Digital Transformation: It’s not a matter of IF, but When

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Who works in IT has already enough heard the buzzword Digital Transformation but – as often happens to buzzwords – there are elusive and often very generic cliché. The questions that I have asked myself is probably naïve: what is the simple recipe to achieve this transformation? When a company can really say: “Yes! We did it!”? And how – as IT people – we can do to help?

No easy answers, of course, but a really fascinating book (Leading Digital), jointly written by Capgemini Consulting and MIT Center of Digital Business,  helped me to find some of these answers; going through the different frameworks in the book, I have then tried to adapt what we can do from a technological standpoint, with what we should achieve to finally become digital leaders: it turns out that huge opportunities are out there.

If a company wants to understand where its journey toward digital transformation starts, needs to understand where they are today. Before achieving the status of Digital Master, three categories can be identified:

  • Beginners: newbie in this kind of journey they need to gain confidence in their moves, as they are missing both leadership and digital capabilities.
  • Fashionistas: they are attracted by all new technology trends, but without a real vision and therefore with a lack of leadership in their processes. It’s the kind of company that start mobile, social and cloud strategies, but without a real common vision.
  • Conservatives: with a very strong and recognized leadership they play the “safe side” and take every decision related to digital with caution.On the other side Digital Masters have overcome the challenges and they outperform their peers: this is the most important message and makes clear that Digital Transformation is not just a buzzword or a trend but an opportunity to improve the way of doing business; studies have shown how Digital Masters are 9% more efficient in terms of revenue generation and 26% more profitable than their peers.
    Figure 2 The Digital Transformation Framework adapted with Digital Capabilities and Opportunities

    Based on the frameworks explained in the book I have tried to identify in the image below how IT can provide answers to this transformation and what are the digital capability that can serve the final goal of being leaders in digital.

    While the customer experience is oriented outside the company, the operational processes aim to provide new solutions for the employees, which are also looking for a new way of working.
    Finally, as Vincent Van Gogh said, we should not become the slaves of our models and becoming Digital Leaders means also creating values for customers and employees discovering new models of doing business.

    The digital transformation is a journey that will take time, but it’s not anymore a question of IF, but rather of WHEN; companies have understood (and who didn’t will understand soon) that it is important to change and adapt themselves to the request of innovation that we are having today.

 

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