Does technology drive digital transformation? Surprisingly, the answer is no. Technology informs corporate strategy, but it’s the business strategy that needs to be in the driver’s seat for digital transformation to be truly successful. However, many businesses put the cart before the horse, allowing technology to dictate digital decisions.
A recent study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte sheds light on what differentiates companies who utilize strategy-driven, not technology-driven innovation. Digitally mature enterprises use new technologies to transform business operations on a large scale. In contrast, less mature businesses use technology more like a Band-Aid. According to a survey of over 4,800 business executives, only 29% of businesses are in the maturing stage.
The study’s authors identify key characteristics of digitally maturing businesses:
- There are large-scale objectives in place. The goal isn’t simply to move to the cloud or digitize records, but rather to focus on the big picture. Digital transformation should align with the organization’s business goals first, and then new technologies can facilitate those objectives.
- Employees receive regular training on how to incorporate new technologies into their workflow. The Deloitte study shows that employees want to work for companies that are digital leaders and incorporate that mission into a culture that strives for constant improvement.
- Risk-taking becomes the norm. Digitally maturing companies encourage managers and employees to take risks in the pursuit of excellence. These companies encourage employees to think big and act boldly when adopting new technologies to meet business goals.
- Corporate leadership drives digital strategy. Companies that are digitally mature also empower individuals or groups to make decisions that influence the entire organization’s digital strategy. These leaders may not be IT experts, but they are able to understand the big picture of digital transformation: why digital transformation is necessary and how it can accelerate business growth.
Technology and strategy are inextricably linked. The respondents in the Deloitte study cited the top 5 impediments to adopting digital trends as:
- too many competing priorities (43%),
- a lack of an overall strategy (33%),
- security concerns (25%),
- insufficient technical skills (25%)
- and a lack of organizational agility (24%).
Organizations need to evaluate their own digital maturity and determine how new digital initiatives can influence their growth. Does your organization value business strategy that is tied to your technical initiatives or are you allowing technology in the driver’s seat?
In this fast paced technology landscape, change is a constant, and we can’t afford to lose focus on our business strategy. To develop a clear and coherent digital strategy, an outside perspective can be invaluable. OneNeck IT Solutions’ team of experts can evaluate where you are right now—and help you to refine your digital transformation strategy that incorporates the right elements for a successful business future.