Is there such a thing as a digital Transformation methodology?
According to Forbes magazine, 84 % of digital transformation processes fail. The reason: the attempt to fit in new digital applications with old structures and outdated processes. Digitalization makes true transformations possible, not just simple extensions of old habits.
According to Peter Drucker, there is nothing as useless as doing something obsolete efficiently.
What’s more, attempts at transformation usually arise from purely managerial perspectives, lacking a proper interpretation of the technological possibilities (and good managers are regarded as good precisely because they have operated efficiently using parameters of the past). Managers and consultants focus on digitally optimizing already existing processes, instead of leveraging new competitive advantages by taking advantage of the possibilities offered by digital technology. But we need to be aware of these possibilities. All innovation processes commence with a research phase: a detailed analysis of the possibilities (not only of current processes -we already know these well enough-) but of the pathways of technology and their convergence with the customer’s needs (often not explicit). The need arises to create a new mental model of the company immersed in a network of digital value, leaving aside old axioms and conditioning aspects of the former business model. Connociam has developed a specific methodology for addressing digital transformation processes which is structured in three phases:
- Interpretation/Analysis of the technology. It is absolutely essential to undertake a detailed analysis of the possibilities of technology. Not just what it can do today but what it will be able to do tomorrow. For example, if we are dealing with artificial intelligence, it can be applied to strategic decision making, market intelligence, knowledge management, personalization and engagement, autonomous interactions with the customers, and security and control, among other things… From there we can proceed to design a new map of potential digital value for our customers or users, generally with new sources of value and processes they previously didn’t imagine. As Steve Jobs said, it is not the customer’s job to invent the future.
- User Deconstruction/Analysis: Strip the user of all physical ties. Do away with restrictions and axioms. Come up with a mental picture of what would happen if we got rid of the current business contexts entirely, leaving the user bare and placing them at the centre. We need to challenge conventional wisdom. To travel around we may not need a driver (or a car of our own). To educate ourselves we don’t need a classroom or a teacher, not even a temporary stable place. To work we don’t need an office. To keep ourselves informed we don’t need paper. To socialize we don’t need to be present in person or physically near. To do the shopping we don’t need a supermarket, nor to go out, or set aside time. We don’t need a credit card to pay. To decide we don’t need to analyse data (perhaps a machine can help us do that). Question the entire sequence of current actions. Place the user at the centre, determine his/her pain points and see what can be digitally deleted. Replace all the concepts and physical assets (person, time, space, material or device) with digital functions and see what happens.
- Reconstruction/ Technology-user convergence: Let’s come up with a new, totally innovative and differential value proposal, replacing obsolete physical restrictions with digital functions, and incorporating new functions based on an analysis of technological pathways. Let’s invent digital gain points. A sales process can be adapted to the customer’s emotions through artificial intelligence, creating new digital experiences for the user. A data analysis process can be automated to generate scenarios on its own. A research process (R&D) can be accelerated through machine decisions, extracting patterns digitally based on physical observations. An educational process can be digitally sequenced and customised in time and space to suit with the user’s explicit needs. An identification process can be simplified using facial recognition technologies.
Interpreting, deconstructing and reconstructing are the phases of a research and action process (technologies and user research and coming up with new scenarios). This is a systematic, exploratory and essentially scientific process (based on evidence) that needs to be carried out with the utmost rigor like all research processes, and it must conclude with the work of a technology partner placed in charge of progressively implementing the digital value processes, in what constitutes a true digital journey that will turn digital transformation into a steady and progressive path that will lead our company towards digital leadership in the market.