7 Steps To Start Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
The world is going digital. That is not news anymore, but the pace at which technology is transforming all walks of business is something that cannot be ignored. A clear digital transformation roadmap will determine who wins the digital divide. We are at the cusp of what the World Economic forum calls The 4th Industrial revolution. The physical and the digital worlds are converging, giving birth to platforms that are scaling new digital players to greater heights. The Amazon, Uber and Alibaba’s of the world are constantly challenging the status quo of what the traditional enterprises have been dominant for years, if not decades.
What does this mean for the traditional players? You can no longer afford to be on the sidelines as the economic moat has been put to threat by these digital natives. You have to innovate and re-imagine your business to be ready for this digital war. In this highly competitive market whoever gets closer to the customer, wins and it starts with a successful digital transformation roadmap.
There are two major factors on which a successful digital transformation roadmap hinges on. A clear business goal that defines your digital vision for your enterprise and a matching technology enablement. First you need to understand where you are in your digital journey. The best way to judge is to get a digital maturity assessment done to measure the gap between your digital vision and current business landscape. One critical thing to keep in mind that enterprise digital transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. It is not a one- time big bang activity but a multiyear continuous program that evolves as the enterprise mature in its digital journey.
Creating a Digital transformation roadmap is not just an IT project but it’s re-imagining your business of the future that requires serious stakeholder commitment from the management. If these projects are executed in silos the benefits will never be realized and it would have higher chances of failing, putting the enterprises in a vicious cycle of failed projects and opportunity costs.
Here are the following techniques & strategies you can use in your enterprise to start planning your digital journey:
1. Creating Digital Vision & Goal
Vague goals leads to vague results. In order to create a successful enterprise digital transformation program, you need to create a digital vision for your organization. What is that you are going to achieve by going digital? What are your goals? You need to have clarity around them before you proceed to the next steps of your digital journey.
2. Stakeholder Identification
As we said earlier, enterprise digital transformation is about re-imagining your business and that needs a serious commitment from management. You need to identify a digital champion in your organization that will steer the entire program over the years. This can be the CEO himself/herself or a Chief Digital Officer who will report in directly to the CEO, so that you never lose sight of the bigger picture. You need to identify the stakeholders from both business and IT who will be responsible for the various facets of your digital program. Combine this with a governance program that monitors all the nuts and bolts of the project through the steering committee that ensures the project is on track and always on the prime agenda of the management.
3. Design Thinking
An organization are its people and to foster true innovation, design thinking is one of the best ways to go about it. Design Thinking is a systematic process of thinking which empowers even the most traditional thinker to develop new, innovative solutions to the problem at hand. It empathizes with your customer’s problems as well the people in your organization who will be responsible for solving those problems. A design thinking led innovation technique can create synergies between the business and IT to look at business challenges in a newer light.
4. Ecosystem approach to business
If you look at the born digital companies and the factors leading up to their success you will find a common theme. They all have created an ecosystem to connect the suppliers and providers. This is a significant shift from the traditional pipe based models where the approach was a linear one. At simple level the ecosystem enables a network of value seekers and providers, systems that enable value exchange between them and underlying data that powers matching of value across participants. So in order for your enterprise to be digital it must accommodate a larger ecosystem at play that makes it scalable.
5. Platform Strategy
This perhaps is the most important step in your digital transformation roadmap. To complement the ecosystem approach to business, the enterprise itself needs to reimagine itself as a platform business. Amazon, Uber, Airbnb are all examples of platform businesses that serves customer through the value they bring in with their model. Thus your platform is a connected ecosystem of customers, business, vendors and partners, intelligent decisions driven based on data generated by the ecosystem and open, flexible scalable systems that enable innovation and execution. Platforms leverage data generated from the ecosystem to drive intelligence that enhances value.
6. Choosing the Right Digital Transformation Partner
Your enterprise may not have all the technical skillsets in-house to cater to your digital transformation. Hence you need to rely on a trusted digital transformation partner that will walk side by side with you on your digital transformation journey. While evaluating a digital transformation partner you must assess its technology capability, expertise in your industry and their ability to execute a platform led digital strategy successfully. For example, Sonata Software specializes in executing such platform based digital transformation programs. Our Platformation™ approach helps client re-imagine their business as open, connected, scalable and intelligent. You can learn more about Sonata Software’s Platformation™ approach here
7. Organizational Change management
A platform based digital transformation approach needs awareness, education and training. Communication plays a key role here. The first step can be a workshop that brings all the stakeholders together for opening minds to design thinking, persona mapping, and platform mindset. Through this workshop you can align and uncover potential themes for your digital transformation journey.
Digital transformation roadmap is not an easy journey. There are ups and downs as you progress towards your own. But it is an important journey to take if you want to stay relevant and continue to provide value to your customers.
To know more about accelerating your Digital Transformation roadmap click here