Gap between strategy and execution hinders true digital transformation
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Fueled by a desire to become more agile and innovative, business leaders across all sectors of the economy are fundamentally changing the way they think about technology and its role in growing their top and bottom lines.
Executives are embracing digital transformation and looking to use technology investments to drive strategic initiatives, not the other way around.
But that's easier said than done.
Many organizations understand the dire need to evolve but lack ideas about how to do so. On the other hand, a good number of decision makers have ideas on how to transform but need help getting started.
The two sides of this paradigm too often speak different languages, have different priorities or don't communicate whatsoever. This has created a void between strategy and execution that has caused many digital transformation efforts to stall or fail completely.
Key principles of a transformation strategy
Start with the end in mind
WWT defines transformation as purposeful change over a short period of time to obtain or maintain a competitive advantage. Transformation is intense and fast paced and can be overwhelming if not well thought out and implemented.
Every transformation project is different. Therefore, every transformation project requires a customized approach.
An outcome-based approach brings order to complexity and a thoughtful process to decision-making. Consider our work with local grocer Schnucks to develop and execute a digital strategy to make their customer experience frictionless and rewarding while reinforce their value of being the friendliest store in town.
- We helped define objectives and a roadmap. We collaborated with Schnucks stakeholders to identify growth and evolution opportunities for the customer experience, then worked to create the rewards program rules and mechanics around points accrual and redemption. With a plan in place, we got to work developing a strategic roadmap and phased implementation plan to digitize the rewards experience.
- We obsessed over the customer journey. We created a mobile app that brought Schnucks' rewards program to life and drove deeper digital engagement with customers. To nurture that engagement, we assembled shopper personas, feature roadmaps and a state-of-the-art marketing automation stack. We also provided ongoing data governance, analysis and a growth strategy to increase customer engagement.
- We took into account all parts of the store. A digital footprint isn't confined to an app. We developed an omnichannel digital signage strategy tailored to locations and performed in-store customer journey audits to identify a content plan. We analyzed service and wait time data that produced a strategy for each display location and developed the creative templates, day-parting and content strategy.
Build a team of teams
Alignment is critical. These projects run on trust, and our approach aims to build and maintain trust to de-risk and expedite transformation.
Once you're level set with a set of outcomes to drive toward, it's critical to bring in subject matter experts across a variety of fields -- digital strategy, multicloud architecture, security and infrastructure modernization -- to help establish a pragmatic path forward.
Remember, transformation isn't simply a technology decision. It's a purposeful change that requires the right mix of technology, people, capabilities and areas of expertise. We align our team with the culture and values of our customers, selecting the right combination of personalities to make sure the collaboration that happens between our teams is both productive and enjoyable.
For example, our work with global mining firm Freeport-McMoRan to democratize their data and reach new levels of productivity utilized a deep roster of industry and subject matter experts -- artificial intelligence and machine learning, remote asset monitoring, IoT, computer vision and video analytics, user experience, cloud and edge computing, big data consulting, and people with real-world experience in the mining field.
Our end-to-end capabilities allowed Freeport to create an intuitive, scalable web application that translates massive loads of data into clear and actionable insights, which led to enhanced safety and increased productivity, prescriptive insights, workflow visibility and advanced simulation techniques.
By taking this approach, you'll be able to deliver incremental success early, which can help build organizational momentum that justifies the investment in digital transformation to boards and other stakeholders.
An outcome-based approach establishes final business objectives, but should not dictate the way in which you get there. An agile delivery strategy enables flexibility and agility in how you realize and consume value.
By working collaboratively to enhance communication, you'll create a unified approach that addresses real business challenges. This builds credibility and momentum to continue along the transformative path.
Transformation is the destination
Innovation is a team sport.
WWT works hand-in-hand with customers to create unique partnerships that establish business outcomes to drive strategy and technology investment. We immerse ourselves in every aspect of our customers' organization to best meet their unique challenges.
Transformation is the destination. By combining strategy and execution, customers can more quickly move along their journey to becoming a more digitally savvy organization that can swiftly maneuver to meet constantly evolving market forces.
The ATC: A WWT transformation story
Just over a decade ago, our own disruptive market conditions spurred us to reevaluate how we delivered value to customers, and so we opened our Advanced Technology Center (ATC). At the time, it was more of a concept -- a place for smart people to come and get their hands on cutting-edge technology.
The ATC quickly proved to be valuable for customers, which caught the attention of our partners, who before long had invested hundreds of millions of dollars to fill the ATC with the latest and greatest technology.
Along the way, we increased our appreciation and understanding of how technology interoperates and integrates with a broad range of network architectures and how it can work in different ways to create unique business outcomes.
What the ATC means for you
When we opened the ATC, we were investing ahead of demand. Today, that demand is palpable.
The ATC has grown into a next-generation lab environment to design, build, educate, demonstrate and deploy innovative technology products and multi-vendor solutions, while providing our technologists and strategists a knowledge-sharing platform unlike any other.
Nearly every company that embarks on a digital transformation plan experiences significant headwind. The list of challenges is long -- organizational buy-in, an overcrowded marketplace, budget restrictions and lack of know-how, just to name a few, all stand in the way of digital progress.
The ATC platform helps de-risk transformative initiatives and affords our customers an opportunity to continuously learn from and alongside our experts through ongoing training and enablement.
Benefits and outcomes of utilizing the platform include:
- Accelerate decision making. Bypass a chaotic technology landscape and quickly come to smart conclusions with practical tutorials, actionable insights and objective expertise.
- Mitigate risk. Test drive solutions before they're put into production. Validate solutions in a safe environment to ensure they'll work as intended once deployed.
- Continuous education and skill acquisition. Level up with on-demand labs that focus on the latest tech advancement, browse learning opportunities with industry leaders and collaborate with WWT technology experts.
- Speed and agility. Conquer the speed and complexity of technology by combining the worlds of strategy and execution, and business and technology to more quickly deploy complex IT solutions.
The ATC is a place for you to be curious and ask, "What if..." and "Can we..." questions. The ATC is a place to better optimize processes and establish quick wins so you can move on to tackle bigger issues.