Digital transformation, potentially one of the most used terms, slogan since a decade. Every organization, every industry has this as a part of their agenda for sure, and it’s going to continue for years to come. Gartner’s estimate for the global digital transformation market size is USD 1009.8 billion by 2025 corroborates the immense importance digital transformation has gained in recent times. The onset of COVID-19 across the globe has further intensified digital transformation efforts. As per Gartner, “Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models. The term is widely used in public-sector organizations to refer to modest initiatives such as putting services online or legacy modernization.” But for Ideapoke, it is far beyond this simple definition.
This next in the #GrowthLeader series article focuses on how digital transformation as a way of growth differs basis the industry and how ‘accelerated decision making’ can transform a digital leader into a growth leader.
Digitization vs Digital Transformation – What our experience says
Digital transformation must not be confused with digitization. While digitization is simply the conversion of analog to digital, digital transformation is an umbrella term that includes people and cultural shifts at its heart. It takes a more customer-centric approach and in doing so, it empowers employees by leveraging technologies and may demand drastic changes in the business model. It imbibes digitization and digitalization to deliver the desired results.
Through our years of experience helping decision-makers in legendary top organizations, we found a unique pattern in digitization and digital transformation. Big, traditional plant & manufacturing companies are adopting digital at the functional level, i.e., digitizing a part of their business functions. The adoption of Cloud computing is the best example to understand the phenomena. Scalability, cost reduction, faster production rates are the prime objectives. Decision-makers, strategy heads from legendary plant & manufacturing, oil & gas, power & utilities organizations are still exploring the possible benefits they could achieve with emerging technologies. We have performed tens of technology landscaping projects for our Fortune500 clients from these industries, helping them to understand the ‘strategic-fit’ of a specific digital technology to their business goals.
On the other hand, we observed the service-oriented companies are ‘transforming digitally’. They are focussing on digitizing the complete value chain with the spirit of being more customer-centric. Digital technologies are being used for new product development, improving customer service, and designing new business models. Industries like retail, insurance, Consumer goods fall into this category. The best example to explain the same is the insurance industry. The insurance business has seen a sky-rise in the number of new entrants across the globe. Almost all the new entrants are not being established by insurance experts, but by fresh college grads who are filling the gaps using digital tech. These trends have already created cracks in this legendary industry which is known to be dominated by a few giant global players. Strategic decision-makers of these organizations are now working relentlessly to learn from the new entrants and transform themselves into digital businesses.
Current Scenario of Digital Leaders in organizations – And the Need for Speed
The advent of digital transformation has forced organizations to rethink the age-old tried-and-tested business practices and break away from working in silos. It has brought about a change in expectations from the leadership and their decision-making abilities. With the ever-increasing emphasis on digital transformation, many organizations, including many Fortune 500 companies, have introduced a new role, the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), exclusively for driving digital transformation initiatives. She/he investigates digital innovation within the organization, collaborates with internal and external stakeholders, and transforms the organization’s culture to make the company digital-ready.
Basis our experience, the strategic leaders who handle the responsibility of bringing digitality to the organizations are primarily the subject matter experts, with years of experience working in various teams within the organization. These experts are very clear on what are the digital objectives, internal capabilities, to-be filled gaps, and potential challenges that might show up in the transformation process. They focus a lot on understanding a specific technology in-depth, check the strategic-fit, and then decide.
Below are some major type of projects, focus areas Ideapoke usually handles with current-generation digital leaders:
- Detailed Technology landscaping – exhaustive analysis to understand the basics of technology, how it can be relevant to their current problem statements.
- Business use-case analysis – in-depth analysis of specific business use cases of a technology
- Competitive Intelligence & analysis – a study on industry best practices, competitor strategies, key partnerships, success & failure stories.
- Impact analysis (specific to business model) – this is more relevant to service-based/consumer-oriented business
- Partner Scouting – scouting for relevant technology providers who satisfy the objective and strategic needs of the organization
While the above areas could be as generic as they seem, but in a practical decision-making scenario, these research stages have an unarguable impact on decision making. For decision-makers with no or less digital history, understanding, evaluating, and strategizing will be key in the success of the digital initiative before moving into implementation and then assessing the results.
Now, it is very important to understand for the strategic ‘digital decision-makers’ is the ‘need for speed’. Digital transformation or digitization is one such area that can be valuable, resourceful but not a sustainable competitive advantage. So, to realize the advantage or to avoid the potential threat, the right decisions must be made, quickly. To make it simple, let us recollect the example of the Insurance industry, where traditional companies are fearing the threat of new competitors. Any further delay in ‘transformation’ may result in costly losses.
The speed in decision-making is what differs a regular digital leader from becoming a growth leader.
Ideapoke has helped many digital leaders from top enterprises to become Growth leaders, by giving them the ability to take accelerated strategic decisions, with the help of AI. Our proprietary technology provided decision-makers with relevant data insights in a very short time, along with an agile enterprise platform, to accelerate collaborative decisions.
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