The digital transformation is happening. We see it everywhere we look — from the smartphone always in our pockets to the suite of software tools on our laptops.
A recent Forrester study shows that business leaders are all over the map on what a digital transformation means. 56% of firms say they are transforming, while 21% say they are done. 22% say they are only now investigating or not transforming at all! As one respondent puts it…
“It’s a war between old-school technophobe leaders and the technology innovation that represents a completely different way of doing business.”
It’s here and it is real — and there will be winners and losers. Those companies with the willingness and foresight to believe in the digital transformation and figure out how to act on it will remain standing. Those who put their heads in the sand and fail to see the ongoing change that is our new reality will fall away like tumbleweed.
Here are 5 key tactics to start your team’s conversations about the digital transformation:
1. PLUG IN YOUR LEADERSHIP
Is your leadership plugged in? Are they plugged in to each other? The leadership of the company and of each department has to be using the same things and be willing and ready to make it happen all the time. Get buy-in first, then shift.
Again, Forrester’s survey tells us that 45% of companies haven’t made SaaS investments yet. That is a shocking number when you think about how much time, money, and attention is saved when software takes work off of your plate. When leadership is free to focus on forward-thinking strategy, companies will move ahead faster and leave resistant companies in the dust.
We are passionate about the board management part of that shift, building board intelligence beyond the board portal and baking best practices into the software itself. And our own leadership has ramped up our collaboration game as well, incorporating tools like Slack and Dropbox to streamline our days.
2. PUT CHANGE IN YOUR VEINS
One of the biggest barriers to understanding the role of technology in our collective business future is coming to terms with the idea that the transformation is ongoing. It is not something we implement and then walk away from — it is something we incorporate into everything we do. While IT and marketing departments are often out in front, smart technology can and will transform every department of a company.
MIT’s Technology review tells us, with blunt truth: There’s no such thing as a “tech person” in the age of AI: We need to stop perpetuating the false dichotomy between technology and the humanities.
We love this quote and it speaks to all of us. We now live in a culture of transformation, at the office and at home, and technology is a big part of what is driving that transformation.
So what does that mean when you think about your business? It means realizing that buying new tech is not the end, it’s the beginning. For new technology to be the culture change it can be, we have to train and adjust and reinforce. Making room for ongoing training is important, and making sure everyone on the team is fluent in the use of the new tech is critical to turning the wheels of productivity.
3. HACK YOUR CYBER RISK
Can you believe that only 31% of companies are worried about cyber-security? That means that 2/3 of us have a gigantic blind spot just waiting to let in a brutal slap in the face. Big companies like Target and Marriott know all too well how damaging a data breach can be to their reputation and business, not to mention the raw expense of cleaning one up.
Rashan Dixon has a great set of tips to get everyone at your business involved (not just the tech-savvy people), and this list gives you four steps you can take to get started with cyber-security. If you are at square one and really just want to get a ballpark gauge on what you should be thinking about, try Forrester’s quiz based on their Zero Trust model.
4. GIVE TRANSFORMATION A VOICE
Someone needs to own the idea of digital transformation at your company — and it’s not the IT department. Owning this idea Futurum’s 2018 Transformation Index reports that 40% of companies have a transformation team in place. That’s a great approach that brings in multiple perspectives. At the same time, every digital transformation starts at the top, with most people looking to the CEO and Boardroom to lead the way on this kind of transformation. A bold way forward is truly the only path that leads to the future.
When executive and boardroom leadership lead with vision and a team with their feet on the ground are researching and advocating for the best tactical SaaS and related changes, you can be sure that your company has the vision and action to stay on offense when it comes to the transformation.
5. LET THE EXPERTS KEEP YOU SHARP
Because digital transformation is an ongoing reality, keeping up with news, changes, and perspectives is critical. Aside from go-to digital publications like Fast Company and Forbes, here are a few of the sources we’ve come to trust:
Wall Street Journal: The classic delivers with its dedicated digital section.
Forrester: It’s hard to beat a company focused on trends with a knack for sharing on-point insights. Relevant studies and articles appear at irregular intervals, but when they come they are fantastic.
Harvard Business Review: Every week there is something in here that makes us think deeply about how the world of business in changing.
MIT Technology Review: We love the deep dives that carry the attitude and rigor of their academic underpinning.
The Concinnity Company™ provides boards and c-suites with technology and best practices. Cloud Concinnity® is the world’s first integrated board intelligence and management platform. To learn more about how Cloud Concinnity can help you get in front of digital transformation, visit https://www.theconcinnitycompany.com.
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