The following is an excerpt of a chapter from my forthcoming ebook on Digital Transformation in the Enterprise.
Digital Transformation is effecting every company across every vertical. While no company is free from the impact of disruption in the form of rapid innovation not all industries are being effected at the same rate. Therefore each company’s transformation will look slightly different which can make it difficult to pinpoint a transformation journey that leads to success.
At its core Digital Transformation is about people or culture and technology and will impact every facet of business for many. To respond to this disruption organizations will need to make fundamental shifts to their business that will drive changes to their core. Many companies are already reassessing how they deliver value to their customers in attempt to retain their market leading positions.
Compounding the complexity in defining a transformation journey is the need for organizations to embrace experimentation and continuously innovate. In a digital economy where user needs are changing often it’s imperative that organizations have the agility to adapt to market needs and embrace failure in the quest to delight their customers. The digital economy is less about certainty and more about finding comfort in experimentation and continuous adaptation in product and process.
Companies seldom choose to disrupt themselves. Most companies fail to evolve and transformation is required to maintain pace with market needs. There are some key drivers for transformation that have created urgency across our industry:
- Everyone is doing it. Every company is effected by continuous change in the digital economy so it’s a good bet that your competitors have a strategy to transform themselves and will eventually out-innovate and out-pace you. So you better get started soon or risk being left behind.
- With enormous change comes opportunity. Massive opportunity has and will be created for incumbents to dislodge the big behemoths as they fail to change at market pace. In extreme cases companies can double their profitability by accelerating time to market and gaining a jump on their competitors by delighting customers first.
- At the heart of the change is reducing costs and driving greater efficiencies. Those companies that can unshackle themselves from legacy slow-moving monolithic systems can drive even greater efficiency across their business.
- Apple introduced the iPhone and with it came the app store. The app store changed our expectations on how we adopt new software. We expect continuous rapid releases that either introduce new features, fix bugs or improve security etc. It didn’t take long for the enterprise to align their expectations for enterprise software. Our customers are demanding that we deliver software continuously and with greater efficiency. They no longer want to wait 12-18 months for a new feature or new release.
People and customers are the life blood of any successful company. Some of the most effective ways to kick start an organizational transformation is to align around a holistic customer mission. There are few roadblocks that can stop a team when they’re aligned around a mission to deliver customer value. This single activity enables teams to implement the fundamentals of the Toyota Production System some of which include, eliminating wasteful activities, improving efficient, limiting work in progress etc. Delivering these digital experiences rapidly to market and receiving continuous customer validation provides the motivation teams need to maintain rapid momentum.