A digital tsunami has swooped under every business and organization globally and revolutionized an era of digital transformation. Only the businesses that are well anchored will survive and prosper while the waves of digital disruption wash away the others. Whether you call it revolution or evolution, digital transformation is the only pathway to the future.
The digital age is an era of abundant opportunities for:
1. Achieving business efficiency
2. Optimizing operations
3. Creating a sustainable future
4. Reclaiming wasted resources
5. Wowing customers while leading them to next steps
6. Repositioning your business on the market
7. Becoming more agile and innovative
8. Anticipating and responding adequately to crises and challenges
9. Growing your business
10. Achieving unprecedented performance and goals
My signature digital transformation approach is a 360-degree transformation for sustainable results and future growth. I expressed it in my digital transformation success formula in Leveraging Digital Transformation.
DT= (IT x BT x TT)/F
DT: Digital transformation
IT: Individual transformation
BT: Business transformation
TT: Technology transformation
Digital transformation is equal to individual transformation times business transformation times technology transformation; divided by fear.
The digital transformation success rate on the global market is about 20%, according to multiple studies. The low success rate is attributed to the most common pitfall, partial digital transformation strategy. A business cannot pivot successfully into the digital age if only parts of it are digitally transformed. That business is as strong as its weakest link and challenging that weakest link may cause digital death. This is what has been happening on the market.
Recently, during their yearly SAPPHIRE NOW conference, SAP launched a solution that will facilitate the implementation of 360-degree digital transformation for businesses, especially the mid-market. The RISE with SAP offering helps businesses develop digital transformation backbones across their organization.
I had the pleasure to meet SAP Global Vice President, Khaled Musilhy, who agreed to tell me more about SAP’s 360-degree approach, intention, and how RISE with SAP is helping businesses succeed globally.
"Business leaders not only acknowledge the urgency for change; they also appreciate that true business transformation cannot be a ‘one-and-done’ effort to resolve a specific or narrow business challenge. Top executives realize that their organizations must create mechanisms to evolve and respond to their external environment continually.
Organizational leaders who approach their technology transformations through an employee-centric lens will differentiate their business and surpass their competitors. SAP offers a transformation package for precisely this approach. The RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud offering helps organizations simplify business transformation to become flexible, agile, and responsive. It offers a holistic, on-your-terms and on-your-timeline transformation to an intelligent enterprise."
The New Digital Intelligence
Our Digital Transformation Leaders business logo contains an icon representing the digital intelligence. It is human (natural) intelligence and artificial intelligence (robot) shining light together. The digital intelligence is made of these two bits of intelligence in an intertwined relationship. Each of these bits of intelligence is different, and artificial intelligence assists human intelligence and amplifies its capacity past its human limitations. The real power in digital intelligence comes from strategically associate these two separate bits of intelligence for producing outcomes greater than each of them could deliver separately.
Artificial intelligence is our friend, and it will do what we prepare it to do and in every aspect of our lives. In business, artificial intelligence has been introduced too often on a preferred area basis and not on the whole business. That reflects more changes than transformation and is conducive to the partial digital transformation adoption we discussed earlier, leading to the digital death. Today, we are beyond the time of changes only.
A partial change with artificial intelligence adoption is the most dangerous partial transformation a business can do. Some companies automate part of their business processes completely, leaving no access to humans to mitigate risk or troubleshoot a problem with the process. It is as if they do not trust humans with the business process anymore because that approach excludes human implications. As a result, both the employee experience and the customer experience suffer, which can lead to poor performance and loss of customers.
Artificial intelligence and human intelligence are both imperfect, and they have strong points and weaknesses. Despite the fast progress in artificial intelligence, its implementation should address the risks present with complete process automation and mitigate them. The proper process automation strategy strategically uses both bits of intelligence and allows them to support each other for the best delivery and return on investment.
"A 360-degree digital transformation shifts and optimizes the full business vision, strategy, operations, organization, and leadership into the digital future."
M. Nadia Vincent
A 360-degree business digital transformation demands transformational leadership and the optimization of their business digital strategy. A digital strategy includes critical points such as business models, business processes, data management, digital technology adoption, customer experiences, employee and people experiences, business sustainability, digital innovation, revenue generation, optimization, and business growth.
The digital economy in the second machine age has opened the door to many new business models for digital innovation, and every organization should reconsider its business models. This new economy redefines value exchanged and reframes the business context and delivery method.
The biggest companies on the market are those who reinvent or start with a digital business model. We can name Amazon and Airbnb as examples with their digital platform business models. But there are even more potentials for businesses that choose to be bold.
Most business processes from the industrial age appear to be inefficient and wasteful when analyzed from the context of the digital age. Continuing to run a business with a complete industrial age business model, as a result, has a direct impact on the profitability or ROI of the business. Organizations should review their processes to improve efficiency, reinvent and recycle their operations, discard obsolete processes when applicable, innovate for new value delivery, and realign processes within the business for leverage and convergence.
Data and Data Management
Data is the new digital currency despite its overabundance. Its overabundance has both advantages and inconveniences but many more benefits. Computers are continuously becoming more and more powerful while their storage and processing capacities increase and their cost decreases, making all that more affordable and widely available.
Every information technology system and solution revolve around data in its various forms. Raw, processed, modelized, or systemized: data is the heart of it all. This vast amount of data leads to digital technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) with its subdivisions of machine learning, robotics, robotic process automation (RPA), and natural language processing (NLP); as well, IoT, blockchain, crypto, mobility, sensors, virtual reality, 3D printing, and data science, to cite the most widely used.
I asked Khaled how SAP delivers on that and here is what he said.
With built-in innovation in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, business decisions can be made faster (in attended and unattended modes). And SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation services and data-driven machine learning (ML) functions help optimize business performance. For example, RISE with SAP provides the platform an industry leader like Seegene needs to grow smoothly and react nimbly to developments based on the most current data.
Digital Technology Adoption
Businesses should have their innovative eyes constantly open to see what technology or innovation will or may disrupt their sector and choose how to take advantage of it. Many businesses invested in digital technology implementation but not in digital technology adoption. As a result, some see a decline in customer satisfaction or their efficiency.
There are changes both for the business and for the customer with digital transformation implementation. The companies that guide their employees and customers in the digital adoption process are more likely to improve their employee and customer experiences, retain them, earn their trust, co-create, innovate, grow and succeed together.
Customer Experiences, Employee and People Experiences
The digital age tends to remove the unnecessary elements, which may be seen as inconveniences, to focus on the value exchanged and the experience lived and maximize it for their people. Employees, customers, partners, and collaborators value the experience they lived more than the goods or services that facilitate the experience. The customer experience is reinforced in the delivery of SaaS (software as a service) business model, renting instead of buying and purchasing services instead of goods for many sectors.
SAP understands that and responds to that needs with the RISE with SAP package for Qualtrics Experience Management. Khaled added, It is a packaged offering under RISE with SAP, a view into any transformational project at specific times throughout the implementation. That allows executives, key stakeholders, implementors, and users to monitor the project status at any given time.
Genix Pharma, for example, realized tangible results faster by taking a guided journey to next-generation ERP using RISE with SAP, confirming the success of SAP S/4HANA Cloud as a single source of real-time information to drive connected business processes.
The death of the industrial age, the COVID-19 crisis, climate change, and life itself teach us that we must manage and optimize our resources constantly because nothing remains static. Situations can change anytime for the best or the worst. Therefore, we must facilitate our businesses to continuously change, adapt, and innovate for the best as our surroundings change. This is the true meaning of agile, and it is not a buzzword despite it all.
In conceiving our business digital strategy and creating a new system, we should always consider its evolution in the near future. Any system designed with only “today” in mind risks soon to be a costly investment mistake. We must never forget that the technology will evolve faster than the strategy and allow room for growth for the business and the technology.
Digital Innovation, Value Creation, and Optimization
Every business should redefine the value that they bring to different customers at different times and optimize it. If not, competitors may wipe them out of the market.
Innovation should not be limited to brainstorming, as I have seen in done in many companies. Innovation is more than that; it is a strategic process that should now be part of every business unit and include a variety of sources besides the leadership team.
Just like in nature, anything that does not grow declines or perish. There is time to grow and others to sustain. Executives should always be in sync with the business lifecycle and should not remain in the business comfort zone for long. Otherwise, the decline will start, especially because the fast speed of technology innovation is driving business innovation and lifestyles changes swiftly.
As for SAP, their Global Vice President confirmed, "SAP believes that in today's competitive economy, organic growth may not be enough. Exploring new business models and different lines of business are a must for increasing your top line and growing with your business. RISE with SAP gives you the agility to quickly implement and adopt new processes and models, expand beyond your boundaries, and achieve 360-degree collaboration with your trading partners by leveraging the largest business network in the world. American Air Filter (AAF) successfully transformed its business and delivered on its "accelerate-time-to-value" vision by adopting RISE with SAP".
Surviving and succeeding require that every business do a 360-degree shift in the digital age. A 360-degree transformation is not something that every digital leader specializes in, simply because it is more complex than partial transformation. Few adopted that approach until COVID-19 hits and helped businesses understand how risky it can be for their business to be partially transformed in the second machine age of the new digital age. Today, we operate in a fully digital environment and 360° digital transformation is now the standard business transformation approach for success.
How do you achieve a 360° digital shift? Start with your business' transformative vision and strategy.
I offer to businesses a practical course and coaching program to create their complete digital strategy and quickly pivot into the digital age, "360-Degree Business Digital Transformation Strategy". It is a three-day practical course where participants can get busy creating or updating their businesses winning strategy for 2022 and beyond.