming digital nonsense anyway?

Perhaps it’s Digital First, which means that Digital is a part of everything that your business thinks or does, and you may have brought in a Digital Lead to deliver the necessary transformation. If so, and these people are in addition to your Chief Technology Officer, or existing Transformation Lead then I ask you


Fake News

Many a consultancy firm out there will tell you that Digital will deliver you the world but firstly requires specialist investment, rigid (or agile) methodologies embedding, dedicated software, and people to make this really happen. But logically Digital can’t be the sole driver behind a functioning and healthy business.

Is it really a Digital Blueprint, or some sort of Digital Intersection that transforms the way that you operate? Or is it actually the technology steer and provision of your mobile devices as recommended by your CTO that achieved the automation of your business? And was it not your Transformation Lead that embedded the required change into your Operating Model, amending business processes and got everyone ‘thinking digitally’ to be able to offer and benefit from webchat services? If not, well I ask again, ‘why?’

Delivery needs to occur of course, but that’s the role of your Programme Managers, so what are Digital, and your Digital Lead doing for your business? That pot of funding, where does it go before things get to alpha? On discovery? Research and development? Or perhaps on a Digital Strategy; and as you may have guessed, I’m not convinced that they offer great value for money.

And whilst we’re on the subject, is a digital solution even the right fit for you and your customers? I’ve witnessed the assumption that digital solutions will always speed things up, but time and time again, the end to end customer journey can be reached far more quickly with a manual intervention. This face to face contact may be a little more expensive, but if it secures regular custom and profit, then maybe investing to ensure that your business has Digital at its Heart could have the opposite effect.

Truly Embedded Change through Digital Transformation

The transition of your business to be able to operate in the electronic world should occur at every level. It needs to be outlined in your vision and be at the heart of your business through your operating model, but it should not be stand alone and certainly should never forget the customer. Quite simply, this is not a digital transformation, it is the movement of your business to operate effectively in the electronic world, put simply Going Digital is not a silver bullet to success.

The necessary channel shift should occur naturally across all of your programmes and activities in order to be fully embedded, and that Digital Vision that you’re funding should just be a part of your wider transformation plan. Digital doesn’t need to be a foundation of what you do, just an ongoing consideration of whether or not the service that you offer can survive without it or not. If not, then it is your process that has to change and your business has to keep up.

Is this shift the job of one person to lead, or is it everyone’s responsibility? If you have to employ one person to convince you of it, then perhaps you and your business are not ready yourselves. However, if your communications are right and your people empowered and enthused to deliver your success through solid service and the opportunity to develop innovative approaches along the way, then Digital IS being led on every level and runs through the entirety of your organisation.

Perhaps then your business really does have digital at its heart. OR perhaps it’s just an efficient organisation that understands its direction, customer needs and now has extra funds from the old Digital pot to spend on the Christmas party.

Just a thought.

Matt Wilding

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