The digital landscape is super dynamic. It was barely yesterday that big data was the buzzword, and today we are all about Generative AI. How does a business keep up with this unstoppable and overwhelming tide of change that just keeps coming? Let’s also not forget the curve ball we faced when the pandemic hit us. We never know what next is lurking in the future. What we saw during the pandemic was a glimpse of what businesses need to do to prepare for all this uncertainty.
The cursor has permanently shifted from “whether” to “how” can organizations make the digital age work for them. The global digital transformation market is growing at a staggering CAGR of 16.5%, and expected to hit USD 1,009.8 billion by 2025. Yet, we are seeing that industry-wide 80% of “digital transformation” projects fail to deliver outcomes that the business needs.
Then, the question we face is what do enterprises, whether the behemoths or the aspiring disruptors need to do to not just stay afloat but build a healthy growth curve. What is the course-correction strategy we must adopt?
Digital transformation projects primarily fail because companies embark on big-bang transformation missions while the overall enterprise is not sufficiently prepared to handle the change. Some of the key challenges that we have noticed working with digital-native companies and legacy enterprises alike include:
- Managing humongous amounts of data and get reliable and actionable insights due to lack of a single source of truth.
- Talent not being ready to handle the change with a digital mindset and agility.
- Cultural gaps leading to lack of collaboration and innovation.
- Lack of a unified platform to implement, monitor and make incremental improvements.
These, and many other reasons are now leading us to consider the fact that more than selective transformation projects, we must look at evolving into a digital business.
Demystifying digital business
This is not a mere technological change, nor is it another program run by the IT team in an organization. Digital business happens when the business takes the initiative to look at a comprehensive and holistic transformation utilizing cutting-edge digital tools and technologies while building an agile and collaborative culture where innovation is natural.
Digital business encompasses people, processes, culture, and technology in an enterprise. Embracing digital business empowers companies to make data-driven decisions and enhance the customer experience to unparalleled heights. This paradigm shift propels businesses on a sustainable growth path in the digital era impacting 53% revenue and 47% operating efficiencies.
It is also important to note that digital business is not a quick fix; it demands a cohesive and consistent approach with leadership engagement. Many companies make a start but are unable to derive the expected value due to various reasons.
Sometimes, leaders may prioritize favored projects, overlook the bigger picture, or set ambitious transformation goals without considering budgets, talent preparedness, cultural agility and so on – which can significantly impact the desired outcomes.
So, what is the most effective way forward?
Business-driven; outcome-first: Gartner reports that 91% of businesses are running some kind of digital program with 87% of senior business leaders prioritizing digitalization. Yet, most of digital transformation till now has been technology driven and we know the result of that. Digital business charts a path that is entirely business-driven and outcome-based.
Engaging executives, senior leaders, and employees in the digital business vision is essential for success. Leaders can inspire a unified effort toward business objectives by sharing the potential value generated and outlining the path to achieving it. Embracing this approach empowers teams to navigate the journey effectively and capitalize on the opportunities ahead.
Practitioners in action: Building a digital business requires a radical shift in the mindset of the people who drive this change. They are thinkers who look beyond mundane tasks and explore new possibilities. We call them practitioners who come with transformation expertise, not just technology specialization. Collaborating with agile teams and business partners, these experts evaluate the bigger picture and create roadmaps with incremental and iterative solutions.
Power of a single source of truth: A cohesive data strategy is essential to thrive in the dynamic business landscape, starting with a single source of truth. Estimates say that almost 50-90% of enterprise data for more than 80% of companies is unstructured in the form of text, video, audio, server logs and so on.
Successful digital businesses focus on data-driven outcomes, leaving behind dated practices like data pools or warehouses. Swift, actionable insights from cutting-edge tools empower executives with real-time business understanding. A unified, democratized data approach pervades all departments, enabling swift, agile decision-making to seize growth opportunities.
Digital innovation at the core: Leaders must advocate for digital innovation through strategic approaches. For example, fine-tuning business areas suitable for cloud adoption can unlock maximum cloud RoI. Embracing automation to create a secure and scalable production environment can unlock several efficiencies. Applying DevSecOps throughout the software development lifecycle fosters agility and the creation of robust solutions. This visionary approach propels organizations towards transformative growth and resilience.
Seizing digital advantage with future of boundless possibilities
Digital business undeniably helps companies boost operational efficiency, make better decisions based on data, enhance customer experiences, and drive innovation. Predicting how quickly the business environment would change in recent years was hard.
But, as a digital business, leaders can get more control on how the business reacts and set a course for growth. This can be done with a Digital Business Methodology which is a proven pathway that brings together all the elements of people, process, technology and implements it on a cloud-based Digital Business Platform that puts a business on the growth more with speed, scale and consistency.
In the next 5 years, we can definitely foresee across industries, companies that mature into digital businesses will have a sharper competitive edge and be able to leverage emerging technologies like AI/ML, GenAI etc.
— Ranga Kanapathy, Chief Transformation Officer, APAC, Chief Delivery Officer, Altimetrik.