Digital Transformation: In 1997 Steve Jobs returned to Apple Inc. as the CEO after leaving the company in 1985. On his return, Steve moved Apple from the verge of bankruptcy to profitability. Apple presently is one of the most valuable companies in the world. It wasn’t just the new technology he brought but his visionary leadership that transformed Apple Inc .
People are at the core of digital transformation. It is about people, initiated by people and driven by people. There are four groups of people who are central to the success of digital transformation in any organization.
The first is Top Management: A leadership that is clear on what is important and how to achieve it is vital for successful digital transformation. A leader that can mobilize the efforts of others and focus them on what is important is a critical factor in a transformation project. From Apple to Amazon to Uber and most other businesses that have successfully executed digital transformation there is the power of vision from the top leadership that made it successful.
The second is the Workforce: You need a workforce that is willing to change, re-skill and up-skill to execute a successful digital transformation. You can hardly succeed in digital transformation if you don’t have the buy-in of the staff. The workforce is an important part of any digital transformation project. The workforce will be skeptical about changes, if they are not assured of what is in the change for them and where they stand after the transformation. One of the things Steve Jobs did when he assumed leadership of Apple was a cultural re-orientation of the staff. He introduced the ‘Think Different’ campaign and led the workforce to producing devices that offered customers great experiences.
The third is the Partners: Transformation is hardly a one-man’s affair. You will always need external collaborators to make your transformation work. Partners provide a good leverage to deepen and extend your digital transformation project. The success story of UBER cannot be told without the Uber drivers and the success of Airbnb cannot be told without the hosts.
The fourth is the Customers: This is perhaps the most important aspect of the digital transformation game. The focus of every transformation initiative should be the customer and how to make the customer experience better. Digital transformation is about delivering to customers what they want the way they want it.
Digital transformation is essentially not about deploying the latest technology, it’s about creating an ecosystem where the various groups of people above connect, create value and derive value from the ecosystem. Technology comes in and is vital, because today, digital technology provides the bolts and nuts to hold this ecosystem together.
It is therefore important to identify these people, understand their expectations, create a platform for their interaction and get their commitment and input for a successful digital transformation of your business.
Article By J.C Ayoka – A Digital Architect & Techpreneur.