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How Is the Survival Warfare Digital Now? or Do you really need a Digital transformation?

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How Is the Survival Warfare Digital Now? or Do you really need a Digital transformation?

Neha Agarwal, Head- Alliances, CMS IT Service, 0

Neha is a Sales and Alliance expert by profession, Collaborator by passion and on a Mission to support 1 million women on their career journey. She brings in strategy, execution, and service integration to build large deals. She is adept at co-creating solutions and scaling ecosystems. She is on a mission of empowering 1 million women in their career journeys in the next 3 years through community collaborations. LeanIn Regional Leader.

Who should care to read this article? What is in it for you?
Anyone keen to learn from my journey with clients who failed vs those who succeeded will be a good read.
The article will answer the following questions –
•How to do a Digital Transformation
•Why should every client not Digitally Trans-form? If you are not willing to do a full war, don’t jump in. Wars are brutal.
•Why it takes the entire nation (read company) to become one for the war (read Digital Transformation) vs one software procured by the IT department.
•What is the ideal pace of transformation?
Digital is not a thing. It is not a business outcome. It is not a strategy or a technology or a person. Digital efforts when you focus on any of these things in isolation.

So, what can you do to give your Digital Transformation effort the best chance of succeeding? Think of it as a war and cover each component as it is covered in a war preparation, as suggested by Chinese visionary Sun Tzu-
•War Strategy - Digital Strategy based on your market position
•People of the nation & end-state for them - Employee & Customer Engagement for cultural change
•Securing the King & Civilians - Risk analysis & mitigation as you would be challenging status quo
•War Process & Innovative weapons - The New Processes & Innovation that will have to be embraced
•The Guns, Tanks & Fighter Jets - The Technology that will enable the change
•Food & Essential Supplies - The Cash to burn (Yes funding keeps the lights on)
•Daily reporting of War & Enemy Intelligence - Data & Analytics Dashboards to constantly review the progress & plan course correction.

Like war, Digital Transformation is going to impact the
entire company. Hence it cannot be an IT project alone. All departments have to be a part of this warfare. Just like war cannot be fought without a strategy, Digital Transformation cannot start without a Digital strategy and your vision of a better future. Once you define that, the next step is to prepare the people for the change. The vision of a better future will inspire every employee, and every customer but the change will be painful. It will require adaptation to new processes. Hence identifying the champions in every business area and empowering them will be essential.

What type of weapons will you need? How much innovation will be essential? Can you go with a tested or tried approach or should you think out of the box and bet on a new solution? These are questions that are on every CIO’s mind. There is no straight formula-based answer to that. But your business goals and current market position can help you decide that.

For example, if currently, you are in a position of competitive disadvantage in your market, and your market share is dropping, you will need SoS change. Otherwise, your sales team will be constantly under pressure, and will not able to differentiate your offerings.

In this situation, you will need visionary leadership, a team of cross-department commanders, complete management buy-in, and regular review to drive the change. It will require a fair amount of risk-taking, resource allocation, and temporary disruption in business as usual. Data and competition analysis will be crucial in deciding which processes to attack first.

If you are not ready to go full hog or bear temporary disruption, you may be better off cutting costs to show profitability temporarily and prepare a better plan for the future.

If you are in a position of competitive advantage or moving to a position of market dominance you will have to look at a radically different way of doing things that others cannot emulate. You can do this by collaborating with other innovators, or co-develop new solutions powered by emerging tech players. This is the type of innovation that will be slow in the be-ginning but soon will be able to give you exponential results. The leadership here will have to be innovation & collaboration based. Tested and tried solutions will just not meet your requirement in this space.

So, if your existence is in threat, you will have to be quick in your Digital Transformation initiatives, and if you are in a position of dominance you can be slow & experimental in your approach initially.

Digital transformation is not merely a cost that a company incurs. Today it is essential for the survival of your business. If you are already surviving, it can make you thrive Unlike war, avoiding it costs a fortune!!

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