Digital Transformation Today - the four elements required
Our first post in this series was focused on setting the Digital Transformation scene, now we turn our attention to the four key elements of change required for success. In future posts Goldstar will look at how these elements come together achieving digitisation, whatever the size or maturity of your business.
This entire process heavily relies on the right talent in the right place at the right time. The foundation to successful digital transformation is assembling the right team of technology, data, and process people, who can work together, guided by a strong leader who can motivate change. Of course, that takes time, resources, and attention away from running a successful business. So, without having the team already in place what can you do? What does a business have to bring to the table for the best chance of successful Digital Transformation?
Let’s break down the parts of the process and understand how we realign ready for successful digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Technology
For many, technology is the biggest perceived challenge, it moves so swiftly, changes are almost transient. From month to month the focus shifts from the Internet of Things (IOT) to blockchain, to low-code, artificial intelligence (AI) and the never-ending list of acronyms and “the next big thing”. Not only do you have to keep up to date with what these emerging technologies are, but you must understand how they can affect your business now and in the future.
It is true that many of these emerging technologies are becoming more user friendly. Ultimately, offering better user experience and control but understanding how any particular technology contributes to the organisational digital transformation is staggering. How a business needs to adapt or integrate its current technologies is complex. Factor in any legacy technical debt, framework, and procedures you can see how an aspirational digital transformation may falter at the first hurdle.
Goldstar recommended reading: Data and Digital Transformation
Harvard Business School’s best practices for putting data to work
These are not insurmountable challenges; however, they are less significant to a more critical issue – businesses who may have become focused on ‘keeping the lights on’ rather than opening the curtains. Rebuilding trust here is essential, those advocating Digital Transformation must show the business value with each recommendation. They must be able to communicate their ideas, but also have a strong strategic sense that leads better technological choices. Ultimately, balancing innovation and the challenge of technological debt.
These issues can be managed, the challenges resolved by people who have both the technological depth and experience coupled with an understanding of people and process and the ability to work in partnership with the business. Goldstar have found our knowledge of technology, data, process, culture and people, essential in guiding companies with their digital transformation elements.
Digital Transformation: Data
The most vital component of all is the one most overlooked, or rather, taken for granted. Data is as essential to the operating of a digital transformation as oil is to an engine. If it is poor quality, not enough, or missing everything will grind to a spectacular halt. The unfortunate reality for most companies is the data they are pouring into their machines is not up to standard.
The rigours of data transformation are dependent on the better data quality and analytics. Firstly, it will almost certainly require new types of unstructured or external data. Secondly integrating information from disparate systems. Finally, trimming vast quantities of data that has never and could never be used.
The Data Paradox
No, not a Star Trek reference but the position many companies wanting to reap the rewards of a digital transformation will find themselves in. You know the data is important to your company. You also know the quality is not as good as it should be. Alternatively, you may find yourself wasting resources try to make a difference or shifting the blame to IT functions rather than addressing the need and putting in place proper roles and responsibilities. The cultural, process and technology changes need to be in place rather than using a sticky plaster to resolve your data issues.
Just as with technology you need talent with experience and confidence in data. Even more so you need the talent to lead a revolution in the front lines of your business to embrace new responsibilities around data customers and creators. This means considering the data they collect now, evaluating its productiveness, while communicating its need and prioritising the data they need after their digital transformation.
Goldstar have the knowledge, expertise and experience in all aspects of managing data. Primarily, the understanding of how, what, and when to collect it, to storing, processing, and accessing it at the right time. Moreover, when to use it to drive Business Intelligence, making your operations more efficient, more agile and enabling operational decisions to be based on real-time, real-world data. We advise on process, training, and culture changes to make sure your entire operation is as integrated as your data is, ensuring every department can take advantage of your business’ digital transformation, increasing profitability, efficiency, and productivity across your business.
Digital Transformation: Process
When reviewing Digital Transformation elements (and all the resulting benefits that come with them) you must have an end-to-end mind set. Primarily, a holistic view of how this dovetails with every part of your business process and operation. This may involve realigning how you meet customer needs or developing a seamless integration of processes and the ability to recognise silos going forward. Often business revolution and digital transformation is reduced to a series of incremental steps, important and beneficial improvements but not transformative and often hindering the transformation that was desired in the first place.
Many find process management – focused on customers and horizontally, across silos – the biggest challenge. Especially in regard to legacy hierarchical thinking. To approach this successfully it requires a broader perspective. Ideally aligning the silos to the benefit of the customer, guiding process improvement and the design of new ones. This higher-level approach allows you to see when incremental process improvements are sufficient to fulfil your goals and when radical redesign might be required.
Process is precious
Process is precious – and usually it has a lot of investment behind it. Decisions are made due to technological, systematic, personnel, resource, or financial factors relevant at a particular time. These decisions then are often set in stone and difficult to shift, they may evolve in response to one element changing but still are generally constrained by the other factors. We at Goldstar recognise the importance of process to any business. We learn the intricacies of your business and recommend how to review these for successful Digital Transformation.
Organisational Change Capability/Culture
This is a much written about area of Digital Transformation. It is an interconnected web encompassing leadership, teamwork, determination, employee understanding, congruence and other element so change management. Each aspect coming to the fore as the project evolves. Those responsible for Digital Transformation should be experienced in these areas and know their skills and limitations.
While difficult to substantiate, there is a trend that those grounded in technology, data and process may find the human side of change more challenging. We look to those with good people skills to step into these areas and manage the change. If those people are not present then finding those that have a foot in both worlds, or those that are impartial consultants are an incredible asset for successful Digital Transformation.
How can it all come together?
Some think that the project is done the day the solution is switched on. However, Digital Transformation elements don’t stop with implementation, bug fixes, and data migration. Your teams need training to get the most from your new solution. In conclusion, it is as important to make sure your technology, data capture and processing, process review and business operations are as integrated as your software apps. As a result of this, you will empower your business intelligence, operational efficiencies, and digital growth.
In our next post we continue our look at the four fundamental elements of Digital Transformation. We look at how these interact together and you can launch your Digital Transformation. If you want to know how Goldstar can set your launchpad for growth, and take full advantage of the data you already collect, contact us to book a Discovery Workshop, today.