Digital Transformation: The Gaping Holes

The Push & Pull Between Technology & Business

The world is changing at an increasing rate – so much so that it has become quite frustrating to understand what is a temporary fad and what is redefinition of the future for an enterprise. This makes investment decisions quite tricky for leaders. And when you add the concept of digital transformation to this, it sets all the bets off the table!

The digital transformation efforts that any industry has witnessed over the last 5 years can be broadly divided into categories:

  • Driven by the technology side
  • Driven by the business side

While some technology leaders believe that it is the IT that will bring in the real value of transformation, the business leaders believe that it is the operations that will redefine the existence of the business itself.

Digital transformation has a lot to do with perception. While there is a clear gap between the way the two sides think about digital transformation, there is also a gap in what each side believes they can do and what needs to be done.

Technology Leaders and the Gaps

The technology leaders have their priorities set for the next few years. They are already investing in security, cloud (private and hybrid) solutions, data science, application delivery, etc. When we ask them about their digital transformation plan they inevitably bring up automation, process reengineering, and technology upgrade. So far so good! But real transformation happens when they are willing to disrupt themselves and not just the market.

When we work with technology leaders we help them create a competency map which includes three categories:

  1. Competencies that they already possess
  2. Competencies that they are currently developing
  3. Competencies that they need to develop

When we sit down with them, we help them identify what goes in the third category. We help them understand how they can develop the ability to innovate at scale or drive change enablement. They also need to develop the ability to manage the IT lifecycle while making it agile enough to swiftly plug in business needs.

We know that CIOs or CTOs are constantly getting pulled into different directions by the new emerging trends. But not all of them are long term shape shifts for an organization. We work with technology leaders to understand what can drive the next wave of disruption and invest in it.

Business Leaders and the Gaps

The business side of the enterprise is always focused on customer and revenues. So inadvertently the business leaders have their priorities set as customer engagement, product or service delivery, and identifying growth opportunities. To support these strategic goals or vision, they are already investing in developing domain expertise, improving operations, understanding customer needs better, and creating offerings that are relevant.

It is true that business leaders have been pushing for digital technologies. But the real gap lies in digital innovation. We work with business leaders as they develop digital platform expertise needed for meeting their strategic priorities.

Enterprises are also acquiring smaller tech savvy companies to achieve technical expertise. In such cases, we help business leaders make informed decisions based on entrepreneurial inclination and not just a temporary fad of the market.

While business leaders are exploring digital way of doing business, many are still depending on brick and mortar processes when it comes to fulfilment. We are helping them explore new collaborations, operational alliances, and business models.

We are also driving the dialogues around improving brand experience, increasing the relevance of products or services, and transforming customers from loyalists to brand advocates.

Conclusion

There have been conscious efforts by many technology leaders and business leaders to combine their competencies for digital transformation. However, despite this there are still gaping holes at strategic and execution levels. These gaps could be due to difference in competencies or even approach. But these gaps could also be a result on discrepancies in thinking.

The more the business and the technology side share and realign themselves towards a common goal, the better it is for the enterprise. However, digital transformation is going to need a constant rethinking and reimagining on both the sides. So, what will really matter is how the two undergo their own disruption process while still staying connected and aligned with each other.

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