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Digital Transformation: Finding your Start Line
May 25, 2016 News

There’s been a cumbersome scramble of late amongst companies looking to pip the competition to ride the potential-laden digital wave. And with good reason. In one of its 2016 predictions for digital transformation, Gartner cites how CEOs are forecasting an increase of over 80% in their organization’s digital revenue as early as 2020.

Although successful case studies have gained traction in legitimizing the push for others to follow, there’s also been a significant handful of organizations that have fallen flat in the face of digital transformation.

To be fair, we’re still in uncharted territory; trial and error as the old saying goes, and the one that bets right, wins.

Kick-start that Impetus

It’s true that the big three trends of big data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have helped shaped a lot of constructive discourse over recent years.

But resources are always finite. So the question is where should our starting point be? Charlene Li, from Altimeter, listed Customer Experience as her top priority in a thought leadership piece titled The Top Digital Transformation Priorities for 2016. Not a bad choice to curb the pessimism of internal skeptics before branching out further.

Let’s face it. Not everyone is a visionary in your organization. Sometimes, to get the buy-in from different stakeholders, there needs to be nuggets of results to show elements of promise. And there’s nothing like sealing the approval of customer objectivity.

When big data enables your business to make smarter decisions that please customers and get them to buy more, that’s hard to dispute. What you get is the impetus to push forth for more in-depth organizational digital transformation.

Honesty: The Righteous Path to Digital Emergence

Denial can be a dangerous state of mind for any company; the root cause of becoming obsolete while the rest of the world races ahead. The truth can be hard to swallow at times but it definitely beats a full-on choke.

A research report by MIT Sloan Management Review – in collaboration with Capgemini Consulting – revealed a four-tiered model depicting the various stages of digital adoption by companies:

Beginner Companies – Skeptical and slow to adopt advanced digital technologies; still stuck to nascent email, Internet and silo enterprise software.

Conservative Companies – Senior management has a vision and effective structures to govern technology adoption but are taking a wait and see approach.

Fashionista Companies – Aggressive in adopting new technologies but without a proper vision or structure, creating massive disruption across departments.

Digirati Companies – Senior management establishes a clear vision, communicated through strong management across the board to gain the most value from digital transformation.

While these stages may not be all encompassing, they do provide companies with a useful gauge to benchmark themselves with the rest of their peers. That’s only, and only, if the individuals at the helm of big corporations possess the humility to clearly define where they are, prior to designing a transformation roadmap.

Acceptance is the First Mission

Atop Customer Experience, Capgemini Consulting also highlights Operational Process and Business Model as key verticals of assimilation for any company’s digital transformation exercise.

If you’ve not already thought this through, digital transformation is very much embedded into the responsibilities of the CIO, as it is with the CEO, CMO, CHRO and other department heads. For it to really work, leaders at all levels need to be convinced, not bulldozed with an aggressive policy change. Acceptance, is your first mission.

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