Decoding the Digirati: Success factors behind leadership in Digital Transformation

6. From Dinosaur to Digirati

Over the last 5 editions we have explored the expectations, pitfalls and best practices we have experienced on Digital Transformation programmes that set apart the digirati’s from the dinosaurs. In this, the final edition of the mini-series, we look back at the key points and how you can translate these to your Digital Transformation Programme.

Find Your Starting Point

It is highly likely that a variety of digital initiatives are already in-flight within your organisation, whether or not these are joined-up. Digital transformation is rarely a ‘greenfield site’. However, it is never wrong to look for ways to improve the effectiveness of your transformation and how to put it on a better path to success. Whether realisation comes from a genuine customer insight or is precipitated by a crisis in your legacy IT, it is important to know your starting point and candidly assess your current state of digital maturity before proceeding further.

Your business may, legitimately, never need to become a digirati to be profitable and successful in your field. But have you truly explored all the potential digital opportunities (and threats) in your industry? Whether it is a minor adjustment in your programme communications, a tactical improvement such as increased use of pilots and prototypes, or a complete overhaul of your digital investment portfolio, there is always potential to be better.

Conclusion

The good news from our findings is that the fundamental principles of organisational transformation apply as much to the digital sphere as to any other significant business change – if not more so. Every business must recognise that the people and behavioural challenges of digital are more disruptive and profound than traditional technology deployments. But it is no surprise that the most successful exponents of digital transformation are those organisations with previously high change maturity and programme management capability.

Leading digital organisations consistently demonstrate a range of nine key success factors for designing, delivering and sustaining their transformations in ways that address these challenges and exploit their opportunities. This is not an a la carte menu of best practices; the digital leaders consistently excel at them all.

The bad news is that time is quickly running out for the rest. Digital engagement with customers is no fad. As technology continues to disrupt businesses and societies in unimaginable ways, it follows that the later you start, the quicker you will be left behind. The irony of digital transformation is that, for all companies’ efforts to converse more openly with their customers and understand them better, it is ineffective collaboration within organisations that is the most common cause of failure. This insight reveals the ultimate incentive for the digital dinosaurs to join the digirati: those that succeed at digital transformation now will keep on winning in the future. They will emerge not just as market leaders in their field but as more streamlined, collaborative organisations that have challenged and re-engineered their very business models in order to transform.

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