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The Reality of Digital Transformation

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By Manish Godha, CEO, Advaiya

Digital Transformation – a phrase that no one in the business world in unfamiliar with. From media articles to marketing slogans, from Power Point decks to TED Talks, the notion of Digital Transformation animates many technology and business discussions.

Many treatments of the subject are hyperbolic, the stuff of rhetoric. Pundits- not practitioners- love to discuss the disruptive and transformative effects of even the most basic things. For them, every single thing is worthy of a “Butterfly Effect” narrative. These notions can be inspirational but they can make the life of a practitioner much harder.

Truth is always messier than marketing hyperbole. So it is with Digital Transformation.

I’ve been involved in hundreds of Digital Transformation projects over the last 5 years and through this, I have noticed 5 clear trend-lines: The five “D”s of Digital Transformation-

1. Direction: Digital Transformation sponsors need to know where they want to end up or the journey is too random and energy dissipates. We spend a good amount of time upfront, discussing desired outcomes with the C-suite before we embark on the DT journey with them. One might love speed but speed + the wrong direction gets you far, far from home.

2. Duty: We have to understand what the duties of different parts of the organizations are as we embark on the journey. Without clear roles and responsibilities, the DT journey can be blocked and dissipated.

3. Diligent Digitization: DT is not about the incantation of a spell or the firing of a silver bullet. One has to Digitize- with the right technologies and platforms—in a way that anticipates what the organization will be and not what it is. Technology choices have to be made with the clarity that with growth, things change. Plan for scale now so scale doesn’t effectively generate negative ROI later.

4. Dollars: Organizations not only need to be ready to budget for DT but they also need to have a clear idea of the Dollars they will earn as a result of the process. This is not only classic ROI calculus but a paradigm shift in how organizations earn. I’ve had customers who discovered entirely new businesses as they embraced DT.

5. Delivery: Let’s be clear. Large organizations need DT partners that focus not only on theoretics but on delivery, delivery, delivery. The sizzle is great but the steak has to be delivered.

This is the reality of Digital Transformation. Being reality’s ambassador is sometimes unpopular but the final results are worth investing in, planning for, and expending energy to get.


If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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