Digital transformation in today's world is essential for survival, no matter which industry or segment one focuses on. 'Digital' is the top buzzword in 2021 not just amongst industry experts but is also a key focus area in every corporate strategy, business plan or future roadmap of an organization. It is all hands on deck now, as we are increasingly seeing senior leadership actively involved in the transformation agenda.
However, more often than not, organizations focus on using digital as a patch versus a long-term fitment. Today, many digital transformation initiatives are focused on enhancing customer experiences or enabling existing services to be available for the customers digitally since we are still reeling amid a pandemic. But what will happen to these innovations once things go back to normal? Are organizations building on the Digital initiatives to be fully digital in the time to come?
For most CXOs today, the answer to these questions is largely unclear, and most digital initiatives are only meant to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation. Leaders must ideally focus on using a Lean plus Digital model to ensure long-term growth and success. 'Lean Plus Digital' is basically all about leveraging the core tenets of Lean in the organization's digital transformation roadmap. As organizations increasingly embrace digital innovations in their processes, the Lean philosophy can help them gain value from their newly digitized processes. To truly harness the power of technology and be prepared for future disruptions, we are seeing businesses first defining their digital transformation roadmap while focusing on both short-term impact and long-term value.
Here are some of the recommended areas that organizations are focusing on while planning the digital roadmap in tandem with their aspirational growth journey.
- Factor in the implications of Deep Tech and Digital in their processes. Is the disruption too soon or too complex, and what can be done to steer clear of it?
- Is the transformation initiative really working for the organization? If yes, can it be further applied to other processes or sectors?
- Does the company have an expansive view of the talent required for these initiatives? Does it have a roadmap for upskilling its talent for the digital future?
- Can your business leverage the power of partners or consultants to leverage domain expertise and technology knowledge to reach its digital goals a lot faster? Are there existing or new partnerships that the organization can explore?
- Is the Digital impact truly enabling the organization to achieve 'perfection' as defined in the Lean approach?
The answers to these questions will help them truly understand where the new initiatives are taking them.
Example 1: Take, for example, an organization that has recently added digital commerce to its portfolio. While for the short-term, this helps the company to cater to its customer and provide services in today's day and age, this avenue can also create several opportunities for the future. With digital commerce abilities, the company can now think of expansion to different segments and potentially tap into new geographies or business areas. What's more, it can also explore combining the power of Digital for its physical store, something that we today define as 'Phygital'. These new avenues are what organizations can potentially tap into, ensuring that their digital initiatives don't just add value in the short term but also give them an edge over time. Example 2: The healthcare industry has also seen spectacular transformation thanks to the impact of telehealth and digital technologies to enhance its capabilities and processes. Telehealth Services served as a tool to fight the pandemic, mainly due to its ability to connect patients and doctors remotely. From remote monitoring, online consultation, and much more, telehealth has allowed healthcare workers to cater to more patients, reach a wider footprint, and do it all while they maintain all social distancing and quarantine procedures. As a result, telehealth is now widely accepted in the healthcare industry and only enables future transformations in the segment.
Digital transformation will be a continuous process for businesses, which will have long-term and short-term impacts on the industry. Lean plus Digital is just one of the methodologies to ensure that organizations know what they are doing and derive the maximum value and ROI from their digital initiatives. As the future looks to adopt more new and innovative digital solutions, they will need to define the role of Digital in guiding and enabling their long-term growth. Digital may be the buzzword today, but it will be ingrained in the core of every business process in the future. Therefore, it is crucial that we ask the right questions and turn to technology, not for the sake of being 'future ready', but for creating 'future value'.