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Transforming IT into a Core Driver to Unlock Business Value

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By Mukul Singhal, Head – Digital and IT, Birlasoft

Digital transformation is the opportunity to achieve daring ambitions that go beyond incremental change. It is also an opportunity to rethink business and operating models to deliver breakthrough value. While in the past, many future-forward companies have been leveraging digital transformation as a strategic lever to growth, but most companies are still in the catching-up phase. The disturbing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the pace of digitalization in companies to survive and sustain in this heightened competitive era. Such shift calls for companies across the globe to find a perfect equilibrium between technological advancements and business objectives to garner tangible value in the long run.

Digital Transformation Driving Business Value
Transformation is all about generating new value — unlock new opportunities, drive new growth, deliver further efficiencies in the fast-changing global dynamics. In today’s day and age, incremental improvements don’t fit into any organization’s growth objectives when there is heightened competition from all fronts. What is needed are breakthrough technological solutions that aim at disrupting the domain you are operating within. Moreover, organizations need to reinvent themselves to keep up with the sustained growth momentum, and digital transformation enables organizations to achieve the same objectives.

Tech-led Business Models Stewarding Digital Journey
There’s no denying that the business potential of transformational technologies like IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, and quantum computing is enormous. These technology tools provide a robust foundation to cover existing workflows and enable movement and scale into new ventures, business models, and operations. The biggest challenge in driving business value is still an ongoing concern – IT business alignment. The perfect semantic between the strategy and technology empowers businesses to approach problem-solving and innovation with greater efficiency, agility, and consistency, providing a competitive edge in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.

Unlocking the Actual Value of Tech Transformation
Technology has created new avenues of engaging customers, prompting turnover and fragmentation in customer experience. The cloud and other technologies have reduced barriers to entry, allowing new business models to be developed and launched in weeks and drastically reduced the shelf life of both competitive advantage and existing business models. Contrary to beliefs, digital transformation significantly results in cost-per-transaction savings and increased sales. New technology empowers businesses to discover more adaptive and agile models based on customer parameters that were impossible to track in the past. Rather than working in siloes, the unified platform offers companies enhanced visibility into the entire system.

Leading from the Front
Till today, many leaders lack a macro perspective on the reimagined role of technology. They are not clear as to how business and technology functions can co-create value synergistically. While many companies can find piecemeal technology solutions such as developing new services/solutions, leveraging it to create a foolproof security infrastructure or create new operational processes, all use cases or implementation approaches aren’t part of the holistic business strategy; the whole objective of digital transformation can’t be achieved. This is where a leader must play an enabling role and bring about change management in prioritizing and weaving together technology-driven initiatives to deliver sustainable value.

Proper Planning, Partnership, and Execution Will Drive the Results
An effective digital transformation strategy entails a detailed plan about an organization’s journey into the digital world, encompassing identifying key challenges coming in the way of its growth trajectory. To set the tone of digital transformation, it’s essential to start with identifying business needs & goals and build a strategy from there. Once the digital transformation plan is in place, orchestrating an all-encompassing strategy involving all the stakeholders needs to be developed. The importance of ‘buy-in’ from every team lead can’t be underemphasized.

If that doesn’t happen, one single loophole in the chain will fail the entire digital transformation strategy. While the internal stakeholders’ trust is essential, companies also need to invest a fair bit of time selecting the right technology service partner who has the expertise to tailor-make digital transformation strategy. Once the management has succeeded in partnering with all the stakeholders in the process, there comes the time for effective execution. To drive home the importance of execution, Steve Jobs was once quoted as saying, “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” The successful execution of digital transformation projects rests on having the flexibility to execute at speed.

Would you Want to Be a Laggard or a Leader?
Companies wanting to harness the value of digital transformation need to execute swiftly, foresee effectively, and respond efficiently to customer and employee needs, remain competitive, and drive shareholder value. This can only happen when such companies merge the different business and technology strategies into a single unified strategy. That is when the fundamental transformation would happen, and companies will fall in line with the best in class. In the end, digital transformation is a continuously evolving journey and not the final destination. Companies need to keep reinventing themselves by implementing new-age technology solutions to be Leaders rather than Laggards.

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