Today's technology offers unprecedented opportunity for businesses. Whether your goal is to improve the performance of your sales team with new technology, the use of predictive marketing or machine learning, arranging an omni-channel strategy or streamlining processes throughout the value chain, the benefits of digital transformation extend well beyond the enterprise. It not only offers opportunities for customers and suppliers, but it creates opportunities to introduce new business models to markets. Digital transformation also enables organizations to quickly adjust to a constantly changing environment.
While the “why” of digital transformation is apparent for businesses, it’s the “how” that isn’t always as clear. In a new MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte University Press report, Aligning the Organization for Its Digital Focus, nearly 90% of more than 3,700 business executives, managers and analysts from around the globe say they anticipate their industries will be moderately or greatly disrupted by digital trends. The trouble? Less than half (44%) currently believe their organization is adequately preparing for this digital disruption.
Ray Wang, Constellation Research Principal Analyst, Founder, Chairman and author of the new best-selling book Disrupting Digital Business, urges businesses to adapt quickly. He states that “Fifty-two percent of the Fortune 500 since 2000 have merged, been acquired, or gone bankrupt since 2000. If you’re not making the shift, if you’re not even moving in that direction, you’re probably going to be merged or acquired, or go bankrupt."
"Digital Darwinism is unkind to those who wait." - Ray Wang
There is clearly a sense of urgency with digital transformation. The businesses that have already recognized that movement, and the opportunities it offers, continue to lead the markets of the future.
But how should organizations get started?
Our advice: Don't try to approach digital transformation as a project. Projects, by definition, have a start and finish. With transformation, this is not the case. In this era of constant change, we feel the urge to move with a general sense of direction, but our desired destination may remain unknown until the very last moment before arrival. Therefore, we believe the most effective way to innovate with technology is to approach it as a journey, which requires a new mindset and perhaps even a different type of team. And creating the right culture within that team is key.
Setting the stage for transformation
“When we look at digital transformation, people tend to think about the technologies, but it’s also about how you change your business models and how you change the way you engage with stakeholders,” says Wang. “Once you get the business model down right, then you can figure out what technologies you need to support. And when you bring those two together, that’s when you actually get to digital transformation."
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