No Digitization without Agility

No Digitization without Agility - Why the Agile Mindset and Methods are the basis for a Successful Digital Transformation

For anything to start with, vision plays a major role. Likewise, to continue with the rich venture of digital transformation, the presence of vision for doing so is as mandatory as finances. It is said rightly that, where there is a will, there is a way. This proverb defines the basis for any such rich ventures. According to the Gartner survey, 29% of Chief Information Officers in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria thinks that digital transformation is their key business priority. Critics say that such a low percentage is usually supported by the lack of resources for such ventures in this region. It is therefore seen that they are more reluctant towards designing a business model that pivots on digital transformation rather than leading such efforts.

However, for those organizations that are looking forward to embracing digital transformation in their business models, they need to establish clarity on the vision. Their business model should envision them to embrace such sort of digital transformation which shall enable them to measure their business progress, and where required, make real-time adjustments to improve the end results. For example, given the high implications of data lakes, i.e., a bundle of data streams, they should select relevant business analytics tools that shall give them not only the accurate information but shall also equip them only with that data which is mandatory and relevant. It is thus the responsibility of the senior management to create and ensure the fluency and proper communication of the future digital vision.

Digital transformation is basically analogous to a never-ending journey. Continuous follow-ups and integration models are formulated and revised to reach the end target. In this pursuit, fundamental changes are put forward to achieve transformation. These changes leverage the use of technology for better situation analysis and decision making. But to stop this transformation onto just the technological front is a mistake. Such a transformation venture demand change of leadership, connecting business silos and improving the overall external as well as the internal structure of the organization. The way of doing so with the aid of technology is what defines the digital transformation. In this blog, we will put light on the approach and importance of agile digital transformation and how digital agility techniques can aid in digital transformation.

Relevance of Agile in Digital Transformation

Since there exist cross-platform and comprehensive integration processes to leverage transformation, some counter-disruptive techniques are required. Something is required which is capable of keeping up pace with the prevalent and forthcoming disruptions. Nothing but agile is the only way forward to bring up digital transformation. Based on its iterative approach towards project management, agile has the right credentials to put forward any sought digital transformation ventures.

Digital MAster

It is a quite well-known fact that whenever transformations are sought, many challenges come unasked. Especially in the case when sought transformation roams around digitalization, a lot of challenges are expected to be confronted. So, with the adoption of agile methodologies, one can constantly get the chance to continuously work within the regular cycles of changes. Furthermore, the constant adaption model allows organizations to perceive the fruits of successful digital transformation. It is indeed quite certain that the adoption of an agile mindset is not the key to thrive through a digital transformation, but also leverages organizations to survive through digital transformation. Digital agility approaches not just smoothen digital transformation but also enables to handle other crisis management.

PRINCIPLES OF AGILE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Given the gravity of the digital transformation, there is no doubt in establishing the efficacy of the agility for such ventures. The agile digital transformation drives successful digital transformation based on the five principles which promise continuous innovation. Such transformations require radical changes in business models and let organizations to measure capabilities through the spectrum of available resources and the required changes over time. By complying with these five principles, organizations can undergo digital transformation by launching the initiatives, learning those initiatives, analyzing these initiatives, identify the loopholes, and re-launching of these initiatives with respect to identified loopholes. These comprehensive initiatives let organizations to swiftly react to the altering market conditions and meet customer needs.

Following is the detailed explanation of five principles of Agile Digital transformation:

1

Transformation Vision

For anything to start with, vision plays a major role. Likewise, to continue with the rich venture of digital transformation, the presence of vision for doing so is as mandatory as finances. It is said rightly that, where there is a will, there is a way. This proverb defines the basis for any such rich ventures. According to the Gartner survey, 29% of Chief Information Officers in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria thinks that digital transformation is their key business priority. Critics say that such a low percentage is usually supported by the lack of resources for such ventures in this region. It is therefore seen that they are more reluctant towards designing a business model that pivots on digital transformation rather than leading such efforts.

However, for those organizations that are looking forward to embracing digital transformation in their business models, they need to establish clarity on the vision. Their business model should envision them to embrace such sort of digital transformation which shall enable them to measure their business progress, and where required, make real-time adjustments to improve the end results. For example, given the high implications of data lakes, i.e., a bundle of data streams, they should select relevant business analytics tools that shall give them not only the accurate information but shall also equip them only with that data which is mandatory and relevant. It is thus the responsibility of the senior management to create and ensure the fluency and proper communication of the future digital vision.

In addition to vision, embracing digital transformation as a token of culture is also important. Like in conventional means, culture binds communities and different sectors irrespective of their background. Similarly, promoting the essence of digital culture creates an environment in the organization where everyone feels connected to the sheer concept of digital transformation. This analogy with culture shall enable all employees to perceive the digital transformation in a way as they perceive their culture. With the help of digital culture, people in the organization will interact, adapt, and evolve with the aid of technology thereby making it easier for organizations to pursue ventures like digital transformation.

2

Formulation of Digital Customer Engagement

Customer engagement platforms have changed a lot. Now knock-at-door policy won’t work. For customer engagement, digital channels are inevitable to be adopted. There are various reasons for such adoptions. First of all, digital presence would enable you to get customer’s feedback right across your screen. Secondly, more reliance on digital platforms shall motivate customers to be more engaging with your product, thereby forcing them to connect with you digitally.

This the reason those companies who are stern on their digital presence are in a much better place to follow up on customer engagement initiatives. Therefore, based on this feedback, they better develop their products as per customer’s requirements. However, digital customer engagement is entirely different than that of conventional marketing and digital ventures. Following are some of the characteristics which must be made part of digital customer engagement initiatives for agile digital transformation:

  • Typical marketing projects are built on the principles of Customer Relationship Management, also known as CRM, along with back-office marketing automation. But for the digital transformation to be put forward as per agile principles, digital technology should be formulated on the basis of the front-end customer experience.
  • There are plenty of tools and set of applications that enable organizations to enable automation in the digital ecosystem so as to gather customer data from multiple platforms, such as mobile, cloud, and social data.
  • The digital customer engagement should encourage new opportunities for growth. By this, it is not meant that new digital features should be launched. Instead, the course of digitalization should be formulated in a way where it can be assessed that how adaptive is this product from the customer’s point of view.

There is an important consideration that is very imperative while formulating customer engagement platforms. As per the agile approach, companies should devise customer engagement methodologies or platforms from the customer’s perspective. Though relevant studies may give a starting point to dwell into customer engagement ventures but customer preferences get change at a much fast pace. There is an old customer service teaching which says that “customer is always right”. In this lieu, whether it is a design thinking process, brainstorming sprint, or the formulation of feedback loops for better customer engagement, customer-centric approach should remain a key determinant. One good example is to include customer feedback or viewpoint in the product strategy or development stage.

3

Supporting Digital Transformation by the use of Secure Digital Platforms

Now with the abundance of digital platforms, companies have established their market by way of mobile applications and web-interfaces. With the emergence of technologies like cloud computing, a great degree of feasibility has been included in the business plans. Such high use of digital platforms has given birth to some of the new digital platform features such as Application Program Interfaces (APIs). With the agile landscape of digital transformation, these digital platforms are allowing companies to shape their business plans in a way where they can rapidly develop next-generation customers as well as market-based solutions.

Though such digital platforms are allowing companies to proceed towards digital transformation in an agile way but such feasibilities pose a greater risk too. Out of all these risks, security is the hottest one. This token of care forces organizations to emphasize on risk management strategies. The risk management should be abrupt enough to rapidly detect any intrusion and respond well in time. Thus, in this lieu, the principle pertaining to secure digital platforms is a key to the digital transformation while complying with the agile methodologies.

4

Data-driven Visualization

By the time you identify the skills your staff needs to develop your Digital Culture is already getting to a step of consciousness that many companies often don’t even reach. Then, do not fear to train your staff in certain fields or even invite an outer professional to teach your staff important skills and knowledge about the constantly growing and evolving technology and its working culture.

 

One of the key principles of agile data transformation is data-driven visualization. The organizations who look forward to entering into digital transformation generally include data-driven visualization methods in their business plan. These organizations do not just collect data instead they visualize data in a way where they can generate insights. Since constant reviews and completing product cycle in the minimum time along with customer adaptability is the core driving force of agile methodologies. So, this data-driven visualization enables companies to transform their business models digitally with the aid of Agile methods. Conventional businesses involve traditional sales transactional data. But this data does not provide complete insight and thus lack multiple dimensions which could provide eloquent demographic, attitudinal, and analytical insights.

Since data visualization aids executives and stakeholders to view complex data in a more accessible and easy way so they get in a better position to read this complex data. Such accessibility offers them with the technology-oriented decision making, reduced effort, enhanced capabilities, and around the clock data visualization.

 

5

Embracing Digital Agility

Market conditions and customer preferences tend to change in a very uncertain way. This is the reason many business leaders are reluctant in pursuing expensive projects. Typically, non-agile business models adopt non-integrated and disconnected platforms for the projects having a lifecycle varying between 6 to 18 months. Owing to such long lifecycles, by the time project is completed either customer preferences could change or return on investment as well as other success criteria get changed to an adverse degree.

However, these pitfalls can be avoided if a company decides to incorporate digital agility. Such adoptions would let companies take maximum benefits of operational and market changes as their routine work while maintaining their digital presence. Digital agility enables companies to evolve continuously on digital patterns. Such evolutions are put forward on the basis of the previous results and feedbacks.

In their typical essence, digital agility initiatives are spanned over the sprint of 30 days where new iterations are built in a much faster way along with much better development cycles. Such sprints allow companies to constantly experiment and employ adaptability to assess their relevance. The cycle being driven on the concepts of learning, launching, re-learning, and re-launching refines the iterative approaches. Thus, with such stringent exercises, companies continue to evolve in this digital transformation phase while remaining agile. The modern business models require agility to be an essential part. Especially in the paradigm of digital transformation, companies should have an awareness of agile methods. Afterward, they should know about executing their business model in an agile way and then managing governance and innovation in an agile way.

Agility in digital Transformation

Conclusion

In the times when large repositories of data exist, also known as data lakes, organizations cannot operate in the ways they used to operate in the past. Today, data analytics are an essential part of any business. From big companies such as Google, Amazon, Oracle to new startups, data is what defines them and provides them with the key to success. In an entrepreneur language, it is never too early for the companies to set up a data lake. The reason lies in its attribute of holding the future defining capabilities for any digitally transforming company. Nowadays, data is not just we used to transfer via flash drives or SSDs. Now, these binary sets of information define the organization’s future.

With such a swarm of data, it is not easy for the companies to enter into comprehensive ventures like digital transformation. However, owing to the multidimensional and cross-platform integration and collaborative attributes of agile methodologies, it is now quite comprehendible for the companies to adopt digital transformation. However, the success depends on the clarity pertaining to agility and its degree of relevance to a particular business model where digital transformation is sought. Nevertheless, the five principles of Agile Digital Transformation are the keys to any business model to transform their business digitally. From the basic organizational changes to the technology procurement to real-time customer engagement platforms, it has everything that a company would need to get transformed digitally. Indeed, it can very well be concluded that; No Digitization without Agility.

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