Timing Really is Everything: Why Organizations Need Digital Transformation Now
- January 11, 2021
Part technology, innovation, cultural shift and core philosophy, companies are beginning to realize the immediate — and long-lasting — benefits of digital transformation to improve businesses within a fast-changing technological landscape. The advantages of an agile, scalable enterprise including cloud, data, mobile and social technology, artificial intelligence, automation and Internet of Things (IoT) are helping organizations stay ahead, and in some cases, disrupt their industry. At the very least, these technology investments are keeping them resilient in turbulent times as we’ve finally turned the page to 2021. In fact, 70% of companies have a digital transformation strategy in place or state they're working on one.
Why is it taking center stage now? Chalk it up to timing. From the global crisis that upended every aspect of business and personal life, a clear picture has emerged: timely digital technology investments helped some organizations handle the crisis better than others. New research from NTT DATA shows investment in digital technologies and a broad technology portfolio helped companies cope with the pandemic. For those that didn't invest, there's a sense of missed opportunity and some regret, which is why we named the report: “Could Have. Would Have. Should Have.”
The key is addressing the here and now while remaining focused on the future. That's why organizations that have embarked on their digital transformation journey are leaders in their industry. Our research found that across the C-suite in financial services and insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and the public sector, organizations with wider technology adoption were able to drive revenue growth and business transformation at a higher rate than their competitors. In these challenging times, that has proven incredibly important.
Digital transformation is far more than a single program or a project. It's an ongoing commitment to fundamentally changing how a business approaches innovation, as well as integrating, enhancing and accelerating its operations. Not to be confused with modernization (antiquated technology is a whole other story), this is continual transformation: a state of perpetual agility and business discipline that positions organizations to evolve and capitalize on dynamic market forces. Companies that are successful understand digital transformation remains a part of their company’s core fabric once a project is “complete.”
The beginning step to digital transformation is a strategic roadmap, which starts with where your organization is today, and ends with where you want it to be. The course of change will be shorter than you think. Naturally, many companies are currently thinking shorter-term — less than 12 months — following the pandemic. The global crisis shortened timelines, increased the need for speed and forced most organizations to quickly adjust. Continuous planning and execution, new collaboration tools, faster project rollouts, tighter security and resiliency measures and realigning technology to drive efficiencies are all part of the pivot to tomorrow.
As companies navigate forward, all stakeholders need to be considered. Alignment from the C-suite to IT department and frontline workers is critical to understanding how technology will enable the business to succeed. From idea to implementation, there are dozens of ways transformation can derail. When digital transformation fails, it doesn’t meet stated objectives or KPIs, which typically emanate from a lack of alignment with the business.
Leading from a human-centric journey provides a perspective of how stakeholders engage with your business and how best to serve the unique needs and desires of those stakeholders. Involving a diverse set of employees, vendors and clients will ensure digital alignment that enables significant growth and innovation. This requires taking a 360-degree look at each aspect of business and how it touches all participants, from acquisition to purchase and fostering a long-term relationship.
Fostering a culture of change isn't an easy task, but necessary to align with the future vision. Executives championing change have a unique role in the curation and enabling of digital technology, so the stakes are indeed high. In the end, remember digital transformation may be about the business you're in, but more importantly, it will show you where your business can take you — and that's not at all business as usual.