Digital transformation is changing our world: our needs change, and the products and services that respond to the change. New digital products and services have also changed our lives, in many cases improving them. We have witnessed wonderful advances in technology, processes, or a combination of both (as is often the case). These advances have occurred in practically all fields: health, mobility, security, education, industry.
What Technologies Support Digitization
Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) allow us to develop digital twins and use algorithms to improve business processes. NCLC (No Code, Low Code) solutions allow almost any organization to take advantage of application development and use processes and management tasks to free resources towards charges with more impact on their customers (the most important part of the company and its people).
The cloud (cloud computing) provides flexibility, agility, security and scale to any company that needs an ecosystem of applications to work well inside and connect well outside. In short, the use of technology has made us advance as a society, and our capabilities have multiplied exponentially.
How Can We Prepare The Entire Company For Digital Transformation
That same circumstance requires facing what is to come with perspective, in the certainty that the speed of the changes waiting for us will be even greater. The evolution of technology follows an exponential movement, and it is important to be prepared to face it properly. What should move us to do so is based on all the positive elements mentioned above: they will be advances for a better life. But the speed is dizzying, and we need to be prepared for that journey.
That journey involves many things, and it is not exempt from complexity. Still, I have not had a more powerful professional experience than embarking on the adventure of transforming a business to make it grow, evolve, better connect with customers, and develop better products and services. And to do all of that side by side with teams of passionate and talented people. That unique experience is worth it, and it is important to know what elements are crucial to make that trip a success.
What Are The Keys To Success In Digitization
If I had to choose one of the main keys to the success of a digital transformation project, I would say that companies must be aligned. Jonathon Hensley, in his book “Alignment. Overcoming internal sabotage and digital product failure” (Emerge Interactive, Inc., 2021), refers to the four elements that must exist in successful projects for the creation of a digital product, which I believe we can extend to digital product projects. Transformation. Namely:
- Aligned people (who understand the importance of their contribution and multiple talents).
- Aligned teams (that share a vision and purpose and work together as high-performance agile teams).
- Aligned organizations (with a strategic vision, purpose, culture and determined leadership).
- They are aligned with the market (that is, with the needs of their customers, whom they serve).
To achieve this level of alignment, it is very important to lay the foundations of a strategy that is the compass that allows us to guide our organizations so that all the previous elements are aligned, connected, oriented in the right direction to advance towards the objectives of the business.
How Do We Analyze Our Starting Point
This knowledge arises from reflection, from an exercise in self-knowledge of the organization and the environment in which the organization operates. With perspective: understand today and think about tomorrow. Establish where we want to go and how we can get there. An exercise of such magnitude needs quality time: it is important to think about how we are and how we want to be and understand what dynamics we are about to face and which ones we are already navigating (sometimes without being aware of it). That is the great challenge: (re)think the company, (re) consider the business, (re)learn what we do and (re)define how we will do it in the future. With a critical, constructive, disruptive spirit, with an open mind to innovation.
There are many ways to undertake this task, and there are multiple strategic analysis tools that will help us. They are all interesting and add value. Without being exhaustive, these are some of the things we can do:
- Work on better understanding our customers by defining their Customer Journey and deepening their Customer Persona and empathy map.
- Work on our strengths with a SWOT-CAME analysis and from Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, define strategies to Correct weaknesses, Face threats, Maintain muscles and Exploit opportunities.
- Work on understanding our value chain based on Porter’s value chain (also working on his five forces model).
- Evolve our analysis of the value chain towards the design of Wardley Maps, and establish strategies that take into account how to develop our capabilities to respond to customer needs (incorporating the level of evolution in which the solutions of our value chain).
- We can work an Ansoff matrix (product-market) to define growth strategies.
- We can carry out a PESTEL analysis and better understand our environment and interactions with our company.
- We can use a business model analysis based on the Business Model Canvas and understand our company while understanding the interrelationships of its parts.
Experience shows me that the use of the Business Model Canvas (later to connect it with the value chain and Wardley maps) is one of the most interesting ways to approach a strategic analysis that helps the management of a company to face the challenge before statement: (re)think the company, (re) consider the business, (re)learn what we do and (re)define how we will do it in the future.
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