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Overcoming digital difficulty #1: getting started

Blog: The Digital Enterprise

Starting a digital transformation can be like starting a diet – the best day to begin is ‘tomorrow’. This is the first post in a series building on 10 reasons why digital transformations are difficult. The first difficulty in digital transformations is getting started at scale. For a CEO juggling conflicting demands there are few things less appetising than a high risk, multi-year change program that requires significant investment of time and resource. Every organisation has a digital program underway. But these programs run the risk of creating false comfort. Digitising the customer interface is not the same as digitising the enterprise. Full-scale digitisation requires a bolder set of moves to automate end-to-end processes, replace judgment with data-driven decisioning, rethink the approach to talent and capability and sometimes to rethink the whole business model. So what is the best way to get started with a full-scale transformation?  There’s no set template but the following tactics can help:

In aggregate, these approaches can underpin a decision to move forward or not with transformation at scale. Not every company needs a digital transformation starting right away. A considered decision not to proceed is better than no decision at all. Perhaps the worst outcome is a decision to invest but at a scale below that required to really transform – which leads to a delusion that ‘we are doing all the right things’ but inevitable long-term failure. 

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