Saturday, July 23, 2016

Three Forces to Drive Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is “pushed” by both visible forces and invisible forces, hard forces and soft forces from multiple directions.

Digital transformation or Digital shift means change. It represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem, with the customer at the center of its focus, and innovation as its major theme. More specifically, what are are those visible and invisible forces to drive changes, and how to make such a large-scale transformation go more smoothly?

Imposing forces: Digital transformation is inevitable, and often the emergent digital technologies are imposing forces of digital disruption and change drivers. With the advance of the SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) technologies, organizations can build integrated business platforms and the recombinant business capabilities more seamlessly, to shape products, services, and customer engagement. Processes underpin capability, organizations also need to reframe of in-place processes that filter and fund investments to enable creativity flow, streamline innovation management, and identifying technology as well as business risks in strategy management., etc. Further, The digital convergence of devices and services are creating new business models and revenue source as most companies across industries are being forced to become technology companies and run information businesses. In addition, with these powerful digital technologies and abundance of information, Digital Transformation can give your business the ability to apply real-time insights across the organization in ways never possible before.

Invisible force: Change is inevitable, but the success rate of change is very low. The root cause of such failure is often invisible, and culture is one of the invisible, but powerful forces behind changes, because culture is the collective mindset, behaviors and activities, and how things get done in the organization. People have no problem with change! They have problems with uncertainty, risk, and fear. Therefore, culture is the pathway to changes. In a fast growing company, people tend to have similar ideal values that then get manifested in its corporate culture. Typically, strategy execution fails due to surprises and unknown/ unforeseen factors. Culture has multiple perspectives that directly impact strategy execution as well. When the company grows, the corporate culture tends to stay the same over time, that is the culture inertia. So basically, the execution and conviction of strategy strongly rely on culture. In order to make change happen and leapfrog digital transformation, culture needs to embrace change and creativity. Metaphorically, change is like the iceberg, In order to move up to the next level of organizational maturity, the culture needs to be changed as well to adapt to the emerging digital trends and pulling strategy execution towards the right decision. If you only take the visible aspects of culture -the tip of the iceberg alone as an element of the strategy execution, you may miss the point and well head to the troubles. Because the invisible and larger part underneath, is the decisive factor for the success or failure of strategy management.

Workforce: Digital means people centricity. People are the very reason for changes, also the intellectual force to drive and manage changes, and often the weakest link in Change Management as well. People normally 'close' the boundaries of the system, so that less energy is transferred and, therefore, the fewer changes happen in the system. The pervasive digitization requires digital professionals to rethink how things are done in organizations. The 'reach and range' flexibility that now exists removes barriers that have existed in the past. If businesses can recognize the barriers. It can empower employees to apply technologies to perform their work in a way that benefits the enterprise. Knowledge now is only a click away. Digital is the age of knowledge abundance. People and organizations could now learn faster in a time when leading strategists were arguing that the only sustainable advantage was to learn faster than your competition. Dynamic and changing digital organizations cannot operate with static, unchanging people. The creative and empowered digital workforce makes change people-centric and sustainable.

Digital transformation is “pushed” by both visible forces and invisible forces, hard forces and soft forces from multiple directions. It also needs to be managed via a systematic approach through which all important business elements integrated and knitted into an ongoing business capability. It’s like spinning a huge digital wheel with the right speed, you have to do it skillfully.


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