Today’s business world is evolving and transforming at a rapid pace, and many things are happening in the business environment, such as globalization, innovation, recession management, and similar. Among today’s digital leaders, most are fundamentally convinced that we are at an inflection point in how business and technology work together. Out of which, majority of them have concluded that technology is the most crucial element in the business world today. The inflection point bit is that it is becoming much more difficult for a company that cannot integrate technology to do well in the marketplace, so that’s the premise.
Through digitalization, companies can find new business opportunities but require to have a stable and scalable Digital Frontline for customer interaction, partner and relationship in a digitalized multi-channel business world. At the same time the traditional IT needs to step up and become the Technology Backbone of the business for performance delivery, business development and management of technology solutions in close cooperation with the core business processes.
Who are the future leaders: Let’s briefly look at some examples of our future leaders. These are the companies that are getting tremendous benefits, not just through performance Improvement, but with financial gains, and they are developing some great customer interactions and engagements. Examples:
1. Asian Paints: was named Forbes as one of the world’s 10 most innovative companies in 2017. They innovate their business continuously using AI and machine learning for manufacturing analytics to scale their business, enabling them to be more data-driven and agile. One of their most notable transformation examples is the deployment of Sight Machine, a data analytics platform across their manufacturing plants to transform production data into insights.
2. Codelco: innovates its business by heavily utilizing information technology, telecommunications, automation, and robotics into its production processes. They follow a three-pillar strategy for their innovation that is Automated, Untraditional, and Continuous.
3. Starbucks: takes the front-row seat when we look at the examples of future leaders. The key to their digital transformation is in their digital analytics capabilities, and IoT enabled machines. On their mobile app, the Digital Flywheel is an excellent example of a customer-first approach with 4 essential pillars Rewards, Personalisation, Payments, and Orders. They do not identify themselves just as a Coffee selling brand but as a data-driven technology organization.
4. Keller Williams: is recognized as the world’s most innovative company in real estate by Fast company. They have been continuously innovating their real estate franchise business since 2015 by utilizing the best-in-class machine learning & AI capabilities to produce actionable and relevant insights. An excellent example of their proprietary software is KW labs, an innovation hub dedicated to transforming KW into a technology company.
Among these shared examples of our future leaders, the most common factor we see in their future growth and development is technology integration into their business no matter which business industry they are in. Any organization now can do the same it just needs leadership tenacity, investment, resources, and so on so it’s not easy, but everybody can do it and the time to do it is now. The first adopters of digital transformation are mostly the best-run companies in the world we know, but we can learn from these companies, how they do that, and their drivers of digital transformation.
What’s in the DNA of the organizations emerging as future leaders? There are two key dimensions Digital Capability and Leadership Capability.
1. The What: The first one is the most obvious, which is digital capability. It is about investing in smart technologies and smart channels. The social, the mobile, the analytics, or the embedded systems are all of this kind of capabilities that we see every day. We can’t think about transformation without investing in digital. So that’s a precise dimension with some caveats which we call as the what of digital transformation.
2. The How: The second thing we find in our future leaders is the leadership capability it takes to change rather than sticking the technology just into the existing internal process. But how do you transform the way your operations and customer experience work?
Here is the digital compass where this can be understood better if you are doing everything right:
- Build foundation skills
- Align incentives & rewards
- Measure, monitor & iterate
- Build awareness/understand impact
- Know your starting point
- Craft vision & alight top team
- Signal your ambitions
- Earn the right to engage
- Set new behaviour & evolve culture
- Translate vision into action
- Build your governance
- Fund the transformation
Now the point is, why is it all imperative? Why do we believe that the companies have to start now and get into digital transformation?
We are seeing the mass flow of technology arriving in our everyday lives, which will make what we have gone through up to now a prelude. Because it is not just the innovation is coming, but it is accelerating tremendously, so we have to prepare our organizations to integrate as the technologies are continually changing quickly.
We at Digital Leadership believe that the best way for businesses to achieve success in the future is to start being the future leader in your industry. The companies that still shy away and don’t do that or integrate modern technology and are even hostile to it will have a real hard time doing business in the next 5-10 years as the technology is going to evolve massively and transform. Digital transformation is for every company no matter what business you are in – the time to act is now!