What is Digital Transformation and What does it mean for you?
By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA
When I first started Rextead Consulting, a friend of mine asked me what it was that this new company will do. I instinctively said something like, “Well, I specialize in information management and project management to help businesses, especially those focused on health care.” “Cool” my friend said and that was basically the end of the conversation. Or was it? Deep down, I felt that my explanation wasn’t as thorough as it could be. Yes, I do specialize in information management and I am a certified project management professional, but those things are merely a means to an end. What was the end game? What is the goal that I am trying to achieve for my clients? I knew that I wanted to resolve my clients’ pain points but I struggled to encapsulate that into as few words as possible. One day, it came to me out of the blue and I immediately began kicking myself for not realizing it earlier during my conversation with my friend. Looking at all of the skills and tools at my disposal and the outcomes that I desired for my clients, it was clear that this was the term that I was looking for:
According to Wikipedia, digital transformation, or digital business transformation, is the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society and it means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods. For some, it may mean going paperless, but in my opinion, this is only part of it. There is also the matter of increasing collaboration within an organization, improving processes, raising the level of innovation within your company, and ensuring that all projects and initiatives are in sync with the overall strategic plan.
So what does digital transformation consist of for us at Rextead Consulting? I think there are pillars that are essential to digital transformation, regardless of the size of the organization and they are:
- Strategic planning – You can’t reach your destination if you have no direction. All projects and initiatives must be aligned with the overall strategy to achieve the goals of the digital transformation
- Project management – from your planning process will result in projects and the level of project management expertise used will determine the end results of the digital transformation
- Business analysis – determining the requirements of both the company and its customers, as well as getting an understanding of the various environments surrounding the company will help ensure that all relevant pain points are addressed
- Business process management – adding new technology to garbage processes leaves you with garbage results. Processes have to be changed to effective use new technology, even if these process span the entire organization
- Benefits realization – this will close the gap between strategic planning and execution by ensuring the implementation of the most valuable initiatives
- Information management – in my experience, almost of the pain points that keep executives up at night are related to information and how it’s managed
- And last, but not least, Change management – the biggest barrier to implementing digital transformation is a company culture and the best way to break through that barrier is with change management
Notice that I did not include IT in this list. Technology is another one of those things that are a means to an end and should not be the focal point. That being said, IT will still play a major role in any digital transformation initiative and can be accounted for through your business analysis work.
I will speak to each point in the above list in greater detail in future posts but in the meantime, let me know what you think.