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Why Undergo a Digital Transformation?

This excerpt outlines the benefits and goals commonly associated with successful digital transformation efforts.
This chapter is from the book

Enhanced Business Alignment

Enhanced Automation and Productivity

Enhanced Data Intelligence and Decision-Making

Improved Customer Experience and Customer Confidence

Improved Organizational Agility

Improved Ability to Attain Market Growth


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Now comes the fun part. We get to learn about the many positive things a digital transformation can bring. Organizations undergoing digital transformation often look forward to “shaking things up” in their markets and communities.

The best starting point for assessing the value proposition of a digital transformation initiative is to understand the benefits and goals commonly associated with successful digital transformation efforts. These benefits and goals need to be married with the organization’s own business goals so as to determine:

  • when (or whether) an organization should invest in and commit to digital transformation

  • to what extent the organization should carry out digital transformation

  • the rate at which the organization should transform

This chapter begins by summarizing the following primary organizational benefits that result from an organization’s successful digital business transformation and the corresponding competency it needs to gain in the automation and data science technologies associated with the previously described technology drivers:

  • Enhanced Business Alignment

  • Enhanced Automation and Productivity

  • Enhanced Data Intelligence and Decision-Making

The chapter then continues by explaining the strategic goals that can be attained by applying the enhancements and capabilities the organization gains from the previously described benefits:

  • Improved Customer Experience and Customer Confidence

  • Improved Organizational Agility

  • Improved Ability to Attain Market Growth

Digital transformation results in business and technology enhancements that lead to improvements that help attain goals.

Enhanced Business Alignment

Traditionally, organizations were often structured around business silos based on specific products, services or lines of business.

A digital transformation can introduce the need for:

  • previously isolated or separated business departments to collaborate in support of common business goals (Figure 4.1)

    Figure 4.1

    Figure 4.1 A common goal of digital transformation initiatives is to eliminate product “silos” so as to establish an environment that fosters collaboration and alignment across departments. For example, to improve customer-centricity, those groups or departments originally responsible for business analysis as it pertained to individual products, now work together to provide a consolidated customer experience through which all products (and new products) can be explored. New, broader performance and customer success metrics and indicators are commonly established to measure the collective outcome of these types of collaborations instead of measuring only the performance of individual contributions.

  • previously separated business and IT departments to collaborate more closely in support of common business goals

  • existing business processes and models to be optimized, reengineered and/or further innovated in support of new business goals

  • single-purpose business processes previously focused on specific products to be consolidated with others in support of new business goals (Figure 4.2)

    Figure 4.2

    Figure 4.2 Customer A wants to obtain three different products from Organization A. Previously, Customer A had to interact with Organization A via three separate workflows and systems (top), which may have even required the creation of three individual accounts. A transition toward a customer-centric solution results in a consolidated customer experience enabling Customer A to carry out transactions in relation to the three products in a single environment (bottom). Customer A is further able to discover new products while in the consolidated environment.

  • new business processes and models to be introduced and merged with existing business processes and models in support of new business goals (Figures 4.1 and 4.2)

These business transformations and the resulting cross-departmental collaborations that are formed naturally align the business of an organization with its strategic business goals, several of which may be focused on improving customer-centricity.

This type of business alignment can strengthen an organization culturally, but primarily benefits the organization by establishing a solid foundation upon which automation and data science technology enhancements can be applied. These technologies can be effectively utilized by human workers to enable the organization to realize its business goals to their full potential.

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