Moving From Digital Transformation To Continuous Improvement
Randy Mizzoni, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing
February 24, 2021
Digital Transformation has been on the agenda of many corporate leaders for the past few years. Many emerging technologies, including cloud-based services, have the potential to fundamentally change how your company delivers products or services. In many cases, we really are talking about a transformation rather than an incremental improvement or upgrade.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to explore transformation for a number of reasons. Some companies were forced to rapidly pivot and adopt a new operating model just to survive. Some found they were forced to change just to keep up as rivals quickly adapted to the new business environment. Others just found that ideas they had been kicking the tires on were suddenly brought into focus – a crisis is always the best time to introduce change because suddenly doing nothing looks like the more dangerous option.
If you browse through what all the big management consultants are publishing right now there is one word that leaps off the screen – resilience. So many companies faced a severe challenge to their normal operating model in 2020 there is now a very strong focus on building resilience and the ability to ride out uncertainty rather than finding that your business is overpowered by it.
McKinsey is a good example. It’s also clear from their commentary that resilience is very closely connected to agility and dynamism. Your business needs to be able to adapt to new situations quickly if it is to be resilient.
Cloud-based services now underpin most corporate strategies focused on resilience. If your business processes, office applications, and storage are entirely based in a cloud then you can be extremely flexible about workforce distribution. The companies that coped best with the early stay-at-home orders were the ones that could say to their team – go home, login, and carry on doing what you would normally be doing, just now it’s from your kitchen table.
Building resilience is more than just ensuring your systems are flexible and available from a cloud, but this is a great start. You will also need to work on corporate culture and find ways of managing a distributed workforce that move on from just replicating in-person processes to apps.
Many of these requirements are going to feed into a 2021 digital transformation strategy, but I would sound a word of warning because much of the advice on transformation focuses on the end point. Plan the future state for your business and the systems you are using then work back and create a road map to the future. The problem is that the future will constantly be changing.
Don’t build a digital transformation strategy, build a continuous transformation strategy or call it continuous improvement. Your business will always need to flex and adapt to your customers, the market, and your competition, so grand visions of where you will be in three years are close to useless. What you need is to build the ability to always transform and adapt exactly when your business needs to do so.
But don’t just take my word for it, send me a direct message on LinkedIn. What’s the best advice you have seen that focuses on how to manage digital transformation and resilience?
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