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Top 10 most important actions to ensure successful digital transformation

Nastel Technologies®
February 22, 2022

Digital Transformation is, nowadays, a buzzing world in industry, which everybody wants to utilize and apply in their business. Nevertheless, it is also starting to be a major cause of confusion, empty promises and big words with no real impact on business performance. Why is there such an extreme dichotomy in the most important enabler for our Future Digital Energy Systems?

 

According to McKinsey, Deloitte and many more consulting companies, over 70% of digital transformation initiatives have failed. These are not optimistic numbers concerning such a crucial part of the journey ahead. So, what should exemplary digital transformation look like? There is no silver bullet to answer this question, but three main universal guidelines are:

 

  • Make your digital “aim” outcome-focused and human-centered
  • Treat the business as a unified whole
  • Take an experimental, scale-later approach

 

Out of those guidelines, I have synthesized the ten most significant actions which need to be taken by an enterprise and its leaders to ensure successful digital transformation. Based on my experience, it would be extremely difficult to be successful if any of the points below are not addressed properly.

 

1. Vision — Make a plan for the plant of the future.

 

I will not be original in mentioning vision in the first place. As Joel A. Baker said in a quote above — lack of vision is the first step to creating great plans with no impact on reality. Vision does not have to be another corporate and general “blah, blah, blah” but can be amalgamated with business model and strategy. Like, i.e. Value Disciplines Model¹, where the company is created around three different backbones:

 

  • Products
  • Customer
  • The lowest costs

 

Being a product-oriented company sets your focus on creating great products. The whole strategy is designed around what you deliver. Apple and Tesla are the best examples of companies, which bet on product differentiation.

 

Shifting focus from what to how or from product to experience defines enterprises focused more on customer intimacy. Well known examples of such companies are Amazon and Lexus.

 

Ultimately, operational excellence is built around the best-in-price principle. Increasing efficiency and decreasing costs to provide affordable products. IKEA and Toyota are proud advocates of this strategy.

 

These are principle business decisions that do not have to be part of the digital transformation journey, but they always set the path for strategy and expected results – plant of the future. Concerning The Future Digital Energy Systems, no matter what business model a company will choose, it has to be built on sustainability principles and incorporate and support all possible routes to a fair and consistent energy transition.

 

2. Sponsors – get C-level buy in.

 

Digital Transformation is not an out-of-the-box product with a clear path of implementation, it is not tweaking the business. It is about completely new narratives and transforming the whole company: rewriting business processes, reassigning people and re-equipping with new technology. Without strong support and commitment from digital-savvy executives, the digital journey can be very daunting, if possible at all.

 

Here we get to the bottom of it – it is difficult to have real buy-in from executives if they do not understand why, what and how things will change. Digital awareness at the c-level is one of the key enablers for a successful journey. As MIT analysis³ shows, there is a big divergence in digital savviness between the members of the c-level crew. One of the ideas to collectively enhance awareness of the entire team is to assign a Chief Digital Officer, who as a member of executives will not only take leadership of Digital Transformation but also build a solid digital foundation amongst all c-level members.

 

3. Change – The main focus should be on change management.

 

DX is not a typical Management of Change process. Digital Transformation, as explained above, is rewriting all enterprise principles, and it has to start with senior management leadership.

 

  1. First, understand how your company is working in reality, not on paper.
  2. Then start redesigning and modifying standard processes to promote digital tools and a digital way of thinking.
  3. This will initiate momentum and enthusiasm which will quickly erode from top to bottom.
  4. As a result, natural digital leaders supporting transformation on an operational level will appear.

 

Four simple steps, get knotty while confronting reality and can lead to the federalization of the enterprise, which is contradictory to a major KPI of every corporation – unification. Change Management, especially when we talk about digital transformation, has to be led by a program manager, who keeps focus and discipline amongst different teams and ensures that everybody is aiming in the same direction.

 

O Captain! My Captain! like Whitman’s admiration of Lincoln’s leadership or more actual Keating’s mentorship, should be in intercompany newsletter and intranets’ showing consistent program manager’s guidance in every department, discipline or aspect of the enterprise.

 

4. Team — cross-department task force.

 

What would be the change management and leadership of a program manager without his teams? 4ᵗʰ flavour of successful Digital Transformation is dedicated teams. This is something different to what we got used to having in the past. Business transformation, as explained earlier, does not know siloes and departments, so the teams which should lead the digitalization. Finance, Maintenance, HR, Safety, Production and IT working on transformation opportunities.

 

Cross-departmental, multidisciplinary, inclusive and oriented on the outcome (your customer, right?) should be engraved just under the name of each group. But that is not all. Each team has to be accountable, responsible and decisive within their scope of work. Providing enough freedom to make a decision is by far the most difficult and unacceptable aspect of modern taskforces. Management (of the teams and company) should ensure collaboration between the team and appropriate technology leaders (external or internal) have to be engaged as subject-matter experts for each group. This will release technological pressure on very often non-technological team members and increase focus on the results (not the tools).

 

This article originally appeared on linkedin.com, to read the full article, click here.

Nastel Technologies is the global leader in Integration Infrastructure Management (i2M). It helps companies achieve flawless delivery of digital services powered by integration infrastructure by delivering tools for Middleware Management, Monitoring, Tracking, and Analytics to detect anomalies, accelerate decisions, and enable customers to constantly innovate, to answer business-centric questions, and provide actionable guidance for decision-makers. It is particularly focused on IBM MQ, Apache Kafka, Solace, TIBCO EMS, ACE/IIB and also supports RabbitMQ, ActiveMQ, Blockchain, IOT, DataPower, MFT, IBM Cloud Pak for Integration and many more.

 

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