“Digital” Transformation

transformationMany folks are talking about the ‘digital’ transformation that is happening across many industries and businesses today.  These folks mention digital transformation as if its something new or different than any other transformation project that companies have had to undergo through their lifetimes.

Last week I read a post titled “Why most digital transformation projects will fail (and how to make sure yours doesn’t)” written by Martin Gill, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research.   Martin provides a very good overview of why he believes most digital transformations will fail (and I agree wholeheartedly with everything he writes).

The interesting thing about Martin’s article is that he doesn’t focus on the ‘digital’ aspect of the transformation. This is significant because transformation isn’t really anything new. Companies have had to transform their business models or they’ve died.  Digital transformation is nothing special olr new…its just another change that companies have to undergo to remain competitive.

They key for ensuring a successful transformation of any kind is proper change management. Whether that transformation is a digital transformation or the ‘next’ transformation to come along, if you can’t implement a well managed and properly planned change management project, your transformation project will fail.

At the end of his article, Martin gives his advice for ensuring your digital transformation project succeeds. He writes:

The way organizations have been planning and managing large-scale change is no longer fit for purpose.

We need a new approach. An iterative, customer-centric, and agile approach. One in which your digital strategy is engaging, easily consumable by all your key stakeholders, compelling, and, above all, responsive to the inevitable change we all face.

Notice that he leads off by stating that the key priority for ensuring success is a quality change management approach.  He doesn’t talk about getting buy-in for ‘digital’ or some other topic…he talks about the importance of change management.

If you want to ensure your digital transformation project (or any other transformation project) succeeds, make sure you have a good idea in how to enact change within your organization. Without proper change management, any transformation you undertake is doomed to failure.

IT Transformation – or just remaining agile and ready for change?

Business-Transformation-Badge3.pngWe’ve been living with the “IT Transformation” phrase for quite a while. I remember hearing and reading about how IT groups were ‘transforming’ themselves from what they used to be to what they needed to be in the future.

The problem that I’ve found with transformation is that we’re usually too busy ‘transforming’ ourselves and teams rather than focused on the business issues of the day. There’s no question that transformation had to occur in the past and has to occur today and into the future. We have to find a way to focus on the ‘new’ technologies and solutions while at the same time keeping in mind the business value these changes bring.

The transformation of IT is a necessity. Always has been and always will be. That said, don’t let a focus on ‘transformation’ take up so much of your time and energy that you forget to actually deliver value to the business.

The key to managing the ever-changing IT landscape is to make sure you and your team remain agile and ready for change. Staying agile makes it easier for you and your team to deliver the value your organization needs today and that they will need tomorrow.

If you focus on transforming your team to be where you need to be next year, you might find yourself (and team) behind the curve when it comes to being ready to deliver business value 2 years from now.

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