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Are you Digital Ready - Vision?

The Digital Ready Model explores the foundations to achieve true digital innovation and the capabilities that your organisation need to have in place to achieve the transformation you are aiming for.

Below we will cover the "Vision" quadrant of the Digital Ready Model:

  • How do you create a vision for your digital innovation program that ensures buy in and support from both top management and the rest of the organisation?
  • Which steering guidelines and targets needs to be defined to match the digital strategy with the business target and vision?
  • Which carrots and/or sticks should be used to motivate and drive this transformation program?
Digital Ready Model

A transformation

Maybe this is the first lesson to be learned. A project for digital transformation or digital innovation is first and foremost a transformation project and not an IT project. Just some new IT tooling, systems or platform will not solve your digital challenges of today or in the future.

Digital transformation and innovation is about using the support of modern platforms and concepts to incorporate IT as part of your core business and use these to innovate on new ways to do business, redesign processes or improve the value of your products or services. It is about your organisations ability to implement a new culture and way of working to utilise new digital capabilities that will really make a difference and pay dividend in the end.

Target definition

To be successful with your digital innovation initiative, you will need a clear target to work towards. This target should of course be inline with the organisations overall objectives and should ideally be defined by the top management. If you keep the target of the digital innovation program inline with the organisations overall objective and make sure that the program is set up to support the corporate vision, you will ensure to have the crucial support and attention of your top management team.

This support will in turn make your life much easier when it comes to create interest, set priorities and buy in from the rest of your organisation. If the digital innovation program is not clearly aligned with the corporate vision you might face a situation where you are on your own and it will be much harder to get the all so important management backing that is crucial to the success of your program.

This is why one of the most important success criteria of your digitaliInnovation initiative is to have clear and explicitly defined business targets that are inline with the corporate vision.

IT as core business

We are currently living in the era of the digital revolution. This means that most organisations and corporations find themselves in a state of constant change and a need to rapidly adapt to new challenges and opportunities. Organisations must adapt to stay competitive and this at a rate that is unprecedented. This is really the ”survival of the fittest” in many industries.

The way to do this is to start looking at things a bit differently. One of the key factors to be able to adopt over time is to move perspective from being ”app centric” to go ”data centric”. Basically this means that the value in many businesses in the future will lay in the value of their data and being able to utilise this in a way that enables the organisation to adapt. To achieve this organisations need to work to ”unlock” information assets to allow the organisation and its members to innovate around it.

This can be done in many ways. You might choose to use AI powered tools to make intelligent analysis on data and relations that you were not able to exploit earlier, it might be to use increase the accuracy of your forecasts or predictions, you might be able to predict the behaviour of your customers or just share data with your partners and customers to build tighter and more profitable relations.

No matter what is most important in your use case, you need to unlock data to be able to meet the digital demand of your customers, partners, employees and other stakeholders.

Case for change

Creating a vision is about setting a well defined target for whatever you are doing to get buy in and support from the key stakeholders of whatever you want to achieve. This is nothing different for a Digital Innovation initiative. The vision for your digital innovation journey should be well defined and answer to the ”Why...” question from everybody that has an interest in the project (well played that should be basically everybody in your organisation and hopefully a couple of externals also in the shape of customers and partners).

The case for change should also include a statement on the consequences if we do not move ahead and deliver on this initiative. Maybe we risk being overrun by new competition, loose ability to manueveur or decrease our ability to adapt to the surrounding world. Whatever the consequences are, these should also be described as the will help you build your case and establish the all so important support and backing from both management and other key stakeholders of your project.

For, as with all transformation projects, there will be bumps and challenges ahead and when these occur, you will understand the value of clearly defined vision for your Digital Innovation initiative and the backing from management.

Written by Fredrik Svensson