Digital transformation requires participants to have a vision for and understanding of what they are trying to achieve and why. In fact, the lack of a clear digital strategy is the second biggest mistake companies make in digital transformation, right behind moving too slowly, according to the middle managers we surveyed. Digital strategies, however, should evolve out of a documented, enterprise-focused digital transformation "doctrine."
The purpose of a digital transformation doctrine is to create a unified understanding of why digital transformation is needed. An organization's doctrine should influence its strategy, its operating model and the tactics it uses to compete. A simple example of a doctrine could be:
The digital transformation of our marketplace is changing the behaviors of our customers and the nature of our competition. We must embrace and respond to these changes by creating a digitally agile business, and employing digital technologies and strategies. We will achieve transformation and information dominance by investing appropriately in an optimized information logistics system. We will restructure our organizations for business agility, speed and real-time decision-making. We will develop a culture that encourages collaboration, innovation and creativity.
The justification for the pain and stress of digital transformation is to compete at a higher level. Digitally-transformed enterprises have fully functioning "digital nervous systems" consisting of sensors, mobile devices, technology-enabled people, shared situational awareness, networked applications, automated data collection, optimized processes, advanced analytics and a centralized OILS. This system provides full visibility, in real-time, into system changes that require a response from humans and/or bots. This awareness enables leaders to make data-centric decisions and implement automated bots using AI to speed up responses to data triggers.
PG&E is a great example of a company with such a doctrine and an accompanying "digital nervous system." PG&E supports 50 million customers with 1,500 distributed work crews managed from 67 different locations using separate software applications and databases. With this scale of customer service operations, PG&E's pre-digital infrastructure was highly stretched and brittle. Each dispatcher's visibility and authority was limited only to the local work crew's schedules, which resulted in poor and inefficient resource allocation, slow responses to major events and high administrative costs. To solve these inefficiencies, PG&E redesigned its business strategy and IT infrastructure by implementing an OILS, including cybersecurity, mobile, telematics and IoT systems, and consolidating all of its dispatching and field services management into two centralized centers, which were standardized on a shared software solution for scheduling. The results: Management now has centralized control over workforce scheduling and can accurately measure work crew utilization. With these capabilities, management can move work crews between different regions for optimal efficiency; dispatch is now consolidated to two offices (from a previous 67); and the company is standardized on one solution that can be enhanced and upgraded in a uniform manner.
It's important that all participants understand not only what digital transformation is, but what it means for your business and what the endgame looks like.
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About Kevin Benedict Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services.
He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.
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