Going Digital – What does it even mean?

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Of late, during my conversations with business leaders across industries one common theme that is recurring when it comes to organizational focus is that they are ‘Going Digital’.

What does it mean by ‘Going Digital’? Depending on whom you talk to, you get different answers, sometimes within the same organization. For some it’s about online sales and online marketing, for others it’s technology, it’s analytics, for some others it’s an entirely new way of engaging customers. While none of these definitions are wrong, they aren’t entirely correct since their definitions are little too narrow reminds me of the description of an elephant given by six blind men.

I believe the single most important thing that organizations need to focus is increasing the ‘Digital Quotient’ (DQ) very similar to Intelligence Quotient (IQ) or Analytics Quotient (AQ).

The broader definition of ‘Digital Quotient’ (DQ) is ‘the ability of an organization to leverage digital technologies, expertise and infrastructure to deliver the respective business outcomes including innovation’.

Digital Quotient is all about focusing on extracting business outcomes leveraging the digital technologies such as Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence & Robotics.

To achieve business outcomes, organization’s need to create a forward-looking vision in the digital era and define clear strategy with a long-term roadmap that takes a company’s DQ from departmental (orange) level to organizational (green) is a critical step. As you move from one level to the other, organizational maturity grows positively impacting the corporate culture to embrace the changes.

The organizations that are successfully increasing their DQ is where the CEO said ‘we aren’t competing with the traditional competitors anymore, we have a new set of competitors with different rules, the company is going to change, we need to go digital and act on it now’. In most cases these organizations are appointing a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to carefully & strategically navigate through this journey as it requires a combination of business, technology, culture, process & people skills to successfully deliver on the promise with total support from the CEO.

As we move into the future, Digital Strategy becomes the Corporate Strategy and companies with highest DQ score are the ones who would have developed an Insights Driven Organization.

So what does ‘Going Digital’ means to me, it’s about increasing the ‘Digital Quotient’ of the organization to achieve business outcomes such as empowered data-driven decision making across the organization, followed by agile infrastructure of integrated platform that offers new product/services, order/service fulfillment and customer support while doing all this in the most cost effective manner as organization transitions into more agile form where the at least half of the organizational focus is on the innovation.

The guiding principle to foster for organizations looking for Digital Transformation is: ‘Think Big, Move Fast, Start Small, Deliver Value

So, what are the steps to get started on this Digital Transformation Journey?

1. Identify and partner with the ‘right’ team – thought leaders, software, hardware & services
2. Start with the Digital Transformation Strategy
3. Initiate a Digital Transformation Program
4. Start with a Pilot project for a Smart Connected Product
5. Scale the Pilot to Production for this product
6. Measure, Monitor, Improvise
7. Repeat steps #4 thru #6 for all products & areas

What does ‘Going Digital’ mean to your organization? Do you have the strategy, the roadmap & the support of your CEO?

– Srini Pagidyala ( http://www.linkedin.com/in/srinipagidyala )

Digital Transformation

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Benefits & Barriers
Here are the top 5 benefits our customers experienced as they increased their Digital Quotient creating Digital Champions across the organization. Digitally maturing organizations have embraced the Digital Spirit making it a part of the DNA of their organization.

1. Calculated risk-taking becomes a cultural norm.

2. Innovation in terms of process efficiencies and identifying new opportunities comes from all corners of the company primarily driven by internal and external collaboration leveraging Data platforms.

3. Improved Organizational Agility with data-driven decision making capabilities across the functions.

4. Business growth acceleration resulting from the competitive differentiators harnessed through digital transformation.

5. Employees of all ages want to work with digitally progressive companies. In other words, this is a great mechanism to attract and retain top talent.

 

Now that we have covered the benefits of Digital Transformation, here are the top 5 barriers our customers have experienced and continue to deal with during the

1. Lack of cohesive and holistic Digital Strategy – strategy that is focused on increasing organizational digital capabilities in the long-term while delivering on near-term objectives.

2. Lack of Management Understanding – digital transformation almost always starts at the top with executive support, until then digital transformation effort becomes very technology centric solving discreet business problems. A Digitally Fluentmanagement at the top is the most effective team an organization can have to create long lasting impact.

3. Too many Competing Priorities – almost all of us have seen this in one form or the other. As much as digital initiatives are critical to survive and succeed in the digital economy, organizations have other competing priorities. Many times the cost of not doing anything is more expensive than doing it.

4. Insufficient technical skills – digitally maturing organizations are taking the time to retool their resources with digital capabilities. Careful consideration is given to retain foundational skills in-house and expand the skills with resource pool from systems integrators on all non-foundational skills.

5. Organizational mindset and culture – business siloed from IT, resistance from the business stemming from IT not meeting expectations in previous projects coupled with a culture that doesn’t foster change that is completely risk averse are all inhibitors of Digital Transformation initiatives in an organization.