“To err is human...” so wrote Alexander Pope in “An Essay on Criticism”. But just as the consequences of mistakes can take a heavy toll on individuals and businesses, so too are the benefits of experience gained from such failings – provided one is able to move forward.
In aligning your digital transformation, it is important to ask your customers, internal and external, what they want, he noted.
“Additionally it's a good idea to build up your internal skillsets, understanding that you're going to need project managers trained in techniques such as design thinking,” he continued. “You also need a visionary leader in this role someone who understands and can visualize the end of the transformation and how they're going to get there,” he concluded.
Reflecting on a global survey of CEOs, Gartner’s Mark Raskina said that while 82% have a digital transformation program underway to make their companies more digital, “the survey also showed a lack of business model change penetration and other indicators, which causes us to think that many of these digital transformation initiatives may not be sufficiently deep corporate transformations,” he added.
Watch the full video (1:08 minutes) above.
According to Gartner, success in digital transformation needs to operate at three levels – corporate governance, management and execution. Knowing where mistakes may happen can help enterprises avoid falling into these traps. Below are nine areas to remember:
Misread the true scope of digital change. Not having a strong understanding of what is going on in your industry can lead to a superficial or narrow scope of change for any digital transformation. Raskino says organizations should think in terms of using digital to reinvent what their industry does.
Too much inward thinking. Too often organizations focus on themselves and what they want to do rather than analysing customer needs, the opportunities those present and a full competitive market view for examples and learnings. Raskino said this type of thinking is presuming that digital change is just another operating model change and that is not the case.
“It’s not my job.” Digital transformation must be part of the mission of the organization and in the core of its leaders. If it is not, incremental progress will be made but transformational progress will elude the company.
Digital is undefined. Goals are vague. The organization has a hazy and confused vision for digital transformation because digital has not been defined. Organizations must do the upfront hard work to define their goals, set specific targets and metrics, and then measure those to ensure the transformation project is on track.
Incrementalism. Digital business works at the level of revenue and business model change and product reinvention. Look for the structural investment. If it is not there, your very unlikely going to transform.
Fixed minds. Organizations must learn how to develop a growth mindset to build an innovative culture that will thrive in the era of digital business. Those who embrace this mindset see challenges as opportunities to grow and evolve, and they are resilient, even when faced with failure.
Overplanning. Transforming to digital is more about doing than planning. Organizations should institutionalize lean startup thinking at every level. This process aims to quickly and iteratively build an innovation to become a “minimum viable product” that can be released to the customer, and then through feedback it continues to evolve the innovation.
Technology-centric. Organizations should watch out for buying into the hype of the “next big thing.” Organizations should instead focus on reinventing their industry with a collection of technological tools. Transformation is never just doing the next big thing.
Culture blindness. Determine the purpose of the company, what it yields for the world and what the beliefs are of the people coming to work each day. Use culture hacks, some of which can be implemented in less than 48 hours, to move culture from a barrier to an accelerator.