Although we often write about and discuss digital transformation, we often fail to identify the end goal we are really trying to achieve. We talk at great length about data, analytics, speed, information logistics systems and personalized user experiences, but none of these are the end goal. Ultimately we must digitally transform so we can remove the “fog of war,” and have clear visibility and insights into our businesses, our customers’ requirements and our competitors, but that’s not even the end goal. The end goal of digital transformation is the ability to rapidly act and react to changing data, competitive conditions and strategies fastest enough to succeed.
Knowledge is nothing, if not tied to action. In a recent survey of 500 managers, they reported the number one mistake companies are making in digital transformation is moving too slow. They may have all the necessary information and strategies, but if they are incapable of acting or reacting fast enough to matter, then it is wasted. Digital transformation includes the information logistics systems capable of collecting, analyzing and reporting data fast enough to be useful, plus the ability to act and react in response.
The ability to respond, may involve transforming many different IT systems, business processes and organizational structures to facilitate business agility and speed. It will likely take a lot of work and strong leadership. This unfortunately is not always available as managers surveyed list employing the wrong leadership for digital transformation as the third biggest mistake companies make.
Is the ROI (return on investment) for digital transformation worth all the trouble? The answer is found in a recent survey we conducted involving 2,000 executives where they identified the top 5 ways digital transformations drives value generation as follows:
Accelerates speed to market
Strengthens competitive positioning
Boosts revenue growth
Raises employee productivity
Expands ability to acquire, engage and retain customers
A quick review of the top 5 show they are critical. The number one value generator is “accelerates speed to market,” in other words it enables faster actions and reactions.