Tag: Digital Transformation

How a CIO Turned Critical Challenges into Benefits that Drove Change and Success in Digital Transformation | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

In meetings with companies undertaking digital transformation or IT modernization, I often hear executives talking about advice they’ve received from their consultants and advisors on how to plan and manage these initiatives. I consistently hear different versions of three points. “We must have a detailed road map of our transformation journey.” “We will need to replace most of our existing talent.” “We’ll need mountains of money.” Sound familiar? Consultants and systems integrators (SIs) consistently preach these practices, warning companies that their transformation won’t play out the way they hope unless they follow this advice. But compare that advice with the real-life experience of CIO Toby Buckalew.

Read more in my blog on CIO

Learn more about our digital transformation analyses

Does Your Change Management Plan Cut it in the Digital Age? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Traditional change management practices weren’t built for digital transformation. Here’s how to rethink two key aspects of your approach

IT modernization and digital transformation focus on changing a business and creating new value. But investing in new technologies and changing processes do not change a business; they just give a company the ability to change the business. Unfortunately, traditional change-management techniques are not adequate to address the level of change in IT modernization and digital transformation.

Traditional change-management techniques may help a company implement digital technologies, but they won’t enable driving the necessary change to realize the full benefits of the technologies. How can your company determine if its change management plan is effective?

The first step in determining change management effectiveness is understanding that your company is changing its business model. The traditional mindset that change-management tactics will drive success in transformation initiatives understates the immense amount of change and the nature of the change that is required. Managing business model change is far more comprehensive than typical transformation initiatives.

Read more in my blog at The Enterprisers Project

Digital Transformation Reveals Limitations Of Software Packages And SaaS | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Most large enterprises were on a journey for the past 30 years where a higher and higher proportion of the core systems driving the enterprises was software packages or software as a service. Traditional wisdom for companies was “don’t build – buy.” Then, again, as companies undertook digital transformation journeys, the prevailing belief was that the best way to do digital transformation is to get there as fast as possible by buying (not building) many components, using third-party software and SaaS products. Now, two disruptive forces are starting to shift the balance between build vs. buy in the IT world.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Learn more about our digital transformation analyses

Digital Initiatives Yielding Sour GRAPES? Gaps in Reality and Promises | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

GE’s search for a buyer of GE Digital, its apparent “non-core” business, and UBS’ sale of its Smart Wealth digital wealth management platform are causing the old guard to rejoice and claim that digital businesses are bogus and hogwash. Even Everest Group’s research suggests that 78 percent of enterprises fail to scale their digital initiatives, and don’t realize the benefits they envision.

It is easy to naysay the naysayers. But these developments do merit a discussion. Many enterprises are investing in digital transformation initiatives, and they have a lot to lose if they don’t do it well.

So, what is plaguing enterprises’ digital transformation agenda?

Not Moving the Revenue Needle

Most of the industrial enterprises we engage with as part of our research believe that, even in the coming two decades, 80-90 percent of their business will come from their so called “core” products. Though they acknowledge that their core products are not static and continue to be increasingly connected, software-driven, and service oriented, the incremental impact on revenue is not yet clear. Their business modeling and simulations provide numbers that are sufficient to fund digital initiatives, but are insufficient to move the revenue needle.

Digital Fatigue

Enterprises are realizing they have overdone some of their digital initiatives. Because business impact continues to be hazy, leadership is asking difficult questions. Our research suggests that 45 percent of enterprises fail to get funding for digital projects as the decision makers and purse string holders consider them vanity pursuits. Moreover, even strategic initiatives are struggling as the return on investment horizon is becoming longer as time progresses. Leadership is losing patience.

Challenges in CX to Business Attribution

Our research suggests that 89 percent of enterprises believe digital initiatives improve customer experience (CX). However, they struggle to attribute this improvement to business success. Therefore, business success becomes a secondary metric for such initiatives. Moreover, many enterprises confuse customer service – e.g., contact centers – with customer experience, which thwarts their ability to drive meaningful digital transformation.

We discuss another major reason for the gaps in digital promises versus reality in our research on digital operating models. Various enterprises assumed that digital transformation would create completely different businesses or business models for them. A prime example for comparison was about Google, a search and advertising company, getting into autonomous vehicles. Another was Amazon, an online retailer, getting into cloud services. These enterprises also assumed that they would disrupt their entrenched competition in their own and allied industries, just as Uber and Airbnb did.

Related: Important Lesson For Companies Undertaking Digital Transformation

However, I believe enterprises need such a dose of reality in order to separate the chaff from the wheat. As tech vendors, consultants, and system integrators brand everything digital, enterprises need a solid business case for digital transformation lest they spend precious money on worthless pursuits.

Enterprises’ needs of the hour are to develop a realistic digital transformation plan, rely on incubating multiple projects, be willing to fail fast, and leverage broader industry ecosystem. They must also remember that technology disruption always come with high risks.

Not acting is not an option, as the cost of doing nothing significantly outweighs the initial failures your enterprise may experience. Failing today is better than becoming irrelevant tomorrow.

What has been your digital journey experience? Please share it with me at [email protected].

Are Companies Making Progress In Digital Transformation? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

The term “digital transformation” is now ubiquitous. Nearly every company’s leaders and board of directors see the potential of digital transformation to create new value and improve their competitive positioning. They are investing in building out capabilities to transform their business. Unfortunately, some companies build digital capabilities but don’t generate value that changes their competitive position. So, are businesses really making progress in these investments? Where are we in efforts to succeed at digital transformation? Here’s my view and what I believe must happen next.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Learn more about our digital transformation analyses

Important Lesson For Companies Undertaking Digital Transformation | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By its nature, digital transformation is difficult as it’s fraught with the complexities and magnitude of change. The reason so many digital journeys don’t succeed is because the company fails to implement the operating model necessary to make the digital platform work. By operating model, I mean organizational changes, policy and process changes, talent model changes and the go-to-market changes.

Why do companies often fail to implement the operating model that’s necessary for the digital platform they build? Simply stated, they take a fractured approach to the digital journey. Although the executives say the operating model is changing, they don’t build a common vision that allows it to happen.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Related: Learn more about our digital transformation analyses

IDC Lists 3 Stages of Intelligent Automation Value Chain | In the News

The Everest Group Banking BPO Annual Report 2018 noted that 85% of banks surveyed as part of the study said digital transformation is a priority in 2018. However, only 19% are optimizing or integrating their front-, middle-, and back-office for true digital transformation.

One innovation that is garnering attention in this digital race is robotic process automation (RPA) with its promise of automating certain processes to allow for improve customer experience, greater operational efficiency and a greater sense of accomplishment for employees.

Read more in Enterprise Innovation

How Your Company’s IT Group Must Change To Support Digital Transformation | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

For the last five years, companies experimented with digital transformation. They are now convinced that the benefits are there and convinced that if they don’t take them, their competitors will. As digital technologies become more deeply embedded in the fabric of how companies compete, it forces IT departments to shift their role to become partners aligned with the business needs and digital transformation.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Learn more about our digital transformation analyses

78% of Enterprises Fail to Scale and Sustain Their Digital Transformation Initiatives. Everest Group Says ‘Old School’ Operating Models are to Blame | Press Release

New Everest Group report finds enterprises are adopting digital and seeing initial success, but struggles come in scaling and sustaining the transformation effort.

As many as 78 percent of enterprises today fail to scale their digital transformation initiative and achieve the desired return on their digital investments. Despite increasing digital adoption by enterprises and reports of initial successes, enterprises are struggling to scale and sustain their transformation efforts. According to Everest Group, a misalignment between an enterprise’s digital strategy and its “old school” operating model is often to blame.

“In recent years, enterprises increasingly have been undertaking digital transformation initiatives, leveraging digital tools to improve revenue, reduce costs and enhance customer experience,” said Yugal Joshi, vice president, Information Technology Services, at Everest Group. “Enterprises are typically quite encouraged by initial successes, but the majority don’t actualize the return on investment they envisioned in the long term. The struggle comes when enterprises try to scale and sustain their transformation initiatives. Typically, one of the biggest problems lies in ‘old school’ forms of operating models. If the enterprise’s operating model is not modernized and aligned with the digital strategy, the desired returns from a transformation initiative simply cannot be achieved.”

The following findings are also symptomatic of the all-too-common misalignment of operating model to digital strategy:

  • 73 percent of enterprises failed to realize sustained returns on their digital investments.
  • 69 percent of enterprises consider organization structure as a barrier while scaling up their digital initiatives. A complex organizational structure reduces transparency and creates silos, making it difficult for organizations to sustain their digital initiatives.
  • 82 percent of enterprises do not have a culture of collaboration and innovation. Lack of 360-degree communication channels and innovation culture leads to poor adoption of any change as the organization battles fear of uncertainty.
  • 87 percent fail to implement their change management plan for digital transformation.
  • 89 percent have a narrow scope of technology investments limited to particular products or functions. This impedes the organization-wide, long-term view required for digital transformation.

Everest Group has assessed the digital transformation success and failure cases of more than 328 enterprises to arrive at the best practices that enterprises need to adopt to transform their operating model into a digital operating model. The findings and recommendations are shared in the newly released report, “Digital Services – Annual Report 2018: Future Operating Model to Scale Digital.”

In this report, Everest Group introduces a simple “FIRE” framework that describes four key characteristics of the type of operating model needed to support digital transformation:

  • F: Fluid organizational structure—the enterprise should aim to create a self-organizing, ownership-driven and skill-centric organizational structure.
  • I: Innovative systems and culture—the enterprise should enable experiments, leverage technology, crowdsource ideas, and value the taking of measured risk as an asset
  • R: Responsive-by-design workplace—the enterprise must improve communication and collaboration and digitize internal processes
  • E: Experience-centric focus—the enterprise must move beyond siloed technology investments and identify areas across the value chain where end-to-end digital transformation efforts are required.

The report also describes in detail an approach and roadmap enterprises may use to transition to a digital operation model.

***Download a complimentary 12-page abstract of the report here.***

Advice for buying or building a digital platform | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

As digital technologies mature and become applicable, they present a tremendous opportunity for companies to rethink and rearchitect their business to create better client experience, better quality results and lower costs. These opportunities are broad and extensive. At the core of all digital transformations is the assembling and perfection of a digital platform. But companies need to better understand what’s involved in digital platform. Whether the objective for the platform is as grandiose as transforming an industry or as mundane as improving a mailroom service, many companies make a big mistake when looking to build or buy a digital platform.

Let’s consider two examples of digital platforms aimed at transforming the companies’ operations and costs. A construction company built a digital platform to improve productivity and safety of several hundreds of subcontractors. The firm used geofencing technologies and implemented RFID technology and sensors into the workers’ helmets. The technology alerts supervisors if workers enter a zone they are not authorized to enter.

In another initiative, the company built a platform to improve utilization of its materials and equipment moved to different locations and even different countries. The objectives are to increase efficiencies and better monitor the life cycle of these items. RFID technology and sensors placed on the equipment and materials is, again, a key technology in the platform.

Read more in my CIO blog: https://www.cio.com/article/3293037/digital-transformation/advice-for-buying-or-building-a-digital-platform.html

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