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Caution! Digital Success is 'NOT' all about Technology

Investing in technology isn’t the same as digital transformation. Pretty much every company is putting money into new tools, platforms, and services. Doing so is a matter of becoming tech-enabled, which doesn’t necessarily mean companies are actually changing to compete in a digital economy.

With digital transformation, technology is driven by purpose, and that purpose is meant to RESHAPE business. Digital transformation impacts various aspects of a company’s operations, typically starting at the edges with better ways to engage customers and partners and then moving deeper inside to influence products, services and business models. Often companies mistake the shift from legacy to new-age technologies as digital transformation. But It’s only when organizations stop chasing trends, that they realise that their view of technology and its aggregate impact on business is far more massive than they initially realized.

I recently read an interesting report by Capgemini and MITSloan set out to learn more about the challenges that face organizations, leaders and what they’re doing (or not doing) to adapt. In the report, “Digital Transformation: A Roadmap for Billion-Dollar Organizations,” the team found that all companies surveyed face common pressures from customers and employees and as such, digital transformation is now inevitable. Successful digital transformation as validated by the report does not come from implementing new technologies but instead from transforming the organization to take advantage of new possibilities that new technology provides.

Yes, it’s complicated, challenging, and sometimes terrifying. The key to digital transformation according to the report, is “re-envisioning and driving change in how the company operates. That’s a management and people challenge, not just a technology one.”

Everything begins with fixing what may not appear broken today. As a Digital Transformation Consultant, I usually begin by assessing the customer experiences and how their online and mobile behavior is affecting decision-making. Then, re-think and redesign the customer journey. Through the process, it’s critical to examine how the current infrastructure of your organization can optimize performance or where it hinders it. The answer lies in new technology, processes and business models.

Challenges exist in every organization. It is how leadership addresses them now and over time that defines their fortune and legacy. This is not a time for the spaghetti theory where stakeholders randomly throw pasta on the wall to see what sticks. This is about an investment in transformation to meet or exceed customer and employee expectations at every step of their journey. It takes vision. It takes courage. It takes resilience. Without it, organizations will continue to make the same mistakes as they always have. Technology isn’t the answer; it’s an enabler.


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