Digital metamorphosis

Digital metamorphosis: Developing and deploying innovative solutions

The current crisis has brought the benefits that digital technologies can bring into sharp relief. Businesses that are entirely dependent on physical locations and associated footfall, but with no digital options to use they have had to make a decision to shift their focus or, in many cases, completely shut down their operations. They typically have analog source of origins – perhaps they’re manufacturers or pharmaceutical firms. Some have been resistant to transformation in its purest shape and instead rely on digital technology to cut costs and not to change their business model to generate revenue.

Covid is a clear driver of change, and we’re seeing massive swathes these “disrupted Analogues” looking at digital transformations at first to meet both their long-term and medium-term requirements. But there’s a significant possibility that companies will not be able to meet the requirements of the total, genuine change they require.

According to MIT researcher George Westerman says: “Successful digital transformation is like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.” He is also clear that, when it is about digital transformation “many companies aren’t picturing butterflies, they’re just thinking about faster caterpillars” i.e. they’re not considering the transformation of their companies from the ground up, they’re just thinking about adding and possibly improving existing processes with digital layers. As Westermann explains it is inevitable that companies from competitors push ahead. This is particularly the case in a digitally-driven environment as with another epidemic where tiny efforts to change will be exposed.

Digital butterflies

Companies on the cutting edge of technology, such as those that are Silicon Valley big tech disruptors have earned their spot at the top of the table by making constant and ad-hoc efforts to reduce costs and increase efficiency through technology. It’s not a coincidence therefore, that these firms are one of the most well-equipped to face the current crisis.

The national governments – who have had to stand in front of technology giants courtroom more than a couple of times in recent months – have reached out to them for assistance. Facebook and Netflix have announced a total of $100 million in support of small-scale businesses, and Google has rushed to create electronic tools to help teachers. Business is also a good thing for the Digital butterflies. Netflix announced that the number of videos streaming has increased by up to 25 percent, and Zoom has witnessed its stock price climb by more than 250 percent in the space of six months.

They depend upon technological tools in addition to automation, more than others is also capable of rapidly responding to an emergency. It’s hard to think of an argument more convincing to demonstrate the power that digital technology can bring about.

Fast caterpillars

Companies in almost every sector are realizing that their modest moves towards digital haven’t taken them enough. While they’ve relied on technology to achieve tiny reductions in costs as well as gains in efficiency, they’ve not had the vision to think about what a complete digital redesign of their business would appear to be.

This isn’t meant to diminish the efforts of these businesses: Some companies especially those that offer tangible goods and services such as finance and media are making progress towards the customer-centric digital model. However, they’re in the few. Most people have taken “digital transformation” to mean “digital iteration” or “gradual digital transformation’ and thus missed out on the potential benefits.

A time for to make a change

It’s not yet too late for these companies to consider making the jump and implement a proper digital transformation. However, we’re getting close to a time when it’s too late to to. Digital transformations can be challenging and, according to McKinsey five times more organizations fail than they achieve. In my experience, it’s those that are driven by customer experience which are the most likely to fail, not because they’re unworthy however, it’s due to the difficulty of implementation and the level of understanding needed to successfully complete it.

Companies who have recognized the need for change and are looking to make a change must keep five key elements in the back of their minds, each of which is essential to succeed.

Commitment

If the decision-makers in the team of management aren’t convinced and willing to sacrifice their careers to make the change the project will not succeed.

Clarity 

of the outcomes you want to achieve. The end-goals should be closely tied to the value of either commercial, customer or employee.

Commitment 

of the correct resources in the programme. The right allocation of technical expertise like placing the top leaders in data and digital in the oversight roles – can result in significant gains.

Accountability 

that must be shared between divisions to ensure cooperation.

Agility:

A popular buzzword, however much less often seen in the real world. Agility is the ability to swiftly change direction when circumstances change or make the most of opportunities or to scale agile teams as well as technology to speed up results.

Digital transformation of the business

Implementing a digital transformation plan that is backed by the right tools and people put in place, can transform the business from an insect to a butterfly.

Being competitive in a rapidly changing technologically-driven world is a struggle. Nearly every industry is changed by the forces of technology and it is the responsibility of department of technology to ensure their business survives and thrives in the modern business environment, with guidance from high up by the chief executive.

Digital transformation, by its most basic sense is the process of change within an organization that results from the use of digital technology. The transformation component of this new reality results from the changing of operations driven by creativity and innovation instead of simply the improvement of conventional techniques.

Neil Bramley, B2B client solutions director of the business unit for Toshiba Northern Europe, agreesand says, ‘Successfully adopting digital transformation in the organization is not just an essential step in staying relevant in an ever-changing business environment, but it can also lead to business opportunities in both new and existing areas.’

The main purpose of implementing the digital transformation strategy is to be able to compete in an environment in which traditional business models are just not cutting it through driving forward with innovation and enhancing processes.

Key enabler

To enable successful digital transformation whether within a particular department or across an entire company, requires a combination of advanced and emerging technology. As anyone who reads this article will be aware technology is the main technology that can facilitate digital transformation.

The variety of technology needed to be implemented ‘can differ between companies”says Nick Mann, CTO and co-founder of RotaGeek.

He also suggests that overall, the trend is toward the use of mobile devices and data-driven technologies. The current era of product development driven by data allows to develop customized strategies that auto-adapt to the expanding customer base. From small start-ups to blue-chip firms Data has emerged as the main factor in directing business. It allows for the analysis of customer requirements and optimizing resources accordingly.’

Data is central to any strategy for business that seeks to change the way it operates. The gathering of this data is becoming more dependent on the rise of Internet of Things devices, and the comprehension of the data flow is analyzed through analytics in a variety of formats.

This is what creates insights and aids in the development of emerging technologies such as robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. These are essential to creating innovations, improving customer service and achieving the objectives of digital transformation.

Goal alignment

The most important thing is that any strategy to transform digitally should be in line with the overall objectives of the business.

“To take a quote from Michael Corleone from The Godfather It’s not digital and it’s not business according to Terrar. “Digital transformation is transformation for business” and it’s important to make use of”the D word to distinguish the innovative thinking needed to normal business.’

Maarten van Montfoort is the vice president for north-west Europe at COMPAREX says, “It is crucial, therefore, that every digital transformation plan attempts to answer the basic business concerns: what exactly is our goal? What is our plan of action? How can technology help us to accomplish our goals? The pursuit of transformation projects without addressing these questions can result in poorly-defined projects that don’t deliver tangible results.’


Transformation of culture

Digital transformation may serve as the basis for the future of business objectives. However, integrating technology into business operations is therefore not the IT department’s task. The implementation of this massive cultural change, according to van Montfoort, ‘must come from the top and there must be no division from the executive and IT departments’.

He says that ‘All too of the time, digitization initiatives are slowed due to competing priorities and an inability to comprehend the benefits of digital transformation. In the end, the majority of digital transformation initiatives fail.

In the end, every business activity is powered by technology with the majority of businesses agreeing that IT is the primary driving force behind the evolution of business model. Promoting the digital culture should not be overlooked.

Research conducted by Capgemini discovered that 62% respondents viewed company culture to be one of the most significant obstacles towards becoming a digital organization. It is crucial for business leaders to present an unambiguous digital vision to the business and to assign digital roles to their employees.

Digital society

In the end, digital transformation is vital to improve all aspects of society. It is essential to propel the UK economy – and indeed all economies – to move forward. In the public sector the digital tools can reduce costs and increasing the amount of services provided. The services offered are more efficient as well as more effective than can ever be imagined in a manual environment.

This is a necessary change and will allow public services to handle growing demand. “For example,’ claims Perry Krug, principal architect at Couchbase health services must make use of patient information as efficiently as they can, both to improve health for patients and also to extend the time that nurses and doctors must spend with other patients.

At the same time they’ll have to utilize technologies like technology like the Internet of Things and augmented or virtual reality to help treat and communicate with patients in their homes. The government has an important part to play both in facilitating and funding an approach to digital transformation where it is appropriate and also in providing incentives and infrastructure to allow businesses to be able to change.’

The private sector firms who adopt a cohesive digital transformation plan that is aligned with the business objectives, and the required internal culture change will thrive, survive and be captivated in the age of disruptive technology.

 

To be confident enough

There is a lot of reason to be optimistic. The pandemic, and subsequent shifts in the way customers behave have increased the pace of digital transformation that is positive since it can create more jobs and companies and while there are bound to be more issues to face, the flights of newly transformed digital butterflies are ready to face the next lockdown, or any other disruption that will disrupt the traditional buyer journey.

 

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