Nicholas Bell, the CEO and founder of Decision Inc., a global leader in information-driven transformation, defines the fundamental methodology an organisation needs to adopt in order to achieve a sustainable future state.
AN INFORMED EQUATION
Digital transformation is only as successful as the groundwork that supports it, and the vision that drives it. Organisational longevity hinges on the ability to build a business that’s capable of leveraging digital and data intelligence to deliver transformational customer experiences. However, achieving this goal asks that the organisation clearly defines its future state – the optimal position for their business to remain relevant in the future.
This definition demands that the business answers tough questions around its digital business investment goals and existing state, while re-examining how it approaches implementation, spend and customer. These thoughts and processes are critical to understand in order to drive the transformation to becoming an Intelligent Enterprise. It has to answer very specific questions that include:
- What does ‘future state’ mean to the business – where does the business need to be tomorrow in order to remain competitive and relevant in a constantly changing market?
- What does this future look like and how should it be measured?
- What is the long-term vision that refines and defines this future state and how will this shape decision-making and measurement parameters today?
The answer lies in the data. In the organisations ability to understand the role of data and how it can be leveraged to achieve a sustainable and achievable future state. Data is the key to unlocking understanding around existing business systems and capabilities, employee competencies and requirements, and harnessing emergent technologies. It is the platform from which the enterprise can deep-dive into its existing infrastructure and skills challenges and thereby paint a picture that not only reflects today, but a realistically achievable tomorrow.
Perhaps the one question that should rule them all is the one that asks How? How can the organisation get to its desired future state and fully realise its potential within a highly competitive and challenging market that’s undergoing endless and unexpected disruption?
The X Factor
The ultimate goal of the organisation is to achieve a future state that ensures relevance. This is not defined exclusively by the use of data and analytics. The tools that refine and harness data and analytics are varied and adaptable to situation and circumstance. The true value lies in the ability to work with the existing technology, human capital and investment potential to deliver a future-proof solution that will drive the reality of the future state.
To this end, Decision Inc. has developed a proven methodology for implementing the organizations Intelligent Enterprise journey. This is easily illustrated through a simple equation that defines the journey within achievable and relevant parameters. This allows for the organisation to build out greater insight into the end state where the variable state is lower and certainty substantially higher.
X (start) + Y (route) = Z (end state)
For example: 8 + X = 15
Start + route = end state
Scenario 1: Clear Start and End
With a clear understanding of our Start Point and our End State the process is now to define how to apply resources and build a change and implementation program to drive the transformation by working towards a measured outcome
Scenario 2: Unclear Start Point but clarity on the End State
The challenge often comes when we do not have 100% clarity of our start point. Our data platforms health, data quality, organizational maturity, understanding of our current state. This risk faced is that if we assume we are better than we are, and build a change program to achieve our end objective we may not actually land up at our intended solution. In this example what happens if we assumed the start was 8 but it was actually 4? Going 7 steps forward would not enable us to get to our intended End State
Scenario 3: Unclear End State
All too often organizations kick off change and technology projects without a very clear definition of the End State and what they intend to experience when they get there. This leaves the organization chasing a target that isn’t clear and can be biased heavily by people’s opinions of what the End State should look like
Scenario 4: General Uncertainty
Many companies embark on transformation programs without clarity on all three options. This is often where the business and its people feel pressure to do something, even though they don’t know what they want from it.
The reality is that most companies only look at the future state around 40% of the time. Everybody is focused on the now. With good reason. The influx of technology, data and platform keeps thousands of digital balls in the proverbial air and the enterprise is expected to juggle these with a dexterity that few have the time or ability to develop. But every business needs a clear idea of the end game in order to know where they are going and how they are supposed to get there.
Now is the time to begin at the end.
“We are witnessing more disruption in human history over the next 10-20 years than what we have seen in the last 20,000 years. Prediction: 60% of Fortune 1000 companies will be out of business in just 10 years.” – Singularity University.
If the organisation can build out greater insights into the end state then its variable state will be lower and certainty substantially higher. Decision Inc.’s Transformation Methodology is a packaged approach to the assessment of the organisation’s current state and the development of a robust and agile framework that helps it to achieve its future state.
The methodology encompasses every aspect of the process from change management to problem resolution, to realising full enterprise potential.
Every business in every market is in a significant state of flux and the problem for many is that there is a critical shortage of expertise and skills in the market to enable organizations to lead these changes. Decision Inc’s global Knowledge Platforms provides clients with proven approaches that have been built in multiple markets and bring the best learnings and shared insights to the customer.
In a world where all organizations must start the journey to being more intelligent the change framework and approach is a very important tool to ensure that the investment decisions the business makes in technology, process, capability and change is aligned to the companies future strategy.