I already shared my view on the importance to get IT as close as possible to Business, considering that Digital Transformation is first a change on the approach of Business, before considering the technical side of the story.
I have recently found this article from the CTO of Worksoft, Shoeb Javed, where he is listing 5 ways to accelerate a Digital Business Strategy:
- Understand critical business processes
- Automate early and often
- Blur the boundaries between business and IT
- Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to analyze & optimize
- Create a Center of Excellence (COE)
While promoting Digital Transformation, everybody thinks first on customer centricity and therefore on front-end interfaces that should better reply to customer needs anywhere, anyhow and at any time. Usually, a big focus is also given to Marketing departments which have to provide an appropriate solution to these new types of customers.
These points are right, of course, but delivering the best service is not only a question of marketing and on offering the best “app” to proceed to product ordering. It is also (and maybe first) a question of showing high flexibility in replying to market trends and to customer demand.
- If a new product needs to be launched, how much time is it needed between conception and delivery?
- If a client is requesting support, how much time till he gets a solution?
And how many people will get involved to solve his issue?
IT has been subject of many trends in the past 15 years.
Some were effective and had a deep effect on the way companies are using it. Usage of email as first communication factor has been a very good example even if Today some, like Atos, are thinking of replacing it by social media platforms.
Some others were more like fashions pushing many CEOs and CIOs to adopt from day to day the strategies that strong gurus were predicting to be unavoidable. It has been funny for instance to notice how outsourcing was “the way to go” 15 years ago, then being neglected (see particularly 2006 conference of Prof Strassmann: “Is Outsourcing Profitable?“) and now coming back again.
Were companies having deeply outsourced their IT more successful than the ones having kept their know-how in-house? Difficult to say. There are success stories on both sides.
All in all, we may understand that, after the Y2K issue that required strong attention of business to their IT, new subjects popped up on a very regular basis driving budget choices, sometimes with expected ROI that were slightly theoretical.
And now, for about 2 years, a new topic has risen up: Digital Transformation !
But what do we actually mean by this? And how CFOs and CEOs can be sure that the expensive changes such approach requires are a necessity for their company growth?