Digital transformation is a board level agenda. But so few people really understand the far-reaching consequences and behavioural change that’s required to deliver this successfully.
Even if they do, they can find it difficult to embrace co-creation as a means of making their transformation happen; instead opting to ‘go it alone’ – and often without much success.
I had the pleasure of speaking at Fujitsu Forum in Munich earlier this month. Here I was able to talk through some of the trends behind these topics, and how they are shaped through the lens of Hybrid IT.
We’re in an accelerating state of change
There is a state of continuous revolution that needs to be matched by a case of continuous revelation as we deliver constantly to partners and customers. As a consequence, digital transformation requires significant cultural change and behavioural change across the spectrum.
We are in the middle of a digital revolution where no business can succeed alone, so new strategies have to be based around co-creation. An ever-increasing range of partnerships and ecosystems are the only way to deliver those crucial digital projects of the future, all orchestrated through Hybrid IT.
And in my considered opinion, co-creation is the only viable mechanism to remain relevant in a digital age. The Industrial Revolution brought about significant developments such as the steam engine, the combustion engine, automobiles and electricity.
Every single one of these technologies has evolved significantly and in some cases been replaced completely. But it’s actually not the technologies themselves that are bringing the latest stage of this digital disruption. It’s the business models that surround them.
What trends are shaping the next phase?
Blockchain promises disruption not only in the financial services sector but every single sector that requires an intermediary. On top of this, artificial intelligence is going to be important particularly at a deep learning level, creating new human interactive interfaces, as well as sensors and devices at the nanoscale level.
We are living the next Industrial Revolution, but this time in an area of intelligently connected devices and Fujitsu is already leading this field.
No single organisation can bring all the elements they need, being the technology or the knowledge of a particular vertical sector. In fact, Gartner has said this year that the leading companies in digital transformation have doubled the size of their ecosystem in the last 18 months.
It goes on to say the really successful ones will double their system size again by 2018. So that means significant growth is only possible in partnership.
However, a hurdle to this digital transformation is regulation. In Europe, the incoming GDPR has a particularly high profile at the moment. The implications of not getting it right can result in fines of up to 4% of the global revenues.
But my advice is to not let regulation disrupt your digital disruption. It’s possible to work within these regulatory frameworks as they emerge, ensuring you’re still gaining the benefits associated with the digital disruption.
Where do you start on that journey?
If you’re looking for the right place to start on a project, pick a use case within the organisation that has an emotional bias.
What I mean by that is choosing something that people naturally gravitate towards, as well as something that may at present have a very low level of automation. Speaking to our customers, expenses systems are a popular choice for this!
But don’t go thinking that you can roll out new processes and those users won’t expect that to work first time. We live in a world of increased consumer expectation, combined with massively accelerated innovation and hyper connectivity at the same time. That’s our new reality.
It just means when you show that proof of concept (instead of tell) it doesn’t need to work every time and first time.
What should I be thinking about?
I think businesses have a simple choice. You can be digital predators or you can be digital prey, there is no other place in between.
And the one message that I would like to leave you with, whatever that choice is going to be: Please decide quickly or your competitors will decide for you.
Want to see more from this year’s Fujitsu Forum? Check out the YouTube channel.