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The 3 Ps of Transformation

For the new year and many more to come, there will be an increased focus on digital transformation initiatives, the non-negotiable aspect of every organisation's strategy. Both locally and internationally, companies have faced the unexpected challenges of becoming more agile and transforming their business scope and scale through technology. While few have had success, many more are struggling with three critical categories which hold the secrets to successfully shifting from an industrial era company to one that thrives in the digital age.


How will these concepts be uncovered? For those suffering through the wilderness of uncertainty, here are three buckets that simultaneously hampered many on their paths and hold the keys to success.


#1 People

The Achilles heel of digitalization. Why? Because the very success of any digital transformation is determined by the internal and external customers of the transformation experience. If one or both groups are not thoroughly examined and enrolled as a part of the transformation process, it will fail. While this may seem like a "no-brainer", it somehow is still the most significant blind spot for many involved in the digital transformation process. People (employees and leadership) are primary enablers before tech can add scale and speed and before customers can experience the newly transformed experience. There's a formula that seems to work to ensure the right people are in the right place for digital transformation. It requires innovative thinking, agile decision-making, and, most importantly, recognizing that there are "no sacred cows".


#2 Process

Being clear on the transformation process begins with the vision of what it will deliver. Many companies have struggled without having a picture of how tech will solve their customers' problems. In addition to having this clarity, a transformation roadmap tailored to the business needs and a customer journey should be a minimum requirement from every board. And let's not forget how the people and the processes will work together to deliver short and long term outcomes. The secret to successfully executing the "process aspect" of digital transformation is knowing where you are, who you are, and who you need to become to achieve success.


#3 Partners

A partnership model seems to be the best approach to tackling the challenges of taking on any level of digital transformation. This is true for the MSME and for large corporations. This can be achieved by leveraging external expertise (which is the norm) through a consultant, a business coach or through sandboxing internal talent to work in new ways toward target outcomes. The secret sauce to selecting the right partner is of course knowing what you're trying to achieve, how much you can afford and whether or not the potential partner has a healthy success track record.

These three categories have inherent secrets uncovered by those who successfully managed to brave the new frontier. Others will have to chart new courses, some through trials of fire, to survive and thrive or perish in the wilderness.