Digitalization is something companies are increasingly coming to grips with and it is radically impacting business models. Communication channels are multiplying and consumer behaviours and expectations are changing. This means that producers of goods and services have to supply the right information to the various channels available in order to be seen, heard and sell.
Every product has to be accompanied by information that is suitable for the different channels used in the communication process. This has led to an increase in editorial processes. When these processes are not coordinated effectively, companies can end up wasting time and resources on overlapping and unnecessary materials.
This is what happens when organizations do not address the challenge of digitalization with necessary depth. To be successful, digitalization cannot mean simply replicating what was done in the past through digital means. It involves completely rethinking what the organization is and how it can best fulfil its role in today’s market with the new means available.
Not just technology
The process of digitalization goes well beyond adapting means of communication to new channels. Organizations can seize this occasion to take a deep look at the work they do and rethink it for the 21st century in terms of what it is in its most essential form: a flow of processes and projects.
The enemy number one of this flow is an outdated organizational model built on silos. The more an organization is able to understand its work in terms of processes and projects the faster and more effectively it will be able to deliver its purpose to its end users. Digitalization is not just about adopting new technologies because these technologies, no matter how sophisticated, will always bump into the obstacle of a silo.
Integration and acceleration
When a company embarks on a project of digital transformation, this should lead to a careful reconsideration of processes and information flows. Technology helps but it is not enough. Making processes work better and information flow more freely means integrating the efforts of resources beyond the artificial divisions of functions and silos. This increased integration accelerates the ability of the company to deliver. In this way, the process of digital transformation brings value not just to customers but to everyone involved in the Digital Supply Chain AND the product supply chain.
When it comes to digital transformation, the smartest move that companies can make is to invest the time and effort in clearly defining their goal and mapping out and improving systematically all the processes that lead towards the achievement of that goal on a daily basis. Through continuous improvement and enlightened Project Management (see Critical Chain) the transformation effort will optimize processes to reduce time-to-market, improve work flows and the relationships with customers and suppliers, and simplify the work of employees. The role of the CIO therefore takes on a much wider scope of leadership beyond choosing and coordinating technologies.
Digitalization is an effort of change management and also an opportunity to leave behind out-dated operating modalities and culture to successfully embrace a new, accelerated and integrated digital era.
Sign up to our blog here and shift your thinking towards broader, systemic possibilities for yourself and your organization. Intelligent Management provides education and training on W. Edwards Deming’s management philosophy and the Theory of Constraints (Decalogue methodology) in North America and Europe.
About the Author
Angela Montgomery Ph.D. is Partner and Co-founder of Intelligent Management and author of the business novel+ website The Human Constraint . This downloadable novel uses narrative to look at how the Deming approach and the Theory of Constraints can create the organization of the future, based on collaboration, network and social innovation. She is co-author with Dr. Domenico Lepore, founder, and Dr. Giovanni Siepe of ‘Quality, Involvement, Flow: The Systemic Organization’ from CRC Press, New York.