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3 Tips To Get Unstuck From Your Digital Transformation Project

Author: Jakes Moskel
by Jakes Moskel
Posted: Dec 09, 2018
digital transformati

Let’s face it. No one can escape the hype of digital transformation. We know it’s here, we know it’s disruptive and if done right, we know it can transform our businesses. So what happens when you get stuck getting your digital transformation project off the ground?

Surprisingly, it is not the technology components of digital transformation where companies are struggling the most, according to Emilie Ditton, Head of Asia-Pacific Energy & Worldwide Mining Practices for analyst firm IDC. Ditton shared her valuable insight during a panel discussion at the International SAP Conference for Mining and Metals in Prague.

"Looking across all industries it’s definitely a time of great challenge," said Ditton. "Big, siloed, engineering focused organizations are seeking to become much more customer focused and much more integrated and agile. Those are really big challenges for industrial organizations."

Ditton also believes it’s a time of opportunity for companies that want to make the digital transformation journey.

"In the work that we do in relation to digital innovation, we’ve seen an enormous acceleration in activity, focus and thinking about what it is to innovate and use digital capabilities," said Ditton. "But it often turns to a technology conversation and it’s not really the technology components that companies are challenged with."

Ditton says IDC does a lot of work engaging and surveying the market to figure out challenges and priorities facing mining, metal and chemical companies. IDC has found most digital transformation challenges lie around skills, enabling an innovation culture and having the right leadership in place.

"When we’re talking about a technology-led transformation, while technology is the enabler, what we’re really talking about is a business transformation," said Ditton. "It’s about the outcomes you want to achieve and that links to culture and strategy."

While Ditton said there’s no question digital transformation is on the agenda of most companies she consults, they often times can’t figure out how to enable the value creation.

"It all comes down to what use cases they really need to be focused on," said Ditton.

As a result, Ditton recommends three components in order to become a digital organization that can drive value:

  1. Have a strategy and roadmap. Work to understand where you’re trying to get to and how to do it. A critical point is it needs to be at a collaborative, cross-organizational level. It’s not an IT, operational, engineering, or maintenance strategy, it’s a cross organizational technology strategy.
  2. Understand value for the business. The big question here is making sure whatever the digital drivers are for the business, they are aligned with the business outcomes.
  3. Scale. It comes down to creating a platform environment and the ability to have an integrated environment where data can be utilized across all parts of the business

Ditton said most companies she’s talked to believe it’s not good enough to just have a digital strategy, a roadmap in place and create a platform environment. It’s equally important to measure the outcomes of those initiatives.

"At IDC we think it’s not just about having the traditional business metrics in place but having digital metrics specifically focused on digital outcomes. For example?—?measuring the proportion of projects that move beyond the proof-of-concept stage and the proportion of data that’s utilized in the business," said Ditton.

All of this cannot happen without creating an innovation culture, one of the main challenges Ditton said she faces frequently in her discussions. Ditton said she’s enlightened by some of the large engineering companies that are focused on creating a culture of innovation and doing a good job making the transition.

"It’s not an impossible task but it’s certainly one of the biggest challenges in driving successful outcomes."

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The L.E.K. authors suggested that Amazon could also employ its predictive analytics and customer data capabilities to build digital health tools that track and influence patient behavior.

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Author: Jakes Moskel

Jakes Moskel

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Member since: Apr 05, 2018
Total live articles: 6

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