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StrategyJan 27, 2016

Ready for Digital Transformation?

Justin Bell

In a recent article, MIT’s Jeanne Ross pointed out two factors that enable a company to achieve digital transformation:

  • They treat data as an asset

  • They build a platform so that data can be used as an asset

She defined platform as “It’s the technology, the data, the people and the processes that hardwire some capability into your organization.”.

I think of digital as more of a “way of doing things” and less of an actual thing.  Just having a website, using social, and having some mobile capabilities doesn’t mean an organization  is good at leveraging technology to better reach their customer and create business opportunity.  Instead, this digital mindset needs to be woven throughout the culture and organizational fabric.

For many traditional (pre-digital) businesses, the key is belief from the senior executive team that status quo won’t lead to sustainable success.  It can be really hard to admit that what got you here won’t get you there in the future.

This can be a daunting task, but not everyone (not even most) should try and be Google, Facebook, or Amazon.  Instead, just look for ways to better leverage the data you have and technologies that are available to serve or reach your customers in some meaningful way.  If you consistently do this, you’ll achieve digital transformation over time.

I wrote recently about our Digital Maturity Model to assess where you are today and identify opportunities to improve your digital maturity.  The key concept is that it takes more than an investment in the latest technology trends to be a Digital Leader, it also requires strong digital leadership, a culture that embraces digital opportunities and the talent to move fast and smart.