Raconteur

Digital Transformation 2020 September

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R A C O N T E U R . N E T 11 Developing the right talents and skills is one of the important trans- formation initiatives. While some people might immediately say digi- tal technologies are the key success factor, those who are experienced in the process would say that's not nec- essarily so. Chan Suh, chief digital officer of business transformation specialist Prophet, warns against being seduced by the promises of technology's magical tools for creat- ing revenue growth. While businesses may need digital innovations such as artificial intel- ligence for deep insight, tech stacks are just tools and, without the right operating instructions, they either lie fallow or become money pits. Suh says it's a mistake that has cost global businesses billions of dollars in wasted investments. "We need the conceptual strate- gies and innovations to guide our tech investments as well as the human expertise to use it properly. However, that human expertise is especially rare when it comes to navigating the highly complicated interdependencies of digitally pow- ered businesses," he says. With building capability, the key is the right mix of human exper- tise and technology working in a coherent, flexible operating model with the customer at the centre. "The goal of digital transformation should not be to become a more digi- tal company, rather it is to transform into a modern, powerful enterprise capable of generating uncommon growth," says Suh. Digital innovation through capability building In the digital transformation process, the right tools are an effective suite of digital technologies. However, it's crucial to avoid the pitfalls of rapid digital innovation, particularly when it comes to data management. Data is now at the core of every digi- tal business. Irrespective of the indus- try, a growing movement towards an increasingly privacy-centric environ- ment is now our new reality and con- sumers are taking note," says Prateek Dayal, chief strategy officer of Aqilliz. "With the swathes of consumer data being ingested on a daily basis, organ- isations need to place greater empha- sis on investing in technologies that can ensure greater compliance and transparency in how customer data is collected, stored and used in accord- ance with relevant privacy frame- works," says Dayal. Yet when it comes to upgrading tools and infrastructures, one of the W hy is it impor tant to have ever y- one in the loop? Effective com- munication binds a ll the other digita l transformation success factors into a cohesive whole. But businesses are now under unprec- edented pressure to provide a comprehensive digita l offering, r unning the risk of insights being overlooked in the race to get to the f inish line. A digital transformation is an opportunity to open conversation channels with both customers and employees. "It's the only way that digital offerings can understand and meet the shifting needs and expec - tations of customers," says Gillian Mackay, head of consulting in Asia- Pacific at InMoment. Upgrading tools with the right digital technologies Closing the communication loop brings continual improvement common pitfalls is over-investing in single solutions, which are ulti- mately inefficient and lead to tech- nology duplication. Instead, busi- nesses need to select technologies that are inherently private by design, offering infrastructures built with compliance in mind. "The lesson to be learnt when upgrading tools is choosing new tech- nologies wisely, opting for solutions that can offer long-term holistic offer- ings, while placing precedence on those that can ensure greater compli- ance with an ever-evolving regulatory environment," he says. Mackay says the biggest mistake a business can make is assuming it knows what its customers want. "Digital transformation can only be truly realised by first collecting feed- back to validate customer expecta- tions. Communication prioritises what matters to customers and informs the channels to deliver for maximum benefit," she says. By implementing fully informed changes to the business, it commu- nicates to customers and employ- ees they're being heard and builds trust, a valuable business commodity. "Having the trust of your customers and employees generates support and understanding towards the imple- mentation of your digital transforma- tion," Mackay concludes. 2 5 4 according to Andi Britt, senior part- ner, talent and transformation, with IBM. "However, engaging and empowering a wide variety of audi- ences is a skill; one that can be culti- vated with data-powered insights and in-the-moment coaching," says Britt. "That means businesses need to implement design thinking, expe- riential learning and co-creational models that incorporate agile feed- back loops with continuous learning and improvement. These methods can be applied for both internal and external best practices." The pandemic, with the rapid adop- tion of remote working tools and the need to ensure employees' wellbeing and productivity, has only empha- sised that leaders who prioritise col- laboration and open communica- tion pave the way for individuals to experiment and trial new technolo- gies. "This open environment to trial and re-examine outcomes inherently fosters a more agile team structure, which we have learnt supports effi- cient and effective digital transforma- tion efforts," says Britt. Managing change and setting the scene for the new landscape can't be understated in the transformation process. And as continuous improve- ment becomes the norm through the coronavirus pandemic, it's critical leaders focus on collaboration, com- munication and building a culture that supports speed and agility in the face of so much uncertainty. It's why empowering workers is one of the dig- ital transformation success factors. Taking an employee-first approach is no longer a nice to have, but a need-to-have strategy for businesses navigating the current uncertainty, Empowering workers is a human success factor 3

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