Businesses are talking the digital transformation talk. Are you? And do you mean it? It takes work and innovative leadership to reimagine your business in times of change, especially for the new economy. Look at leaders like Tesla who opened new electric automotive industries or Lear Corporation who are redesigning the future of manufacturing. While you can’t always control what changes are on the horizon, you can be certain that your leadership is essential to cultivate a business environment that’s open to change and growth.
Driving the future of IT is not relegated to keeping the lights on. If you underutilize your IT team’s talents by holding them captive in the back of the office, you are most likely missing the boat. Shifting and realigning your priorities may be an intimidating feat. Your business isn’t likely to remain vibrant if you aren’t able to invest in a commitment to digital transformation. What is the risk you’re willing to take? Losing talented employees to other businesses who are willing to invest in their internal IT? Or investing the time and energy required to build out a more robust digital strategy?
- Know transformation is possible: Experian, the largest consumer credit reporting agency, has undergone a digital transformation by evolving into a strategic partner. They’re a technology company, to an extent. What can you learn from Experian’s transformation, and how can you apply it to your business? As Inc writes, “Help your organization’s leaders understand how customers want to access information, and decide what type of products should be built based on that understanding.” Both companies, long established leaders in their industry, took strategic risks. Ultimately, their strategies helped streamline their process, which improved efficiency.
Flex, the country’s largest electronics manufacturer, has transformed its company to adapt to the IoT — the “Intelligence of Things.” According to Inc, not only is Flex “building, but also designing, innovating and scaling the connected world that we live in … they are building the next generation supply chain to more seamlessly connect thousands of suppliers globally — a move others could emulate to improve the experience for suppliers, and ultimately increase productivity.”
- Determine the obstacles: Before transformation can happen, identify the barrier that’s getting in the way of the next step for your business. According to a survey led by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, the main hurdle standing between your business and digital progress is competing priorities. Strategy, not technology is what drives innovation and digital transformation. Help your IT team focus on the digital transformation and lean on an IT partner to take care of your basic needs. As you consider a strategy to transform, define engagements and metrics and how your ideal IT partner can help you to reach your company’s overarching goal.
- Purposefully shift priorities: Make a plan to shift your priorities. Work with your IT partner to take the weight of the “back of office” IT off your team’s plate. Empower your team to think bigger picture and support your business strategy. Shifting priorities can take up time as various roles will need to be redefined and will require some getting used to, especially if there are added responsibilities. But that investment is worth it.
Your digital transformation needs to be meaningful, an article in McKinsey titled “The CEO’s role in leading transformation” advises. “People will go to extraordinary lengths for causes they believe in, and a powerful transformation story will create and reinforce their commitment. The ultimate impact of the story depends on the CEO’s willingness to make the transformation personal, to engage others openly, and to spotlight successes as they emerge.”
Read our other posts in this series on IT teams here.