Why you can’t outsource transformation and need ultra-transformation

By Zenobia Hegde

Starting my technology career in the late 1980s I have been fortunate to experience and be part of several waves of digital transformation and the impact this has had on organisations, countries, employees and consumers, writes Chris Minas, the founder and CTO of Nimbletank.

Evolving from mainframes to networks, to client server applications, to frame relay networks – the internet – then Web 1.0, 2.0 and so on, each has had a phenomenal effect on how we work and interact with each other.

Typically the transformational phases seemed to be cyclical ten-year periods. Since 1999, the web has seemed to drive acceleration and reduce cycles of change down to five years. More recently it seems technology is evolving so rapidly that 12-24 month cycles are emerging and seemingly creating a need for more rapid digital transformation which I call Digital Transformation 2.0 or Ultra Transformation.

Digital Transformation 2.0 has been rising on the board agenda since early 2016 and is now firmly set on corporate business and marketers’ agendas. Boards are on their way to making these changes and businesses need to understand the new challenges arising as a result and how to address them.

According to Gartner, 47% of CEOs said they are being challenged by the board of directors to make progress in digital business. In particular, CIOs from the banking and investment services, telecoms and government sectors are placing digital transformation as their number one business objective in 2018.

And it’s also clear that the internal IT customer in general is becoming more empowered: A growing percentage of organisations are pushing the boundaries of bring-your-own-technology programmes to spur new tech discoveries by internal stakeholders.

Keeping up with the pace of change in the industry is one thing, but when it comes to true Digital Transformation 2.0 there are other factors that must be considered to stay ahead of the curve. In a PwC report, 73% of CEOs cite skill shortages as a threat to their businesses and 81% say they are looking for a wider mix of skills when hiring.

An ability to use technology effectively is highly sought after for both skilled and unskilled workers, with 22% of global job growth expected in digital positions by 2022, according to the World Economic Forum. The digital skills gap and the ever-growing chasm between the needs of employees of different generations, customer expectations, in-house skills versus third-party providers, the technology stack and legacy structures are just some of the things giving businesses sleepless nights.

Here’s a look at an eight point strategy for approaching Ultra Transformation:

Develop a vision and share it: Digital transformation, by its nature, will be as varied and complex as the business itself. Business processes can encompass a whole range of initiatives. You need the business behind you. In order to do this you’ll need a clear, singular vision, the context to your thinking and a simple way to share and communicate this. Everyone in the business needs to be taken on the journey and involved at every step of the way.
Define a roadmap: A vision is powerful and […]

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Posted on: June 11, 2018

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