Staying in sync with changing customer realities and demands is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations.
Digital Transformation is the answer to that.
However, despite being around for some time now, Digital Transformation still carries multiple interpretations, some of which undermine its significance.
Digital Transformation refers to integration of digital technologies in business models and processes to enhance customer experience and deliver value to customers,
In essence, Digital Transformation is Business Transformation.
In my interactions, I have come across different takes on Digital Transformation. Sharing below the ones most conflicting with the core of Digital Transformation:
1. [Myth] Digital Transformation is about technology:
Technology opens up the possibility to drive operational efficiencies as well as deliver a better customer experience. And so it is misconstrued as the ‘be-all and end-all’ of Digital Transformation.
In reality, Digital Transformation is less about technology and more about people. An organization endeavouring to be future-ready needs to develop the next generation of skills - invest in upskilling and re-skilling its talent.
2. [Myth] Digital Transformation is the job of CDO/CTO/CIO:
By virtue of being about ‘Digital’, the mandate of Digital Transformation is usually expected to reside with the Chief Digital Officer (or CTO/CIO). While this may sound logical, it is seen that this leads to a curtailed scope of Transformation implementation on account of complex inter-function dynamics.
Digital Transformation, in essence, is about transforming the way an organization operates - which fundamentally affects every function of the organization. As such, the driving force behind the transformation initiative must come from the CEO’s office.
3. [Myth] Digital Transformation is a top-down exercise:
The strategic roadmap for Digital Transformation is created by the C-suite, who then tracks its implementation. As such the transformation initiative is deemed a top-down one. While this is true, the Dx initiative needs a more nuanced approach, with the involvement of other stakeholders. For an organization-wide initiative, like Digital Transformation, to be successful, it needs to be championed by mid-level managers. Mid-level managers aren’t expected to just carry the mandate from the top but also communicate the ground-level challenges which necessitate a tweak in implementation.
4. [Myth] Digital Transformation is only for large organizations:
News of Digital Transformation initiative is usually associated with a large company. Considering the higher outlay & longer-lead times of Digital Transformation initiatives, it seems such initiatives can be undertaken by only large organizations, not even mid-size ones. Unfortunately this belief completely misses the rationale behind Digital Transformation - which is to stay in sync with newer customer realities. Any organization, large or small, operating in an ever-changing customer context, needs to transform its business models to stay relevant. Digital Transformation may be costly, but the alternative of not undertaking Digital Transformation can be costlier - impacting the very survival of an organization.
The promise of Digital Transformation to get organizations future-ready can be truly delivered only if we appreciate it’s true significance and scope.