Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the question about who is leading the Digital Transformation (DT) in an organization has usually been a tussle between the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) andChief Technology Officer (CTO) / Chief Information Officer (CIO) as ICT gurus argue for or against any of the C-level leaders.
However, current trend has indicated that there is another C-level personnel that is now leading the rapid DT evolution for most organizations across multiple sectors and industry and that C-Level personnel is COVID-19.
The pandemic has revealed so much about the exact positions some organizations are on the DT journey and I have listened to the various levels of responses.
While some organizations (ICT, Education, Sports, Music/Entertainment, Food, Religious groups, Transportation, Non/For Profit) could easily switch and pivot into this new reality seamlessly (simply because they had invested in the required technologies, people and processes), others struggled and are still struggling.
WHAT IS DT?
While trying to look for a simple definition of DT, I stumbled on a graphic on Institute of ICT Professionals, Ghana, portal and with permission, I am adopting the definition and graphic.
Simply put, DT is the outcome of IT-enabled (ICT-enabled) change that is aligned with achieving business objectives and driven by a well-planned strategy.
Just last week, another friend/boss of mine Mr. Taopheek Babayeju (CEO, iCentraConsulting) also did a webinar on this topic and he defined DT as “the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements”.
He further said, “Digital transformation begins and ends with how you think about, and engage with, customers”.
Finally, “Digital Transformation is about re-imagining your business in the Digital Age”.
This question is now a no-brainer and has been answered by COVID-19. With the resultant effects of social (to me it is more physical) distancing and the need for contactless solutions required for business continuity, organizations are not wasting time to be convinced about DT.
Prior to this, an ICT expert/strategist will have to go through some or all the points below as they try to convince business leaders:
- Technological Evolution (New Growth Curve)
- Competitive Landscape (Innovate or Die)
- New Venture Creation
- Improve Customer Experience
- Increase Business Productivity and Efficiency
- Culture Change
Not anymore!! Any organization that does not see the need for DT now, should not be in business.
How to achieve DT?
The transformation journey must be customized to the organization in question. However, below is a generic high-level building blocks I found very interesting made by ionology.
I know DT has become one of the latest technology lingos and in focus now, however there is a need to be clear about what DT is not. (Check Figure 2)
For an organization, as you speed up your DT journey, please do it with the guidance of ICT strategists and experts (David and Taopheek come highly recommended).
For an employee, you need to be on that journey too and on a faster track than your organization. To be ready for DT, you need to develop digital skills that will make you relevant in the new norm.
In the short-term, the new norm is WFH (Work From Home) and some organizations have decided to continue WFH till end of 2020. You must plunge into it heads-on, it is never too late to learn new things and adapt your working pattern.
I will talk about the future of work (#futureofwork) in another article. However, do note that DT is on warp speed.
Author: Oluseyi Olaolu LALA MBA, PMP
Fixed/Mobile Broadband/Enterprise Solutions Expert | Project Manager | Leadership and Personal Development Enthusiast
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