Ok, let’s cut to the chase. Digital Transformation is critical to the survival of your business. It’s no longer a question of if but when you digitalise.
As we rapidly enter Industry 4.0, those organisations that fail to digitalise will simply fail to exist. Why then are so many organisations continuing to view this as an IT project rather than the business-critical project it is? Which incidentally is why so many are sadly failing.
Of course your technical brains must be involved. I’m certainly not belittling the need for some serious technical skills and know-how here, but the simple fact is that Digital Transformation is a top-level business issue and, just like any other business-critical project, must be managed and driven by your CSuite (Yep, we’re talking CEO and COO level stuff right here).
Ok, sorry for the shock tactic of an opener but I promise this isn’t a piece of sensationalist journalism, rather a big heads-up to any businesses out there currently pushing the thought of Digital Transformation to the bottom of the pile (I know it’s tempting but it deserves top of the pile status I’m afraid). Or, as I’ve suggested, simply handing the project over to IT and waiting to see the results. OK, I’m guilty of over simplifying here but you get the point.
Fail to digitalise = fail to exist
Today’s customers want their bespoke goods right now, they don’t want standard off the shelf stuff delivered in 4-5 working days. In fact if you really want to capture customers and keep them coming back you’re looking at guaranteed 24-48 hour delivery times (anything over this and they’re heading off to your competition) and complete customisation while you’re at it.
And, whether you’re a first tier manufacturer or a B2C retailer the challenge remains the same – how do you keep hold of your customer base in today’s world of constant connectivity, speed and personalisation? How do you keep up and keep ahead? The answer of course lies with the customer, it lies in knowing what your customer wants before they do. Which, short of roping in the likes of Paul McKenna, means getting and staying closer to your customers than ever before. So, without inviting them round for movie night back at yours, how can you achieve the cosy closeness I’m suggesting?
Digitalisation = let’s get cosy
Whilst cosy and digital might sound like an odd pairing, Digital Transformation is the only way you’ll achieve the required level of closeness with your customers. Only through Digitalisation will you predict and deliver what they want now and in the future. There’s no other way to keep up!
So, Digital Transformation (particularly in the areas we operate; aerospace, automotive, energy & utilities) is all about the customer experience. It’s about tracking your customers’ thinking, predicting their needs and then delivering on this. And, of course for this we need to figure out how we track all that big data, how we interpret it and then respond to it. So at this point I guess you could still be forgiven for adding this to your IT department’s To-Do list.
3 Steps to developing a digital culture
But, successful Digital Transformation requires more than just technical applications. Every inch of your organisation must be customer-centric, streamlined, innovative and efficient, not just your plant. And this means developing a robust, organisational-wide Digital Culture driven from the top.
Of course changing the culture of an entire organisation is no quick or easy feat, but your business depends on it and the alternative is far more painful.
So, if effective Digital Transformation is about more than technical solutions, what are we looking at? Below is a very simplified 3-step process to the key areas of developing a digital culture across your business:
- People Identify what needs to change to unite your entire workforce and ensure complete collaboration towards overarching business critical goals.
- Process Understand how the business works now and what changes are needed in order to predict and respond to customer needs, now and in the future.
Specify and install the best technical solutions to track customer patterns, predict demands and deliver.
By breaking the process down into stages like this you can instantly see how digital transformation applies across your entire organisation, not just your IT department. It starts with the people in your teams, focussing on collaboration and on developing an understanding of the overarching business goals. You need every employee in the business promoting this customer centric approach and working together towards shared goals. This then ripples through to business process and then into technical delivery and implementation. And, like any other large business project, Digital Transformation is about meeting numerous and connected intermediary milestones to realise your big end goal.
Aligning Business, Culture & IT
And, in order to survive and thrive, this big end goal must be to develop an organisation that is agile, customer centric, innovative, streamlined, efficient and able to leverage new opportunities and tap into the very latest information.
Yep, this is one pretty tall order and, as such, the problem many businesses face is sourcing the required talent to drive forward such a unique, business-critical project.
Because, whilst we’re not underestimating the importance of seriously talented technical brains, for digital transformation to succeed you need great business people who also have the relevant technical know-how.
Now that might sound like a rare breed of candidate, like searching for a needle in a haystack, which is where we come in. We are here to match you with people who understand what it means to align business, culture and IT. We are here to find you digitally cultured individuals who will ensure that your business both survives and thrives.
So, if you’re struggling to find the right people to drive your digital transformation, or you’d like to have a chat about bringing this project to the top of your pile, I’d love to help.
Here’s to getting cosy! Andrew