Digital Transformation Journeys: The Future Is Now

Digital Transformation Journeys: The Future Is Now

Jurgen Janssens (asUgo Consulting, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3473-1.ch176
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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 is laying the foundation for a revolution more all-encompassing than anything seen so far (Schwab, & Samans, 2016), putting additional pressure to leaders and organisations that are de facto already operating in a turbulent context with frequent and unpredictable change (De Stobbeleir, Peeters, Pfisterer, & Muylle, 2019).

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). The growing impact of the GAFAs and the NATUs4 only confirms this. Failing to understand its functioning can thus lead to companies losing their relevancy.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Kanban: Agile method to manage work by limiting work in progress. Team members pull work as capacity permits, rather than work being pushed into the process when requested. Stimulates continuous, incremental changes. Aims at facilitating change by minimizing resistance to it.

360° View: Ability to capture every single part of the end-to-end relationship a company has with its customers. Includes sales and service information, marketing data, transactional information and information about who they are.

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.

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.

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.

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, and, in specific cases, for Industry 4.0.

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

Customer Journey: Sum of experiences and touchpoints that customers go through when interacting with a company. Includes experiences and touchpoints before, during and after the main interaction.

Fail Fast: Solution development approach used in volatile, uncertain and complex business contexts that focuses on trying something, getting fast feedback, and then rapidly inspecting and adapting. Sometimes referred to as Fail(ing) Forward.

Teal: Stage in the evolution of human and organisational consciousness. Focuses on the development of a culture of self-management, wholeness, and a deeper sense of purpose.

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.

Waterfall: 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.

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