Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 20 - Page 42

FEATURE: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// CIOS SHOULD ADDRESS THE DIGITAL READINESS OF THE ORGANISATION TO GET AN UNDERSTANDING OF BOTH BUSINESS AND IT READINESS. the ecosystem level but also inside the organisation. Issues of ownership and control of processes, information and systems make people reluctant to share their knowledge. Digital innovation with its collaborative cross-functional teams is often very different from what employees are used to with regards to functions and hierarchies – resistance is inevitable. “It’s not necessary to have everyone on board in the early stages,” said Blosch. “Try to find areas where interests overlap and create a starting point. Build a first version, test the idea and use the success story to gain the momentum needed for the next step.” Barrier No. 3: The business isn’t ready Many business leaders are caught up in the hype around digital business. But when the CIO or CDO wants to start the transformation process, it turns out that the business doesn’t have the skills or resources needed. services. Employees need new skills focused on innovation, change and creativity along with the new technologies themselves, such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things. “There are two approaches to breach the talent gap – upskill and bimodal,” added Blosch. “In smaller or more innovative organisations, it is possible to redefine individuals’ roles to include more skills and competencies needed to support digital. In other organisations, using a bimodal approach makes sense by creating a separate group to handle innovation with the requisite skill set.” Barrier No. 5: The current practices don’t support the talent Having the right talent is essential and having the right practices lets the talent work effectively. Highly structured and slow traditional processes don’t work for digital. There are no tried and tested models to implement, but every organisation has to find the practices that suits it best. “Some organisations may shift to a product management-based approach for digital innovations because it allows for multiple iterations. Operational innovations can follow the usual approaches until the digital team is skilled and experienced enough to extend its reach and share the learned practices with the organization,” explained Blosch. Barrier No. 6: Change isn’t easy It’s often technically challenging and expensive to make digital work. Developing platforms, changing the organisational structure, creating an ecosystem of partners – all of this costs time, resources and money. Over the long term, enterprises should build the organisational capabilities that make change simpler and faster. To do that, they should develop a platform- based strategy that supports continuous change and design principles and then innovate on top of that platform, allowing new services to draw from the platform and its core services. n “CIOs should address the digital readiness of the organisation to get an understanding of both business and IT readiness,” added Blosch. “Then, focus on the early adopters with the willingness and openness to change and leverage digital. But keep in mind that digital may just not be relevant to certain parts of the organisation.” Barrier No. 4: The talent gap Most organisations follow a traditional pattern – organised into functions such as IT, sales and supply chain and largely focused on operations. Change can be slow in this kind of environment. Digital innovation requires an organisation to adopt a different approach. People, processes and technology blend to create new business models and 42 INTELLIGENTCIO A Garnter Inc. survey found that only a small number of organisations have been able to successfully scale their digital initiatives