As John explored in his blog, it’s critical to have a clear vision and direction for your Digital Transformation journey, but as with any journey, you will already be somewhere. The question is, do you know where you are?
In the context of digital transformation, the answer to that question should reflect an understanding of how well positioned your organisation is to undertake a digital transformation. There are multiple perspectives to take account of here, the diagram below provides a good overview of the key ones:
Looking at each of these elements:
Tactical Initiatives: Your organisation almost certainly has projects that are either planned or currently underway that will intersect, or possibly be replaced by your joined up digital programme. The nature of tactical initiatives is that they’re often not very visible outside the part of the organisation where they’re executing so it becomes even more important to search these out prior to embarking on strategic digital initiatives
Strategic Initiatives: These are typically more visible than tactical initiatives, but still just as likely to be affected by your digital programme so doing a scan over these to understand where there is crossover is important
Strategy & Vision: The most important thing is that you have one. As John’s blog discussed, it provides the direction for your digital initiatives
Culture: This element is one of the most critical elements to understand (if not the most critical), while also being one the most most difficult to gain an objective understanding of. This is because if your organisation is not culturally ready to take on digital ways of working, you can change all the technology & processes you like, but you will struggle to be successful. Measuring the current state of your culture can be a challenging and potentially subjective exercise though. By its nature, it is ephemeral and any measurement will be somewhat subjective. You will likely want to engage some external consultancy for this
External Influencers: This is about understanding the digital environment outside of your enterprise as it exists today and the effect it will have on your digital journey. For example, if the majority of your suppliers are using a dominant technology for communicating with their customers, this may influence your decision making when you are choosing solutions. Other external influences might include current or planned legislation/regulations, availability of technology skills in the market
Technology Trends: This is about understanding current trends in technology and the digital landscape and their likely applicability for your organisation. There are a significant number of “hot” technologies and buzzwords that exist in the technology market at any given point in time, which of these you can take advantage of should be part of your current state preparation
Business Operation: Once you start implementing digital change in your organisation, you will start to fundamentally change the way that your business operates. The business processes and procedures being followed today will need to change. That change will be smoother if you have a good understanding of how your business currently operates so you can anticipate the impact that digitisation will have
Governance: The governance forums and processes you have in place today may not be appropriate for your business once you’ve begun to implement digital ways of working. For example, if you will be delivering by following an agile framework and traditionally you have followed a “waterfall” approach, you will need a different set of governance processes in place otherwise your agile delivery approach will at the very least struggle to be effective and will most likely fail in the longer term. Some critical success factors for digital governance are described in this blog.
It’s important to note that for the different areas described above, you don’t need to have addressed all of these in detail across the whole organisation. But you should have completed at least a high level pass over all of them and you can then choose to drill into more detail in priority areas.