Digital Transformation – Connection, Partnerships and Speed

 

In my last post, I highlighted the advice from top CEOs who spoke at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting on how to successfully undertake digital transformation. I shared how selected leaders plan to move the needle in the years ahead and what the enablers are to moving towards a digital culture. The question is, how do companies re-wire themselves to take advantage of a digital cloud based, mobile orientated world and leverage advanced technologies? I answer this question drawing on the leaders’ expertise; advocating a strategy of connection, partnerships and speed.

Gazing intensely into their respective crystal balls, Gartner, IDC, and Forrester have come up with predictions that I think provide a compelling introduction to the importance of digital transformation in 2016 and beyond: By 2018, 67% of the CEOs of Global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy. IDC expects that the percentage of enterprises creating advanced digital transformation initiatives will more than double by 2020, from today’s 22% to almost 50%. By 2020 almost 50% of IT budgets will be tied to digital transformation initiatives.

 

Connection

‘We have been connecting things to the internet since 1995, this is not new… the difference now is that those things that are connected to the internet are connected to each other’ (Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Shneider). ‘You need to connect things together so they can adapt together’. This is the crux of what mhub achieves; we provide the glue to hold people, processes and applications together in order to adapt together into a digital future. As I have said before, the question for 2016 is: how will you unlock the productivity improvements promised by the Office 365 and other toolkits and, crucially, what plans do you have to ensure that your people, devices and applications are connected to each other?

 

Partnerships

Many of the leaders discussed strategic partnerships as a means of successful and speedier transformation.  When referring to the cloud, Jean-Pascal Tricoire says ‘you can’t do everything alone, this world is prone to a lot of partnerships, you must choose the right partners and your success depends on you and that ecosystem you choose.’  He is asked the question of how to successfully undertake R&D and innovative disruption with a traditional/conservative workforce who can innovate but only in the way that they know how. Jean-Pascal chooses strategic partnerships such as smaller startups and agile companies ‘so that they inspire us and we create things together.’ At mhub, we can move quickly, fostering innovation and creativity that larger companies crucially need in the digital age. In turn, we can take advantage of the relative stability, risk mitigation and provision of a springboard to innovate on a larger scale from larger companies. This insight was echoed by Bernard J. Tyson (Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente) in the Healthcare industry where they have seventy plus years of legacy systems. ‘I am flying a plane today and I can’t turn stuff off. I have to balance what goes away and what stays connected.’ The key question for him is, ‘What should I not be doing and turning to other organisations on my behalf who can do this more effectively?’

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Speed

‘Speed is the new currency of business’ (Marc R. Benioff, CEO Salesforce). I concluded my last post with the advice from Meg Whitman HPE, ‘you can move faster than you think you can and don’t underestimate the organisation’s capability to move at speed.’ Your priority should be, ‘how you get to the cloud as fast as is humanly possible’, it is a race to get to the future first but with the right values. Meg continues, ‘if you do not have a destination, any road will take you there’. With hindsight she adds that HPE could have moved even faster, so she suggests ‘push until you see the cracks at the edge.’ Then it becomes a case of bringing along the organisation with you, which is where communication and technology to improve this becomes crucial. Mhub ensures that key messages cut through and reach everyone, on any device to ensure a collaborative culture and a mobile workforce that transforms together. Benioff points out that now, ‘the most dangerous place to make a decision is in the office. We have these incredible new devices and this is what makes everything faster – communication is happening faster and faster’.  We know we have to be more connected and we know that we have to move fast, the reality is that ‘if you’re not going fast enough, someone else is’. Technology enables speedier execution and connection to undertake a successful digital transformation programme. So, what are you waiting for?

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