At Kitch we started a new Digital Business Transformation project in Healthcare this week. At the Kick-off meeting it was clear that the functional leads recognised this project will be a major change in the way they do businesses and serve their patients. It what was refreshing to see the client acknowledge this, and still remain optimistic that the transformation can be achieved. This demonstrates a growth mindset and is critical to the transformations success. None-the-less what followed was a lengthy discussion on the technical aspects of the project. The focus was technology and to a lesser degree process.
Is Digital Transformation the new goal?
Business Transformation initiatives are increasingly centering on technology. The goal is now Digital Business Transformation. Our world is changing so fast and the solutions of previous years are not cutting it for today’s challenges. Technology can help solve some of those problems. At the very least it can help us to see those problems differently by providing a wealth of data.
There is an urgency for Governments, Organisations and Individuals to embrace digital transformation or else they are going to get left behind. Many are still resisting because the reality is – change is difficult. Especially, change that has no precedent or clear blueprint. For example, what impact will Artificial Intelligence have on the workplace, will it make people redundant as some fear?
Technology is now a game changer. It is no-longer just an enabler but is it more important than people or process? After all the real goal is serving clients.
Ditching the Triangle
As was the case with my new clients, the focus of Business Transformation initiatives, especially Digital ones, becomes functionality, configuration and integration of the technology. Even Process takes a back seat to this. Today many are ‘ditching the traditional triangle of People, Process and Technology’. In ditching the triangle the emphasis has shifted to focusing on automation, i.e. the technology. If ditching the triangle is, as some say in order to redress the balance then that makes sense. But in practice many work as if technology is the Panacea and the only thing that counts. I don’t agree that this is an effective approach.
The prevailing wisdom seems to be that if we automate we can cut out human error, and it would seem let the technology operate itself. That means no need for ‘buy-in’ from humans. That may be true of routine, non value added tasks. But ultimately we must remember that the End User is a human. Complex individuals whose needs and wants are not easily determined. People are critical to new product development and innovation. Studies now show that one of the benefits of having a diverse workforce is that they are more representative of the End User. This has translated into firms with employees who have two dimensions of diversity being 45% likelier to report a growth in market share over the 12 month period prior tot he survey and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.
Moreover, it’s becoming increasingly clear that people are rejecting the nameless/faceless organisation. Whilst the Millennial Generation grew up in a world of Social Media, even they hunger for connection. They love to be part of a cause and aligning with a company’s “Why” is a key part of their buying decision making process.
Getting the Balance right
There was a need to shift the dialogue so that technology was perceived as more than an enabler. For now it is a critical success factor. However, in time, once all organisations are Digital, this will change. The playing field will be level. We are a very long way off from that so for now I think we’ll keep the triangle but understand the need to get the balance right between these 3 critical success factors.
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