In the digital transformation era, leaders are reviewing their businesses in depth; including the IT infrastructure and the entire business model, and often with the integration of a new management solution. To achieve this, they must be able to increase engagement by ensuring their stakeholders understand the underlying strategic reasons and resulting benefits. Unfortunately, this has its challenges. One of the strongest barriers is IT jargon.
Before we address how modern business management solutions such as Dynamics AX (Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations) has reduced IT jargon to support transformation projects, we will take a look at some hints and tips on how best to manage digital transformation within your organisation.
We have already discussed the GE case study of digital transformation at the Microsoft WPC where Jeff Immelt described “every business as a digital business”. Cultural change, being customer focussed, being driven by outcomes and being supported by engaging technology are all key to remaining relevant.
Build a multi-functional team of champions
This is a subtle yet powerful element of any successful transformation project. Rather than create a team responsible for digital transformation that might sit in a silo, apart from the rest of the organisation; it is better to embed or select your digital champions within the business. In a digital transformation case study at Marie Curie, their original team structure and programme was closed a year early due to this sense of separateness. Claire Hazle, Head of Digital explains: “Digital transformation makes you look different, suggesting people are off in a cupboard doing something techie… My priority is now on building up one-to-one relationships. We have an influencer strategy having identified people in other teams we can involve in the mission, with a steering group of eight champions across the organisation.”
Put data and information at the heart of your business
“We must engage everyone, including people who are usually considered administrative” explains Gilles Babinet, Digital Champion. “It is these people who are positioned at the front of the company and they take a new value because they are responsible for creating the data for the company.” This data-centric approach must fit within the culture of the company.
Perry Hewitt, (CDO) of Harvard University agrees: “Because digital is so assessable, finding people steeped in quantitative thinking is vital. Always understand what to track, and create a culture of continuous measurement.”
Put the customer at the heart of your transformation
Customers are the key driver behind why organisations must transform themselves into modern and responsive players. Ensure you have processes in place in order not just to listen to trends but to be able to respond to them quickly. “It is critical to align people, process and technology to foster innovation and relentlessly evolve to improve the customer experience across the entire value chain.”
Managing risk in the digital transformation journey
“Digital transformation” is still in its infancy relatively speaking, so those taking part must adopt the approach of continual iteration, both internally and externally. This is why data analysis and business intelligence is so important; organisations must be prepared to test new models and strategies out but also be prepared to accept the need to change if outcomes do not work first time. De-risking is still of primary importance through a robust and strategic approach. Agility and bravery is key.
IT jargon and resistance to change
Disruptive models encounter barriers internally and externally, because of the change that is required. It is important that the above areas we highlighted are supported by a culture of continuous collaboration and engagement. The “locked cupboard” analogy that Claire Hazle described needs to be considered; whilst your own management will appreciate the rate and depth of change that is required you will also need to understand how much and when your team can embrace it.
By making your business transformation process as easy for your workers to understand and engage with, the quicker your business will reach its goals.
Technology often supports and drives business transformation. Business should adopt IT that is easy to use, intuitive, helps people collaborate and work better. Because of the fast rate of change required, adoption must be swift. IT jargon is a barrier and gives people a reason to not understand what the journey requires of them.
Future proof business technology such as Microsoft Dynamics AX (Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations) drives best practice and removes resistance to change by improving user experience.