The past year has seen many businesses question exactly how transformational digital transformation really is. The answer, as with all IT initiatives, depends on the scope of the ambition, the skill of the leadership, and the ultimate degree of business impact.
Yet we’ve seen a pattern emerge: Those with transformational aspirations discover that boil-the-ocean schemes seldom meet their objectives, while carefully planned and targeted initiatives often have broader benefit than even the original instigators imagined.
The latter is particularly true of initiatives that reform fundamental processes. Transformation usually implies moving from one fixed state to another, yet digital transformation at its best involves a journey from inflexibility to a “permanently agile” condition. Getting there may involve the adoption of new programming, infrastructure, or internet-of-things advances. The biggest rewards, however, accrue from reimagining workflows to accommodate continuous change and establishing mechanisms that continuously measure results.