“Less than three years from now it will be impossible to distinguish between what is virtual and what is real!”
How do you feel about the above statement?
- Are you excited?
- Are you apprehensive?
- Do you think Ian is talking a load of crap?
Don’t be concerned if you selected number 3.
I have had many responses, ‘accusing’ me of being on Mars or living in a fantasy or dream world. Moreover, that is cool because seeing dreams become a reality is so satisfying.
In my life, I have been privileged to bear witness to these small miracles.
So you guessed it! I am excited about what the near future has in store for all of us. I am an optimist that the digital revolution will have a positive impact on addressing real-world challenges.
I spend little time losing sleep over Robots taking over the world and making jobs redundant. Instead, I spend my time exploring how AI (Artifical Intelligence) will make my life easier by taking away mundane tasks allowing me time to get to the things I need to do.
It is human nature for us to fall back on our gut feelings, and elements of fear, when we have limited information at hand.
The need to develop comprehensive fact base information can do much to dispel people’s understandable fears when it comes digital transformation.
The reality is manual labour jobs will increasingly fall to machines. We have seen this happening for at least the last decade, perhaps at a slower pace than today.
The technological capabilities stand a chance to increase productivity, which will have far-reaching benefits.
To survive in the digital era, we must embed digital into our DNA, culture and into everything we do. Once we accept this new way of thinking and adapt our focus to different forms of education, our fears turn into enthusiasm.
I have observed in recent years how our customers are interacting with us in new ways, and their expectations of the products and solutions they use are rapidly changing.
The only way to meet our customers´ expectations, and ensure they do not leave for your competition, is to create an experience that is laser-focused on serving their needs. Welcome to the world of Agile.
A core part of becoming a digital business is creating compelling digital experiences that our customers will love. Agile software development provides the framework to achieve this. Agile has become an essential methodology, not just for technical teams, but also for many other areas of the enterprise and the approach I am committed to embracing in 2018.
Digital business needs to move fast. In Agile, small, multi-disciplinary teams are empowered to make the necessary decisions. The key aspects of Agile, from holding daily stand-up meetings, to working in quick, iterative cycles, otherwise known as sprints, means it is the ideal approach for digital businesses.
There is also a significant cultural shift involved when implementing Agile, including greater transparency, accountability, and empowerment for individuals throughout the company. This cultural transformation cannot be overlooked and needs delicate and specific focus.
Implementing Agile, and becoming a digital organisation, will change how our teams operate, how we develop a new solution and go to market methodology, and how we engage with your customers.
A focus on the right initiatives is equally essential. Too often, we pour resources into programmes that yield short-term gains but can’t scale, aren’t sustainable, and don’t add value.
We need to start with a clear understanding of customer needs and develop solutions that address them and have the potential to generate the most significant impact.
A surefire way to sink a transformation is to stop learning. Successful companies reward experimentation because learning from mistakes helps a group get it right the next time, which in turn fosters more creativity. When employees feel they can take risks without being shamed or criticised for failure, they do better work.
I am part of a team which embraces learning. Through customer co-creation combined with our open platform, we develop prototypes, test them with our customers, and continually refine them until they reach an agreeable minimum viable product (MVP).
Throughout my career, I have been a strong proponent of collaboration. Digital transformation is all about engaging with an ecosystem of partners across the spectrum. This approach accelerates access to markets, talent, capabilities, and technologies.
Using Agile in our collaborative model we build digital capacity at speed by using existing resources, such as open-source software, customised to specific needs.
Success relies on having deliberate partnerships with a combination of the right capabilities we already have and the ones we need.
Developing efficient communication is crucial as a means to integrate with many different partners, market participants, and platforms.
Having a dedicated resource assigned to managing partner relationships and developing communities is a necessity.
Increased speed in market changes and clients demands, and the ability to turn around proposals, solutions and feedback comes at a cost. A cost worth incurring to capture revenue opportunities before competitors do.
Adopting short development cycles to address specific needs, trying out multiple iterations of fixes repeatedly with customers, and producing “good enough” solutions are far better than aiming for perfection and never delivering.
What are you doing to digitally transform?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below, or reach out to me on Social Media.