Monday, July 25, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning XXXXXXIIII: Three Practices to Scale Up Digital Transformation

The business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things.

Organizations large and small are on the journey of digital transformation. Besides building a set of principles to follow, it’s also important to develop a series of best/next practice to scale up and amplify digital effects The business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things based on the set of principles and standards to adapting changes in the business or technology shift. Here are three practices to scale up digital transformation efforts.


Innovation best practices: More and more firms are learning and implementing best practices in innovation for improving the success rate of innovation. The paradox is that by nature, innovation is about transforming the novel ideas to achieve its business value. It’s about figuring out the new way to do things. Hence, the innovation best practices are not for making static or rigid processes, but more about setting the principles and standards to achieve innovation management excellence via agility and flexibility. Not every innovative company uses every best practice. Not every authority agrees on every best practice. These practices might be different across organizations, across departments, and affiliates within an organization and can change over time. So any best practice is not a “one size fits all” formula, but needs to be a tailored solution for a certain organization and for the specific situation and challenges that are faced and that actually requires different priorities as compared to others. Still, there is a recognizable core of approaches and activities that produce profitable innovation, and there are companies that use them. The real challenge is to understand where and how you can and should improve to get the biggest effect and scale up across the digital ecosystem. Some "next practices" continue to emerge -In fact, they should change and evolve over time. Every organization needs to develop the tailored innovation practices via leveraging effective tools or methodologies and use them wisely with the expertise to really add value or drive innovation. Innovation is the management discipline to reduce business complexity or increase revenue, the best practices would help businesses to manage innovation more systematically.


Agility Scale-Up Practices: Originally, Agile is a set of principles and methodology for software development. But it is emerged as a management philosophy and mindset to build up a high-performing digital organization. To make Agile successful, the entire "organization" has to be agile. For agile to deliver considerable "maximum" benefits, it needs to work across the whole ecosystem. This includes service company, customers, operations, procurement, HR, finance etc. In a services situation, Agile success can improve the entire business competencies because it helps the business adapt to changes quicker and better. Corporations have to evolve because organizations that can't improve agility, flexibility, and speed, will eventually lag behind. The "organization" is the amalgam of both the company and its customers. If either side of that equation isn't agile, and then agility is not possible. Though to scale up agile, it doesn’t mean that an agile delivery model needs to be selected for the creation of every product, service, or project, as there may be cases where actually a non-agile delivery model is a viable option. Agile scaling up should be a well-planned journey and one of the crucial steps in digital transformation. Implementing a big change or managing a business transformation requires a buy-in and push from upper management. Once there is a support from them, then it becomes easy to get that change implemented and scale business agility seamlessly.


Cloudification Scale Up Practice: Many organizations are also on the journey of cloudification which is one of the emergent digital technologies as a digital enabler. It takes strategic planning to push the cloud envelope, and there are several ways an appropriately designed cloud environment can bring speed, efficiency and agility to organizations. Deciding where to put what application is fundamentally a strategy discussion. It is related to the nature of the application and the data. And where do ROI and TCO calculations fit in?  Scale capacity quickly up or down, and cost-effectively with the Cloud. Performing the appropriate transformation (re-host, re-architect, replace, encapsulate) is vendor specific as you have to take into account the technology provided. Explore the always on, always connected digital working environment, expand your workforce to any location; show a desire for a "new" delivery model by the business and a dissatisfaction with the status quo. Hybrid cloud is often a reality.


Every company should strive to explore "best practices" throughout their organization to accelerate digital transformation via scaling up innovation, agility, and cloudification. However, the practices that are "best" today are almost always not "best" in the future since practices as well as technologies and markets are constantly morphing under pressure from the waves of creative destruction, hence, it's equally important to develop the next practices and keep business in innovation mode in managing change and digital transformation effortlessly.


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