How to Create a Digital Transformation Strategy Roadmap
By Jibility co-founder Chuen Seet
Noise without revelation: that’s often how it feels when you try to find out the finer details of digital strategy and digital transformation.
It’s a hot topic at the moment. While the term has been around for a long time, it now has a firm place in today’s trending buzzwords, alongside cloud, IoT, blockchain, machine learning, etc – but don’t let this devalue it!
So, let’s cut through the noise and pin down what it is, why you need to understand it, and – crucially – the step-by-step how of undertaking it.
What is Digital Transformation?
What is the definition of digital transformation, and how does it differ from business transformation? Doesn’t the latter usually involve digital technology anyway?
In general, a transformation of a business (or an area of a business) involves a holistic or broad change that alters the way the business works. A transformation is not just a technology change, or just an organizational structure change – it impacts the people, process and physical areas of the organization.
- ‘People’ includes culture, skills, structure and capacity.
- ‘Process’ encompasses workflows, tasks, approaches and methods.
- ‘Physical’ covers geography, facilities, equipment and technology.
Transformation is called ‘digital’ specifically when technology is used to solve traditional business problems and fundamentally change the way the business (or an area of the business) operates.
The cause of a lot of confusion around the definition is simply due to the uniqueness of each organization’s situation. Every organization is different and faces different challenges, so digital transformation looks different from one to the next.
Five Key Influences that Define and Shape Digital Transformation
The strategic decisions that point the organization in a particular direction.
Risk appetite and budget
The balance between the risk of change/unproven technologies and funding.
The existing and emergent technologies that the organization can leverage to transform the business.
Pace of change
The speed of change that an organization is willing or able to undertake.
The adaptability and flexibility of the organization to change.
Why Pursue Digital Transformation?
A study from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte identifies five common objectives of digital strategy:
- Improve customer experience and engagement
- Increase efficiency
- Improve business decision-making
- Improve innovation
- Transform the business
We’ll add a sixth: given the certainty that the future is digital, some organizations are pursuing digital transformation to preempt increased competition from disruptive digital technologies.
Many organizations have already set a vision or a goal for their digital transformation; some already have a digital strategy defined. Take Caterpillar®, Nike and HSBC, for example:
Where to Start
The starting point for digital transformation is a strategy that paints a picture of the organization’s digital vision or goal.
You probably have a general view on what the organization should look like in the future. However, before you dive into planning and executing a transformation program, you need to create a digital transformation strategy roadmap to bridge the gap between vision and implementation planning.
A digital transformation strategy roadmap is designed to clearly answer six questions. These questions are broad, but take them one at a time – each flows logically into the next.
Why do you need a digital transformation?
What must you achieve in order to transform?
What do we need to transform?
What changes are required in order to transform?
What packages of change should we form to execute the transformation?
How do we sequence the packages of change over a transformation time horizon?
Experiment with Building Your Own in the Jibility App
We have a simple tool which takes you through these six steps, called Jibility. Below is an example of what a roadmap can look like when created in the Jibility App. You can get started for free to access more examples, more expert content, and learn how quick and easy it can be to create a strategic roadmap.