Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Three Stages to Reach Digital Maturity

Reaching digital maturity is a multi-dimensional pursuit.

Going Digital is no brainer. However, reaching a high level of digital maturity is a thorny journey. Organizations need to make continuous check-up: Are you crafting a good digital strategy about the future and positioning appropriately for your place within it? Do you have enough resource to implement the digital strategy? Are you achieving the desired outcomes? Are you transforming to be ready for the future? Are the assumptions and risks understood and manageable? What are the critical stages the organizations need to take in order to build a high mature digital organization?

Digital awareness: Organizations have personalities in the same way that an individual does. More often, an organization's personality replicates the personality of its leader. In organizations that tend to "shoot from the hip," there is a lack of strategic and tactical plans for problem-solving, or the plan is written on high and passed down in stone without employee participation. There are a number of challenges common in transformation programs, such as getting the right strategies, execution, a good leader to drive the transformational vision, and a broader view of consumer demand, etc. They come up over and, those are the reasons why approximately 80% of those programs fail. Many of them are symptomatic of not having a comprehensive and strategic approach to transformation. Almost all organizations 'want' to change, they just don't have the roadmap. To become digital awareness, organizations need to have a comprehensive digital strategy with the first step to understanding the real business problems and gain full awareness of both potentials and perils. The toughest part of the strategy is the trade-offs: The more you can front load and truly define the current state, the easier the journey moves ahead. Establishing an accurate baseline from which the transition comes from. It also assists with the entire education and communication required. Digital strategy is a useful "qualifier" as a point of business competency and differentiation. It qualifies the areas of business you're going to review, the area of subject expertise and the types of solutions you're going to recommend.

Digital Tipping Point - Building a set of digital capabilities: After gaining full digital awareness and build a solid digital strategy, organizations need to take systematic steps in Digital Strategy Management. Top leadership/ management in an organization defines a business strategy, in order to reach the business vision, a set of core capabilities are needed to meet and implement the strategy. So the core capabilities could be those that are identified as delivering competitive products, services, and customer experiences than competitors. And an organization needs to ask whether they need the capability at the base level to keep the light on, or at the competitive level to stay competitive in the business and at a differentiating level to be the key differentiator for its business. There may be many elements of digital capabilities that are foundational to almost any foreseeable digital strategy so implementing them could be viewed as a valid preparatory first step in readiness for a strategic opportunity when it is recognized.

Digital inflection point - speed up, but be cautious: Many organizations are also at the strategic inflection point of digital transformation. A strategic inflection point is a time in the life cycle of a business when its fundamentals (Talent skills, process, and technologies) are about to change. Inflection is a bend, a fold, a curve, a turn, a twist; such change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights, or a risk to hit the uncertainty. Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that simply adopting a new digital technology may be insufficient. You have to transform the company's underlying functions and organization as a whole with adjusted digital speed. Otherwise, companies may begin a decline from its previous good performance. But inflection point is the moment when the way business is being conducted changes more radically, it creates new opportunities for businesses that adept at executing an operation. It is the moment to be ‘paranoid’-as it’s the act of inflecting or the state of being inflected. It's the time to be more aggressive to expedite and also the time to be more cautious to avoid pitfalls.

It is the digital paradigm shift. Adopting a different paradigm is like changing the glasses and new possibilities might emerge. Those who look through the lens of the previous era see their own reality very differently from those who use the lens that the new era has crafted. These dimensions (the socio-cultural, the socio-technical, the socio-economic, the organizational, the scientific, the philosophical, the psychological, the artistic, etc) interact and mutually influence each other. This is one place where significant innovation can occur. Digital transformation is the long journey, organizations have to build the well-rounded capabilities, run up all important stages for reaching high digital maturity and reap the benefit via unleashing the full digital potential.


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