I recently spent a couple of days at a hotel. The hotel had a theme of everything digital about them and I was impressed within the first few minutes of my check-in.
The artwork on the walls were images of circuits embedded in canvases. The lights were activated by motion sensors. The restaurant and coffee shop were named after computer terms. The crew took food orders over an app.
The lights would turn off all of a sudden. While in the lobby I stopped for a minute to check a message on my phone and it went dark. While I sat in my room reading a book, it went dark again. I could not find the manual switch to turn it back on.
The whole experience left me confused and felt like moving between a great experience to a sub-par one. It felt like living in different time frames?—?future and past.
Digital transformation journeys for most companies are very similar to my hotel experience.
According to a recent PWC Survey, most companies are either ‘Looking Digital’ or ‘Doing Digital’.
And missing the whole point in this busyness.
PWC Survey on Digital Transformation Maturing of Organizations
Technologies are cool
You bring in cool or latest fads of technology, force fit that into some existing process. Like automating your companies timesheet, or leave records.
Gadgets & Tools
Add latest gadgets like wearables that allow you to talk about it at water coolers and coffee breaks.
Looking Digital is the first and the easiest part of your transformation. Most organizations spend a lot of time, effort & money on this & assume they are now digital.
You are now quicker, faster and in action. Quick prototyping and constant checks with the customer on the product. You are comfortable to stay agile.
You are now not afraid to experiment and are willing to fail first and fast. You are fine with starting a project in a volatile state and build on it as you further.
A few change projects that create disruption of current processes and systems, for the better. You constantly seek to question status-quo and try to find ways to improve.
Customer Centric Design
In this state, the customer comes first. All your products or services aim to add value to the customer. You focus on the customer experience while adding value.
You are able to predict trends in a volatile environment, adapt to these changes and pivot. All this while keeping your customer value & experience central.
You collaborate with suppliers & partners on an unconscious level. You tend to bring in skills and use them for the specific customer need and do it in a seamless & non-intrusive manner with your customer experience.
The hotel like everyone else was looking digital. User experience took backseat while spending on motion sensors, and art work that had circuits in it. They have a long way to ‘BE’ digital. Such a state of digital maturity is transformation.
It might seem to think that the logical way for digital transformation is to first LOOK, then DO & eventually BE. This seems logical & incremental.
However, to truly create a digital organization you should first ‘BE’ digital. Everything else in what you ‘DO’ and how you ‘LOOK’ will be a byproduct of your ‘BEING’..