Your Digital Transformation is Floundering? Revealing Why

Sorry folks, your efforts to move to the cloud, create CI/CD pipelines, or centralize a data lake is not digital transformation. Nor are projects to get your organization on Microsoft 365, establish unified communications, or develop microservice architectures. 

And watch out for vendors who are selling products that "deliver digital transformation."

Floundering Digital Transformation - Isaac Sacolick


These are all likely important technology investments and may constitute an IT transformation. But I hold digital transformations at a higher bar.

Digital Transformations Change The Business Model

Digital transformations use culture, collaboration processes, and new technologies to change the business model. They are led by transformation leaders who recognize who you sell to today, what you are selling, how products and services are sold, how they are fulfilled, and how customers are serviced must evolve significantly from what made the organization successful in the past.

StarCIO Driving Digital Assessments

To do this, most digital transformations start with market analysis and understanding customer experiences. Nearly all digital transformations require organizations to consider becoming data-driven and using analytics to strategic advantage.

Planning and executing digital transformations requires a collaborative operating model, which is why practices like product management, agile, devops, data science, and citizen development are critical in digital transformations. 

And getting leaders and employees to understand, participate, and drive changes requires most organizations to adopt transformative cultures. It entails challenging the status quo, asking questions, learning new skills, adopting digital responsibilities, seeking inclusivity, promoting diversity, and thinking globally.

Digital transformation almost always requires technology investments to deliver new products, transform customer experiences, automate repetitive tasks, integrate systems, and improve data quality. Some innovation experiments will start as POCs, and hopefully, the organization is using agile practices to deliver MVPs and enhancements

Because innovation, POCs, and new technologies are often "bottom-up" exercises, it can create confusion that delivering new tech is digital transformation. Leaders must develop and communicate their vision, and leaders sponsoring initiatives should be contributing to the digital transformation roadmap. 

What Are We Still Discussing Digital Transformation?

The sad answer is that many organizations aren't delivering business value, impact, and outcomes from their investments. Their digital practices exist as shallow processes, and their technology investments likely creating a new generation of technical debt.

That's because digital transformations are challenging. They are really hard to plan, execute, and deliver business impact.

But they are delivering financial returns.

I share more in this week's 5 Minutes with @NYIke episode - and please reach out to me if I can answer any of your questions!

 

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