Taking advantage of digital opportunities requires not only new skills from individual people but new organizational approaches as well. For most companies, the bigger challenge in digital transformation is not the technology being applied, but the organization’s ability to comprehend the needed change and act on it.
Futurice has been working for over 10 years with companies in very different industries implementing mobile apps, online services and business-critical backend systems. So what have we learned about digital transformation in the process?
At the beginning of their digital journey, companies have a hard time understanding digital opportunities. Digital activities, if any, are ad-hoc and driven by individual people, often without a clear link to the business. In this stage, companies may rely on external advisors for technical competences - this is where Futurice comes in. Individual competences develop though experience, but can also be built systematically in competence development programs.
After the fist few successful digital projects, the next challenge is to coordinate an increasing number of initiatives and ensure that they begin to link more deeply to the core business. To help in the coordination of these efforts companies may define a digital strategy for addressing the opportunities and threats associated with the application of digital technology in business.
Orchestrating the complex IT environment that is required to build end-to-end digital business processes is daunting. This requires holistic, big picture thinking and tighter integration between business and IT. In addition, keeping the business rolling while making significant changes to the way work is done can be challenging.
The end goal of digital transformation is an organization with the ability to capture the value of digital technology on an ongoing basis. In the end state, the organization can envision further changes and has the ability to implement them for competitive advantage. This requires having a strong digital culture and competences in place.
The organization setup should be more agile and responsive to changes in the company's environment. Capabilities should be developed to enable digital innovation internally. The organizational culture should promote collaboration, minimize functional silos, and focus on creating and measuring the value created for the customer. This is what we’ve learned. We’d love to hear what your experiences have been.