Ask The Doctor With Sandeep Goyal
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What does being digital ready truly mean for an organization?
These days we are bombarded with too much information through social channels/media about the importance of being digital ready. Being digital ready is a must for an organization to survive we are told.
There is too much noise around digital transformation from all quarters. On one side, there are advertisement/Ad tech companies and on the other there are large IT organizations /consulting firms, all of which now have a digital transformation practice selling a combination of zillion products and services to make an organization digital ready. You can further add to the mix some boutique firms and big data startups as well eyeing for a piece of this puzzling pie :)
My question is simple what does it mean for an organization (large or small) to be digital ready from a CEOs perspective and is it a marketing problem or an IT problem or a people’s problem? Secondly, is there a framework that can be followed to make an organization digital ready?
(Works for a French data analytics and integration company in India)
To be honest, this is not my area of expertise. However, from my many years in the business, I will try to answer some of what I understand and relate to.
Digital readiness focuses on the enterprise to get closer to the right technology, and understanding what no longer works for the organisation and needs to be replaced or upgraded. It is a process for management to rigorously measure performance and embrace advancement in technology, to create impactful results in the organization.
The big difference between the companies that are just doing technology initiatives and are leading a technology-based transformation is how they’re putting transformation frameworks in place.
Let us take this step-by-step:
1. Digital Transformation begins with the team
Employees are a critical part of the digital transformation process. If employees are not on board it is undeniably impossible to shift the organization’s practices and processes. A vast majority of the businesses feel that change of management is a huge barrier to digital transformation. Moreover, successful changes depend on employee experiences.
2. Digital Transformation from Top to bottom
Since digital transformation will take over all aspects of business growth and success, it is right for a management to lead at the front-end in order to cultivate a digital culture found on the grounds of consistent change and innovation.
Now to the six critical components of modernisation that enable organisations to ‘digitise’ :
1. Modernise data centre platforms
2. Modernise data and information capabilities
3. Modernise networks
4. Modernise security
5. Modernise workspaces and working processes
6. Modernise IT operations
From here on, what is it that you must get right?
If you’re re-crafting your experiences around digital, how you enable your sales force, analytics, and everything else you put into your sales operations becomes really important. It’s easy to treat operations as an afterthought, but in a world where you’re leading with a digital customer experience and route to market, sales ops becomes mission critical.
What does this mean? It means you have to have automation, not only at the marketing level but also at the customer relationship management (CRM) level. It also means that you have to take your sales force off spreadsheets and actually put it into more scalable platforms.
One of the great hidden benefits of moving to an automated digital customer experience is all the potential you can unlock with data. For example, you can see what your customers are looking at, what their patterns are around this, and what product they should buy next.
Being able to capture that information on the back end, and then provide recommendation engines for your sales force or for your customers to be able to predict what product they need, are the types of capabilities that open up when transaction and exploration is on a digital platform.
Most important finally is for the organization to have a ‘digital ready culture’.
How do organizations go about making digital culture a core strategic pillar? It’s all about the people, both those who are within the organization and the customers who you serve. Digital-ready cultures tend to rate highly on seven core competencies:
1. Innovation – Risk taking, disruptive thinking and exploring new ideas.
2. Data-driven decision-making – Making better business decisions through data.
3. Collaboration – Creating cross-functional teams to make better use of skills available.
4. Open culture – Partnerships with external networks (for example, startups or customers).
5. Digital-first mindset – Digital ideas and solutions are the default option.
6. Flexibility – Dynamic decision making and adaptability to change.
7. Customer centricity – Using digital solutions to transform the customer experience.
As to your question about whether to use an IT firm or a consultancy firm to assist you in the process of getting digitally ready, there is no one answer. You will need to decide basis competencies of each available vendor.
This is all I can say with limited understanding of the subject. Perhaps you need to seek expert help for more.
Dear Mr Goyal,
I have been offered a position in our agency’s Singapore office. But the position on offer is actually the kind of work I used to do around five years ago.
The money is good. Being in Singapore may also be fun. I may get to travel around Asia quite often. But the profile of my new job is worrying me. Do advise.
Jyoti K. S.
If I were you, I would not worry too much about the content of the job on offer for now. Jobs in organizations are dynamic and most of the times take on newer and more exciting dimensions depending on how the incumbent performs in the assignment at hand. Most often the job grows. The individual grows too. Organisations load on more responsibilities and authority on those who show the ability to take on more.
If the job is pan-Asia, you will already have a wider canvas of work. More geographies mean more exposure, more experience, and enriched knowledge. You cannot undervalue that. In a way travel also is a big teacher. You not only learn about newer markets, but also get exposed to consumer behavior in different countries. This larger canvas of dealing with all of Asia also gives you the opportunity to better understand media vehicles, media options and media deliveries. So I would not say that the new position is a re-hash of what you were doing five years ago.
Singapore is very cosmopolitan. It is a fun place to work and live at. I am sure the working environment will be truly global and you will enjoy that.
Lastly, if the money is good, just do not hesitate. Sign up for the job and fly away. Enjoy!
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