Connecting Technology and Business.

Digital Transformation - Sustaining the digital transformation

The challenge. Digital transformation is a journey with many predetermined milestones along the way for organizations to ensure that they stay on the intended path throughout, but the destination is not a well-defined spot. As technology changes are dynamic, unpredictable and quick, so is the digital destination. This might have to be redefined, moved further and prepared for further transformations dictated by newer disruptions that will arrive in future. It is essential that at least the foundational digital skills are laid strong enough for expansion and changes that would be required later in the transformation path.

The approach. Enterprises must orchestrate their skills build-up around this transformation. It is essential that the organization has enough people who grasp the idea, can contribute to the cause voluntarily or otherwise and involve actively in the concentrated efforts towards the desired result. While it is desirable that the existing management and workforce in entirety come on-board, many organizations might not have enough people who would share the same vision and willingly stay on the well-defined transformation path.   In such cases, businesses must look outside for resources that are already skilled in technology and operations that align well with the transformation vision. Hiring might have to start at the top which in turn might help in identifying the right talent in the middle and lower levels. Some innovation might be required in the recruitment strategy and enterprises might have to cast their net wider for rare skills.

Training must be an integral part of the agenda to increase the digital awareness organization-wide. This will result in bringing employees up to speed in specific digital technologies. Organizing employee exchange programs across functions and locations and introducing reverse mentoring initiatives might yield quicker results. Building an enterprise-wide knowledgebase with documents, videos and do it yourself kits for existing employees and new hires would help enterprises simplify the learning path quicken the path for the staff to contribute to the efforts and results. A centralized digital platform that is accessible easily by the employees for any kind of corporate information and a seamless communication system that can bring people and information closer would make a big difference than the traditional approach.

A well-defined reward system must also be in place for sustaining the transformation and the structure might have to extend beyond corporate boundaries. Enterprises must also make sure rewards are more than financial - social recognition and executive-level appreciation might be other alternatives.

Partnering with organizations that might yield a synergic effect to the digital vision is one other option to be seriously considered by organizations that don’t have the required skillsets and resources ready. Acquiring businesses that already have skilled resources that can contribute to the organizational vision is another strategy.

It is also essential to build a close relationship between internal IT and the business so that they work in sync towards the digital goals. Results need to be measured, monitored, reviewed, course-corrected and iterated periodically to retain the pace and steer the efforts in the right direction. IT solutions need to be designed and implemented for such activities. Managing the enterprise strategic score card and driving the initiative-level business case and related KPIs are essential for sustaining the transformation.