In our opinion, there are two crucial areas that must be addressed before businesses can truly embrace digital transformation.

The first is something we have spoken about extensively – Business Relationship Management.  The importance of people in influencing the success of any business project is largely overlooked.  BRM addresses this by acknowledging the importance of the relationships within the project or host team, as well as the suppliers, third parties and other departments which touch the project.  Creating a language and structure for managing these relationships is crucial to digital transformation, and this is why Sollertis has developed a platform specifically to manage BRM.  The importance of BRM is huge, yet it is a complex thing to manage and so a visual organisational tool will be of great value to any business following its principles.

The second area that must improve is how we interpret and use IT data.  A recent report says that businesses will spend $187 billion on business analytics over the next three years attempting to make sense of data being produced.  While businesses have correctly identified that analytics is important, my fear is that they are buying tools expecting them to produce meaningful data without offering the correct input.  Business analytics can undoubtedly produce some valuable stats, but it should not be seen as a substitute for common sense.

To produce useful data, businesses first need to establish what they are trying to achieve.  Not what IT wants to achieve, but what the business as a whole is attempting to do.  Once the overall objectives are established, then it’s a case of working backwards to establish metrics and data that will inform. 

IT departments which establish this process of reversing their way of working – e.g. start with the outcome, then measure results based on achieving these goals – may find that business analytics is no longer such a priority.  Analytics is largely about making sense of complexity, but by simplifying operations and priorities based on delivering strategic outcomes, the “problem” may solve itself.

Connecting actions with desired strategic outcomes, and paying attention to relationships, are the two keys to delivering digital transformation.  Two objectives, two areas of focus = multiple business benefits. 

Simon Kent

About Simon Kent