For the last few weeks, I have walked you through the many steps to conceive, launch and manage your Digital Transformation - which included learning how to fight digital obsolescence through innovation. I hope that you enjoyed reading about my experiences and the insight I brought to the table.
So the question you are probably asking yourself is: are we done? Could anything still be missing?
Well…no, nothing. You now have all the ingredients to cook a five stars digital menu.
But what comes next… will your Digital Transformation be a never ending story, should you already be planning for the next one?
Although digital might have profoundly changed your company, still, it cannot lead it. Once your Digital Transformation reaches its end, your company should be ready to go back to its day-to-day life of BAU, even if it has deeply changed.
Business is leading
Digital is not driving your company, your business strategy is leading and digital is there to support it. Even if you are a pure digital player, your strategy is much wider as it embraces your commercial approach, your business objectives, the customer experience, your brand positioning…
From my point of view, as the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and the marketing team are accountable for the Customer Experience (CX), they are the ones to take over digital coordination once the Digital Transformation project comes to an end.
It does not mean that all digital players disappear: your business strategy englobes all coming digital initiatives and determine the priorities.
Your Digital Roadmap will also continue to trace the way: it is the glue that keeps together all the different business needs (research, innovations, new technologies)… and it must continue to feed the business with new perspectives. The only difference now is that the pace is set by marketing with their defined business priorities.
You have read several times in my previous posts how important it is to onboard employees via change management and through communication. In doing so, you are helping to prepare your company to attain digital maturity – the point at which digital is nothing special anymore.
Life should never, ever be the same
When I got married, my life definitely changed. I did not continue my life as it was before, I built a new one with my wife. Our common life bound us so tightly that it prepared us (as best it could!) for the next change… kids!
Keeping digital apart is like continuing a bachelor life and dating a new girl each month. Kids would then be a major disaster… or at least, a big surprise.
Besides the digital aspects themselves, your transformation has brought about many changes within your company. It has facilitated:
- Delivering value faster with agility
- Integrating innovation into daily life and thinking
- Creating a new norm in which ok to fail and to try disruption (at least to a certain extent)
- Growing together thanks to all the intense collaborative work
Your company cannot be the same after a Digital Transformation and all of these elements will have profoundly affected your employees day-to-day work. And your company should now be ready and stronger for the next revolution.
If you find yourself in a committee meeting, where from the moment executives begin discussing a new service or product they also take into consideration its digital dimensions, you will then know that digital is not a subject anymore but an asset to support your business.
There are mainly 2 ‘CDO schools’:
One sees the CDO (Chief Digital Officer) as a permanent position to master a too fast and complex digital changing world.
The second feels that a CDO is a highly specialised project manager, almost a geek. As such, his or her lifetime in a company is limited to the Digital Transformation duration.
My CDO view is a mix of both. The first is too close to a never ending story and tends to keep digital as an isolated island. The second, in my point of view, is missing a strategic approach and is often too limited to technical considerations.
The CDO must be a leader: explore, organise and teach. He/she is and remains your digital strategist but his or her expertise will move from driving the Digital Transformation to supporting the business in its commercial strategy.
As soon as the Digital Transformation is achieved, or even mature enough, I believe that the CDO could disappear and his/her role be taken over by the CMO and the CTO. If you have worked well, they should now be used to collaborating and working together.
In the event the CDO remains, his/her role should evolve to no longer be the same as before the transformation. Indeed, he or she does not lead anymore, but supports the business.
And this is the final post. Thank you so much for having followed me during these 7 weeks. I sincerely hope that Digital transformation is not a foggy matter any longer and that I was able to provide you with some useful insight.
While there won’t be another episode next week, yes… I will be back on other digital topics. See you not next week, but soon.