Digital Transformation – why are some organizations so much better at it than others?
Companies are spending billions on digital transformation initiatives worldwide. Historically, the Information Technology (IT) Department & CIO had been responsible for such programs – since the objective is generally to leverage various technologies to improve the way things are done. For example: drive down costs, eliminate waste, increase revenue or market share, improve customer experience …. and more. Each of these objectives are often served by disparate technologies with varying degrees of antiquity.
To further the challenge, they all have different data and reporting requirements for diverse constituents in the company. So, adding the term ‘digital transformation’ to this scenario in many cases has merely added more confusion.
Why you ask is a technology solutions sales exec thinking about such things? Because often our software and services are meant to be part of the greater digital transformation efforts and we need to beware of the pitfalls while we move forward with our clients.
In the first decade of this century we all spent an awful lot of effort identifying and mapping out value streams in industries and companies. We then applied technology & processes to optimize value streams. And now we are elevating them even further by digitizing every event in a process. Sounds fairly straightforward and logical, right? Then why isn’t it working in many cases? Let’s look a little closer at how our digital transformation programs become disjointed from their objectives.
Eliminating Silos and Organizational Realignment
Historically, while we are making investments in enhancing value streams which by nature are cross-functional, we assign budgets and solve problems in the siloed departments of an organization. The companies who have been able to realign their organizational structure to more nimble, cross-functional teams are the ones who are succeeding in their digital initiatives. Every team has a member whose role is entirely committed to the digital programs, reporting up to a Chief Digital Officer. Some industries are doing better than others at making these changes and the Covid-19 Pandemic has advanced things more rapidly in many cases than otherwise may have been.
In the end, digital transformation isn’t just about technology, it’s about how well we adapt our organizations to create the most value from technology. Value for customers, communities, employees, and shareholders.