Digital Transformation

I would like to qualify upfront that I hate the words “Digital Transformation” as the terms are almost meaningless without context, intent and a real-world outcome. The words themselves are very over-utilized and reminds me of the time during a CBS’ 60 Minutes II interview that someone used the phrase “We’ve asked our clients to recontextualize their business” – it’s a very similar scenario to today’s use of Digital Transformation. The players in the space need to get more specific on what it is they are doing and not just throwing up terms into the DT bucket.

At Inspiration Digital we focus on strategy, customer and user experience, software and technology of which some of our work does become transformational and is generally digital, but the most important part is the business and people impact.  It’s the most important part for that matter. You can call it Digital Transformation but at the end of the day it is business transformation leveraging digital and for each client it can be very different. 

We speak to many mid-market companies who are in growth mode and have this type of digital work on their radar but are looking for a trusted advisor to help them with a jump-off point and building business cases.  There have been many questions around; where to start, what are our needs, who should lead, what area’s do companies miss or points of failure. These are all great questions.

What is DT?

Digital Transformation generally refers to refreshing or adding to your enterprise architecture the right-fit digital technologies, experiences and processes in any number of areas within your organization.  The result should drive innovation, accelerate growth, and align and improve core aspects of the business.  Given the rapid rate of improvement and cost competitiveness in digital technology, software and cloud enabled solutions, it’s on everybody’s radar in the world of disrupt or die.  According to an IDC report, enterprises were estimated to spend $1.3 Trillion worldwide in 2019 on Digital Transformation, of which only a small percentage of engagements were successful.  Most businesses approach digital and business transformation as a technology project instead of an opportunity to create better customer and employee experiences across the enterprise hence one of the reasons for failure or low adoption rate.

Its About People and Business Too

Digital Transformation is about people and business, and many companies assume that running the “best stack” is what it takes to lead their industries while often losing focus on better experiences and processes.  It requires a framework, mapping requirements and experiences, retiring or adding new technology, understanding growth and future needs and disrupters in your industry including a very comprehensive discussion of must have’s vs nice to haves.  And probably one of the most important items the ROI and timing including a very realistic business case.

Every consulting company today has a proprietary methodology, process and/or optic for how they position their services. Whether it be an Innovation Lab, Strategy Center, Experience Center, Emerging Tech Lab, basically “X for Digital Transformation,” We believe nothing beats a good set of markers, a big white board, some sticky notes and some smart people in the room.   

This is one of the main reasons our existence came to be – lets bring our extensive agency, consulting experience and great partners to the mid-market companies who need it the most. Our intention is to declutter the exercises and approach, charge fairly and make companies customers for life.  In other words; a fair wage for a good day’s work and great outcomes.

Define the Specific Objectives, Specifically

Transformation challenges companies to rethink their fundamental processes, enterprise architecture and infrastructure, customer and employee experiences, and enhance the companies’ capabilities.  Harnessing the power of digital technologies will allow a company to become more effective, innovative and disruptive but it must be people centric.

Listing out the very specific goals with stakeholders from across the organization is the key to actualising the overarching objectives. The harmony of these requirements and goals will help elevate the focus of the engagement most effectively.

Mapping the Engagement to the Very Real Needs

Transformation mapping is designed to help “line of business leaders” answer some very challenging questions, allowing them to engage senior leadership in the changing world of technology and their digital agenda.

  • What should our strategy be and what is the business case?
  • How do we reinvent and/or disrupt our business to stay relevant?
  • What is the value of engaging new strategies and techniques?
  • What are our key milestones and what does a new roadmap look like?

Digital Transformation can take a long time to execute and is hard work across the entire organization but with a right-fit partner, strategy and executive champions you can get traction and success earlier than you would think.