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3 Guiding Principles for Digital Transformation Success

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3 Guiding Principles for Digital Transformation Success

Many companies have adopted digital technology to transform their business. But the transition can be a challenging process, and studies show that digital transformation projects often fail to reach company expectations.
This happens for a variety of reasons, says J. Eduardo Campos, co-founder with his wife, Erica, of Embedded-Knowledge Inc. (www.embedded-knowledge.com) and co-author with her of From Problem Solving to Solution Design: Turning Ideas into Actions.
“It’s often due to ineffective communication between the IT department and business teams,” Campos says. “But overall it really comes down to an inability to problem-solve and a tendency to lose sight of teamwork and the big-picture business plan.
“To have a successful digital transformation depends greatly on employees working together, but too many organizations are siloed, thus hampering the communication and creating obstacles in the process.”
Campos offers three ways company leaders can deal with problems in digital transformation:
Define the essential problem. Campos says digital transformational programs fail when company leaders don’t grasp the root of the problem they hope digital transformation will solve. “Beware of solving the symptoms instead of the problem,” Campos says. “To define the essential problem, you first need to step back, reflect, and clearly define what you are trying to address. Detaching yourself from a problem and trying to see it from a different perspective, you then will have a better view of how things interact with each other. There are often multiple layers to why a problem exists, so ask a series of whys that drill down to the answer.”
Design solutions. Once the problem is identified, setting goals and assessing options come next. ”It’s not unusual to find yourself in a situation where the problems you identified are part of a dynamic environment, affected by constant changes that require you to revisit your goals and options regularly,” Campos says. “This is where technology and software can be very helpful in making sure everything is being tracked appropriately without any information getting lost. in addition to technology, using risk management concepts can be a very effective way to help keep consistency throughout the solution design process.”
Engage stakeholders. Digital transformation often represents a massive change for personnel. Campos says it’s vital for the decision-makers to craft a stakeholder engagement plan that addresses all aspects of a recommended solution. “Clearly identify whom will be impacted by the solution, either positively or negatively, and how to handle stakeholder reactions,” Campos says. “You want them to be willing to commit to your recommendation because they indeed want it, not because you are selling it to them. And when you are influencing the decision-making process, be sure to show your stakeholders your appreciation of varying opinions.”
“Achieving success in digital transformation brings together people, process, and technology,” Campos says. “Many businesses never get far past the launch point of their digital transformation because that triad of people, process and technology isn’t in sync, and problems that could have been solved were not.”
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J. Eduardo Campos is co-author with his wife, Erica, of From Problem Solving to Solution Design: Turning Ideas into Actions. Campos spent 13 years at Microsoft, first as a cybersecurity advisor, then leading innovative projects at the highest levels of government in the U.S. and abroad.  His consulting firm, Embedded Knowledge Inc. (www.embedded-knowledge.com), works with organizations and entrepreneurs developing customized business strategies and forming partnerships focused on designing creative solutions to complex problems.

Commissioned Survey Reveals Digital Maturity is Overestimated

A global research survey conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Ivalua revealed digital maturity is overestimated among most organizations within supply chain, procurement, and finance business leaders. A digital maturity index was used to evaluate organizations’ structure, strategy, process, measurement and technology and identified the stage of digital maturity. The results revealed only 16 percent of organizations were confirmed to have an advanced level of digital maturity in procurement out of the 65 percent of organizations that claimed to be advanced.

“Procurement leaders have the opportunity to deliver a true competitive advantage for their organizations,” said David Khuat-Duy, Corporate CEO of Ivalua. “Digital transformation is critical to success, but requires a realistic assessment of current maturity, a clear vision for each stage of the journey and the right technology.”

Additionally, the study discovered poor levels of supplier onboarding and poor user adoption were the top two primary reasons why organizations consider switching technology providers if they haven’t already, directly impacting their digital transformation efforts. Of these companies, only 17 percent are able to onboard new suppliers in less than one month while 59 percent take anywhere between one to three months.

“To ensure that technology empowers procurement transformation, rather than constrains it, leaders must consider their current and future requirements when evaluating options,” added David Khuat-Duy. “Doing so ensures a steady progression along their journey and the ability to gain an edge on competitors.

“Ivalua is uniquely able to empower and accelerate every stage of the digital transformation journey. Our platform helps organisations overcome obstacles like poor supplier onboarding and low user adoption. This is why we maintain the industry’s highest customer retention rate, at over 98%, year after year, while serving the most demanding brands in the world.”

To review the study in its entirety, visit: info.ivalua.com