Turning digital transformation from vision to reality in 2018

Published on the 23/01/2018 | Written by David Rosen

Digital transformation vision_TIBCO

This is the year digital transformation evolves from vision to reality, writes TIBCO’s David Rosen…

Disruption in a variety of forms is commonplace in many sectors, as technologies such as cognitive systems, the Internet of Things, robotics, and augmented and virtual reality continue to develop. Each brings opportunities as well as complexities.

These changes spotlight the importance of attracting and retaining core technical skills. They also highlight the need for systems that drive real-time, secure and data-driven decision-making. Both elements are needed to create a foundation that can deliver superior customer experiences.

“Organisations need to live and breathe the same level of flexibility and innovation that underpins their service offerings.”

These requirements cannot be met on a reactive, piecemeal basis. Instead, an organisation needs to live and breathe the same level of flexibility and innovation that underpins its service offerings. This enables it to act immediately on available information, so finding instant answers becomes the ‘new normal’.

Embracing the changes
These far-reaching changes mean digital transformation must be embraced both technically and culturally within an organisation. It must be facilitated by the choice of analytic tools and platforms employed and brought to life by the endeavours of all staff.

From a technical perspective, this goes beyond implementing business intelligence tools and involves securing a level of interconnection which spans every element of the business to augment intelligence and create a seamless and cohesive ecosystem.

Intuitively designed data visualisations which highlight areas of opportunity foster collaboration across teams and provides an opportunity for organisation-wide feedback. It’s only through greater accessibility that analytics can be opened to a far wider demographic and integrated into day-to-day business operations and decisions, so it becomes part of organisational DNA.

This fuels momentum that generates more value and impact, and empowers the wider workforce. Crucially, more easily-derived and better understood insights give context – something that is vital to better understanding customers and their motivations.

Fostering a culture
But the mechanics are only part of the equation. Fostering an open culture where people are encouraged and rewarded for asking questions, sharing ideas, and thinking of better ways to do things can be one of the greatest challenges of all. As an ethos, it is contrary to the heavily siloed and hierarchical approaches that have defined the traditional workplace for so long. This must be remedied.

Pockets of the business that do not talk to each other or share valuable insights can be just as damaging as legacy systems incompatible with the latest technology. It’s why, for example, data scientists need to be business savvy as well as technical experts. They need to be able to ‘get’ business needs and not be divorced from the wider organisation.

The importance of leadership
Analytics are the perfect complement to business logic, and have a vital role to play in improving it as they enhance understanding of the organisation and the market by presenting the big picture.

Reaping optimal rewards, however, demands deft application. No software can be expected to fulfil its promise operating in silos of the business or without a defined strategy and clearly identified issues and opportunities to act upon.

Organisational leadership is pivotal role to ensure there are no human barriers to digital transformation. This begins by communicating changes and new processes in a straightforward and accessible manner, understood at all levels of the organisation. Crucially, it is necessary to demonstrate how strategy, technology, and analytics are interconnected as one coherent ecosystem.

Digital transformation creates disruption and causes a shift to a more fluid, start up-style business model. In short, it’s a learning curve that demands experimentation and resources – something that effective leaders must encourage if the full potential is to be reaped.

It’s only by empowering employees to understand, decide, and act on this data that an organisation will can leverage its workforce’s collective intelligence to make a real difference in its operations. Make 2018 the year your organisation achieves this goal.


David Rosen is Digital Strategist at TIBCO

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