How To Start Your Journey To Digital Transformation

Kadamb Goswami

Continuing from my last post about disruption and unleashing digital transformation, it is important to understand what successful digital business innovation looks like. Let’s start with some of the key challenges marketing faces in today’s digital era:

  1. How to deliver positive business outcomes
  2. How to drive change internally
  3. What technology platform to use (cloud companies, for example, can be confusing without sufficient research)
  4. How to ensure relevance in the external ecosystem

On the other hand, it is important for CIOs to develop a roadmap for digital business innovation that aligns to digital priorities and solves the problems marketing—and ultimately, your customers—face. But there is no silver bullet. Each organization has its own unique maturity model.

Businesses typically evolve through three digital business innovation maturity stages: engaging in digital transformation, executing on digital transformation, and finally, achieving digital transformation. Understanding the current stage and next steps will give the CIO both the context and confidence to deliver on their organization’s digital business strategy. Progressing through these developmental steps moves your organization along the path to success. So what next steps can you take?

  • Assess your maturity across the digital business innovation elements to identify your starting points.
  • Build a road map of next steps and deliverables for digital business innovation success using a consistent framework across all relevant business units.

These two steps are particularly challenging as organizations tend to collect a lot of operational baggage over time. Deciding which tools and processes to use as well as how to consolidate and migrate can be difficult, but it is critical. Focus energies to define it, and define it quickly so you don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis.

  • Establish the terms, definitions, and governance of your digital strategy, as well as your business and technical requirements.

It is often difficult for organizations to shake existing structures and hierarchies. One approach to spurring change is to bring in outsiders who can introduce different experiences to help you develop disruptive ideas.

  •  Clarify all of the business implications caused by technological and/or environmental changes.

Remember, you are doing this for your customers—not merely for the sake of technological advancement. Don’t get hung up on the process. Instead, focus on your goals while remembering that the customer comes first.

  •  Reduce risk and increase buy-in by clearly mapping connections between strategy and operations. This is especially critical in siloed organizations.

The beauty of our digital world is collaboration. Gone are the days when Windows was a hero, now it’s about partnering with open source, SAP, and similar stories across the other platform providers.

A word of advice from Michael Gourlay:

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Learn to collaborate across channels and partners. Then, once you’ve decided what you want to do, be bold. It’s a big change of mindset, but it’s essential for success.

For more on digital transformation strategies, see Unleash The Digital Transformation.

Credits: Articles from Florian Wagner

About Goswami Kadamb

Kadamb is a Senior Program Manager at SAP where he is responsible for developing and executing strategic sales program with Concur SaaS portfolio. Prior to that he led several initiatives with Microsoft's Cloud & Enterprise business to enable Solution Sales & IaaS offerings.