11/05/2019

By Sam Leflar, Senior Manager

What do these digital concepts—Cloud, Mobility, Blockchain, IoT, Agile and DevOps culture—mean to you? If you asked 10 different people, you would likely receive 10 wildly varying answers.

More importantly though, how do these digital innovations play into your business and IT strategy? Which solution mix best supports your enterprise growth goals and is appropriately scalable? Should you move to the cloud? Does it make sense to implement an Agile framework?

With so many solutions and offerings in the marketplace, it is crucial to begin an assessment by assembling a knowledgeable and experienced technical and business team—one whose collective knowledge and skills will enable them to extract the most value from their target operating model and digital transformation initiative.

With so many solutions and offerings in the marketplace, it is crucial to begin an assessment by assembling a knowledgeable and experienced technical and business team.

Remember to incorporate culture & capabilities

One of the first steps to developing a digital transformation strategy is an in-depth analysis of a firm’s culture and capabilities along with its strategic imperatives.  In order to plan and sequence the transformation initiatives in a way that will integrate the most effectively with existing people and process, it is critical to truly understand an organization’s capabilities, quirks, and capacity for change.

One way to ensure the diverse team can be successful creating their digital operating model is to prioritize the development of design principles, which center the model and tie its value back to enterprise strategy. Using design principles will ensure future state people, process, and technology elements are united in their focus towards transformational objectives.

Collaboration is key

Although the tools and processes of the future state model may be years off, a cultural shift towards collaboration must begin at once. Digital transformations cannot realize their full potential if behavioral norms are not strongly collaborative. Organizations must deconstruct silos and create horizontal teams that can execute strategic initiatives with agility. Localize decision making authority to enable quicker, more impactful progress. Allowing agile disciplines, such as scrum, to develop and spread organically from within IT to other departments will also help the cultural transformation take hold by further encouraging collaboration and mitigating risk.

Commit to continuous transformation

The pace of digital can be overwhelming, and the only way to stay competitive long-term is to fully plan and commit to a digital operating model capable of evolving alongside new technologies and unpredictable change. In this sense, the digital transformation we are witnessing is interminable, suggesting that the most successful companies will be those that create highly adaptive and agile operating models.

It is impossible for firms to effectively insulate themselves from continued technological disruption. In order to survive and even thrive in the digital age, organizations should set a goal of transforming to a digital operating model, executed by agile teams who are intentionally linked to a winning long-term enterprise strategy.

The digital transformation we are witnessing is interminable, suggesting that the most successful companies will be those that create highly adaptive and agile operating models.

Sam Leflar

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