How to transform your business to a digital platform

When taking your business from a traditional IT model to a modern digital platform there are 3 key areas to review: Customer First, a Platform for Talent and New Ways of working.

Let’s review each one in turn to understand the key business factors that will make or break your digital transformation….

1) CUSTOMER FIRST
The key pinch point for business growth with a digital platform is to develop a customer first digital strategy.

The focus is to create a digital infrastructure that always supports customer’s needs. This includes delivering information to customers, using business intelligence and smart data analytics, to constantly improve the service to customers.

The CIO must harness technology as a tool, connecting internal users and customers to one another and the right information. For this, the CIO must provide the company with the infrastructure and information strategy, powered by smart data analytics, to enable new types of connections that provide new ways of sharing information to drive improved engagement with customers and prospects.

For example, existing connections such as mobile engagement, web based access and cloud based software need to be extended to drive new commercial insights to support a personalised service with real time customer engagement.

In addition, with data being the new golden thread for the modern digital economy, there needs to be a robust and well controlled security model that controls access and data usage across all users and stakeholders. This week we have seen a significant cyber-attack with the WannaCry ransomware virus, that can be traced back to the US National Security Agency, affecting organisations around the world, reminding us only too well of the susceptibility of our modern digital infrastructure.

Any IT platform has its risks that need to be actively managed, but a customer first digital infrastructure has the benefit of enabling us to be closer to our customers, delivering a personalised service with improved real-time engagement.

2) PLATFORM FOR TALENT
The skills required to be effective in the new digital data fuelled economy are shifting as the new language focuses on customers and the financial bottom line.

To proactively manage the skills gap CIOs should develop a platform for talent, creating a digitally proficient workforce by utilising key processes such a talent improvement, staff retention and benefits engagement, alongside focused training and development.

Hiring the right staff is paramount and the technology organisation needs to be smart about developing the skills with the current state to prepare them for the new technology challenge. For example, a key priority will be to build a team that can accelerate the technology value across the organisation and spark innovation with skills such as business relationship managers, data scientists and API developers.

3) NEW WAYS OF WORKING
The key to creating a new digital eco system is introducing new ways of working to develop an innovative and nimble culture that’s willing to take risks and move at a faster pace. This includes adapting an agile approach and putting innovation front and centre.

To successfully transform your business to a digital platform requires the need to embrace the new ways of working to become an agent of change in the new digital economy.

In 2014 Gartner introduced the term BiModal IT to reflect a 2-speed technology delivery model: Mode 1 is slow, steady and methodical, whilst Mode 2 is fast-moving and bleeding edge. Much attention has been given to the disruptive and innovative “Mode 2” teams building on the practices established by web-scale giants like Amazon, and Google.

Whilst Bimodal might appear to be a new word, it’s now a new idea that’s been embraced by the industry.

Bimodal and in particular Mode 2 is being further refined and developed with methodologies such as Agile development and Dev Ops to deliver increased velocity and software quality. These new methodologies provide well documented and best practice to introduce new ways of working that increase the agility and innovation of technology development in a digital marketplace.

These 3 key areas focus on accelerating your digital transformation: Customer First benefits the customer with the speed of information, a Platform for Talent supports the business with the speed of learning and New Ways of Working provides innovation and agility for speed of development. Combined they provide a modern digital platform that will not only support but also strengthen your digital business transformation.

 

IAN ALDERTON
Email : ian@IanAlderton.com
Tel : +44 (0) 7702 777770

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