Digital Transformation Journeys in a Digitized Reality

Digital Transformation Journeys in a Digitized Reality

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch059
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Big Data and Digitization are among the most talked about concepts of the last years. Whereas Big Data has more and more concrete outcomes, Digitization is still seen as far away future. Nowadays, however, the question is not anymore how to prepare for the upcoming Digitization. The question companies and organizations have to ask themselves is how to adapt to and in today's Digitizing World. A correct translation of this strategy is equally important. It requires a dynamic silver lining, compatible with interactive work clusters and a hybrid organization. Typically, this results in a new way of working and an appropriate approach to power this way of working. The way of working needs to be adapted to the redefined borders between reactivity and proactivity, the need for real-time service and contextual adaptation. It needs to be designed for agility. To provide value, an organic compromise has to be found that answers the need for creative freedom, and the need for a solid structure where guidance, management, and development of human capabilities is possible in a structured way.
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Reflections about Digitization and Digital Transformation exist since several years, also on intergovernmental level3. With technology developments in various fields amplifying one another, this will continue. It will lay the foundation for a revolution more all-encompassing than anything seen so far (Schwab, & Samans, 2016).

There are several risks if the dynamic is not engineered and managed correctly.

First of all, companies need to be aware that Digital is not an add-on, but the very essence of the transformation journey to remain in the game (Henke, Libarikian, & Wiseman, 2016). It involves a change in leadership, new business models, and an increased use of technology to improve the customer experience. It is only by integrating this Digital backbone that Digital strategies can have a lasting effect. Digital is one of the main reasons half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since 2000 (Nanterme, 2016). Failing to understand its functioning can thus lead to companies losing their relevancy.

Traditionally, Digital Transformation is covered from separate angles.

Certain sources analyze the impact of technology on job markets and human employability (Van Driessche, 2014). Others focus more on specific pieces of the corporate landscape – ranging from the need to extend the CxO suite with a Digital Officer, to the development of a new way of thinking, or the analysis of managerial choices to be made for techn(olog)ical transition.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Quantified Intuition: Non-technical capability that helps in making impactful decisions at a fast rate, despite a high level of uncertainty and an important inflow of interconnected data.

Digital Transformation: Process in which human and corporate society is shifted to new ways of working and thinking with digital and social technologies. Involves a change in leadership, a different mindset, the encouragement of innovation and new business models, and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of internal and external customers.

Scrum: Iterative and incremental product development framework used in agile projects.

Agile: Project management methodology in which the development is characterized by the breakdown of tasks into short periods, with frequent reassessment of work and plans. Used in software related projects and digital transformation activities.

Fourth Industrial Revolution: Industrial revolution driven by systems involving entirely new capabilities for people and machines. Represents new ways to embed technology in society, and induces new ways of working and thinking for human and corporate matters. Used as synonym for Digital Transformation.

Big Data: Large volumes of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data from one or more sources, created and analyzed through innovative forms of information processing to develop insights on patterns, especially on human behaviour and corporate interactions, resulting in better decisions, strategic business decisions, and process adaptation. Characterized by high volume, high velocity and/or high variety.

Waterfall Project Methodology: Sequential project management methodology, in which project progress is regarded as a downwards process. Originally described as consisting of phases for Requirement Specifications, Design, Construction, Integration, Testing, Installation and Maintenance, variations exist on the naming and number of phases.

Digital Quotient: Metric of the digital maturity of a company, based on the evaluation of a series of practices related to digital strategy, capabilities, and culture.

Digitization: Process in which an object, image, sound, document or signal are represented by a series of numbers that describe a discrete set of its points. Often used as synonym for the larger process of Digital Transformation.

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