Friday, 4 December 2015

Digital transformation workshop

Yesterday I went to a Digital Transformation event run by Gartner

It was an interesting workshop, and introduced by looking at some of the drivers behind digital transformation, and some of the leadership issues, as well as some advice on how to start an initiative. As always, these workshops are made all the more interesting by having people there from a mix of sectors, and this session we had representatives from public sector, education and manufacturing. Here are a few notes I took:

Technology is everywhere, and has moved beyond the screen. The first 3D printed components are now in production Boeing 777s - technologies such as 3D printing are no longer for fun!  Information and intelligence are being added to many products, gamification is being added to digital learning systems.

Leadership in this era is becoming more complex. There are paradoxes:

Operational excellence vs business innovation. So, you must improve the business model that feeds you while creating a new one that won't let you starve.

Acting quickly to gain an advantage requires long term pattern recognition. It's not just about acting in the moment but having a long term insight and collecting the right data.

Working together beyond organisational borders while creating a united offering. we need to interact and collaborate with many different organisations and groups, but offer a coherent service to our customers eg Apple have a very coherent app store, but a huge number of people outside the company are contributing to it.

You are providing a product or service at a moment in time, but the digital value of that product needs to evolve over time.

Digital business and services are technology dependent, but technology alone is irrelevant. Social sciences, culture etc are just as important

Digital leadership therefore requires leaders to move beyond the management of definitive goals, and into  a world defined by numerous contradicting objectives with more team based delivery.

Digital business transformation is not a one off, therefore it is dangerous to call it a programme, which implies it has a finish. It is really a culture change.

In setting up a digital transformation initiative start with the why?  Why are we doing it. Define the digital business principles.

Then look at the driver, what do you want to get out of it? Is it business growth? Customer experience? Mobility? Operational excellence? IoT?

Then come up with a design plan. What are you going to do?
Get commitment to embark on a journey, not to finish it.
What is the blueprint? Narrow all of the ideas down to the digital business opportunities you want to develop.

Then look at what operating model you are going to use - how are you going to do it. Various ways you can begin including building a bimodal capability or implementing  a framework for working with small vendors. Establish the governance, and consider whether infrastructure and support changes are needed.
Leave the "how" till last.

The rest of day was spent doing exercises - looking at how digital transformation might work on a few different case studies. Interesting day, and very relevant to the digital transformation programme (oops, mustn't call it a programme), we are about to set up.

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