Allana Barber, digital practice manager Africa at Wipro Limited. Photo: Supplied
Allana Barber, digital practice manager Africa at Wipro Limited. Photo: Supplied

Real transformation involves the entire enterprise, not just technology

By Allana Barber Time of article published Sep 15, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG – The concept of digital transformation has received significant attention in recent years, touted for its ability to revolutionise businesses and drive innovation and enhanced competitiveness. 

The reality however is that digital transformation is only part of the picture. If organisations truly want to leverage agility and innovation, they need to do more than just modernise applications and infrastructure. Real transformation needs a strategy that encompasses the entire enterprise. 

The key to success lies not simply in a focus on the single element of digital, but on creating core changes across people, processes and technology.

Embarking on transformation from the narrow point of view of digital only can result in the creation of a strategy that has no depth. New technology may be implemented, but without looking at the impact of the technology on customers, employees and business processes, benefits often fail to be realised. 

Successful transformation needs to adopt a people-first approach, not a technology-first. All aspects of the enterprise need to be considered and an overarching strategy should be developed. This will assist not only in ensuring more effective transformation, but will improve budgeting and realising a return on investment as well.

In reality, both digital and enterprise transformation are on-going journeys, and not any single destination. Technology and the world are always changing and agile businesses need to be able to adapt quickly. Effective enterprise transformation relies on adopting this mindset, and therefore it is vital to find the right transformation partner to ensure that the journey is designed and implemented in accordance with an effective experience led roadmap.

The key is to focus on building human experiences and transforming the organisation according to the needs of both employees and customers, rather than trying to change a business based on a specific technology solution.  Agility is essential, so rather than one monolithic goal, smaller quicker sprints can often deliver more successful results. 

Having a clear understanding of the interactions and integrations allows organisations to get a better picture of where innovation can be achieved. It is also important to bring in intelligent processes to measure the impact of transformation, so that value can be realised and adjustments can be made, as necessary.

Successful transformation should fundamentally change the way a business operates, and how its customers experience it. While technology is often an important part of this, changing people and processes is how businesses really move forward. 

Technology is simply an enabler, and while tools such as machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be instrumental, their real power lies in the ability to empower people to do more through design-led transformation programmes. Ultimately, transformation needs to be about cost efficiency and agility, by addressing people, processes and technology as well as innovation, and not just a single aspect. 

Transformation is essential to growth and continued competitiveness for all organisations.

Allana Barber is digital practice manager Africa at Wipro Limited. The views expressed here are hers.


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