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Tips for planning a successful digital transformation in your company
By: Karyn Jeffery
Jun. 8, 2016 02:15 AM
Image credit: The Mack Institue
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There's a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it's not. It's about your business. It shouldn't be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
The benefits are clear
Digging into the potential upside, most C-level executives and IT budget holders surveyed by Fujitsu in Walking the digital tightrope, agree on four key benefits:
Successful digital transformation encompasses these internal and external aspects, and they must be progressed in parallel.
A dangerous disconnect
This lack of alignment has to be tackled. The pressure to dive in is immense and it may be leading some businesses to task CIOs with ill-conceived and poorly supported projects that have a high chance of failure. Look before you leap. A steady approach requires more planning, with careful integration of legacy infrastructure.
It's also worth remembering that the drive to transform isn't all about the carrot, there's plenty of concern about the stick, in the shape of fears about a reduction in productivity and a decrease in revenue. One CEO remarked, "The risk of investing in incorrect technologies is lower than doing nothing and slipping behind the competition."
How do you build confidence?
Secure early and committed involvement from business stakeholders, including representatives from across the lines of your business and also the support services. The CIO may act as informer of the group, but without input from finance and HR, and other departments, you won't have a complete view of what your business truly is or how technology can change it.
Finding the right mix
You may also want to split the IT department. Set up soft IT, tasked with trying things and finding out if they work, and failing fast when they don't. You'll also need robust IT to ensure that your existing environment continues to run properly. Rotate operational staff onto these teams and give them the opportunity to work on different projects to keep motivation levels high.
It's important to move fast, but be careful to handle this organizational challenge sensitively and make sure that you carry some of the robust operational efficiency and effectiveness over into your new projects. Work towards striking the right balance in terms of your team, combining old and new, encompassing business needs across departments, and focusing equally on internal and external requirements. Look beyond the technology, and identify what digital transformation can bring to your business.
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