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Samstag, 27.11.2021
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As your digital transformation progresses, what’s more important, digital capabilities or operational transformation? Obviously, both are essential, but if I had to pick one, I’d say organizations need to emphasize transformation — because true transformation changes everything.

Imagine a Lamborghini tooling along in first gear on the Autobahn — that’s the kind of squandered investment and untapped capabilities you get by pecking away with piecemeal alterations.

True digital transformation should swiftly help you make better decisions on real-time data, innovate faster and better and compete more effectively. If your organization is falling short of its digitally transformed potential, consider whether these shortcomings are hindering rather than helping your transformation.

1. Are you data-rich but action-poor?

Think back to how you used to get critical data about, say, your IT cost trends. You had to tolerate a lot of latency — often days or weeks — and then, you had to manipulate spreadsheets and do additional research before finally making decisions. By then, you could be incurring excess costs you would have curbed had you known about them in time.

Now, with the data your cloud provider delivers, you can collect and synthesize data in real time and receive insightful, timely reports. Acting on that intelligence is another matter. As a case in point, we have been monitoring servers for a client using our cloud platform. Through AI, we determined that 25%-30% of their cloud environment is over-subscribed. They would operate more efficiently and save money by automatically adjusting the subscription based on usage. Simple fix, right? Wrong.

In this case, that’s not what the client wanted to do. Instead, they questioned the data and reviewed the assumptions that produced the results. They debated and dug into the data sets to see why the mismatch occurred. Ultimately, they left the excess in place “just in case" demand rose suddenly. They paid a higher cost, despite all the data and intelligence that said otherwise

That’s old-school thinking for at least two reasons. One, if your data is good, trust it. Even if it’s not 100% precise, it tells you enough of what you need to know so you can act on it immediately. When someone questions the data, consider why. Is it really because they don’t trust the data? Or is it pointing them to a decision they’d rather not make?

Two, if you discover that demand increases and you need extra capacity, you can have it with the flip of a switch. Digital transformation lets you scale up and down as needed, keeping your costs in line with your needs. You don’t have to make costly decisions to guard against future eventualities. By delaying the decision, you are reverting to when data latency hindered decisions, limited options and cost you money.

2. Do you prize traditional decision-making over AI-led automation?

Top executives are where they are because they have a track record of making informed decisions. They review available data and decide the next best course of action. But remember what I mentioned about transformation changing everything? That means all of us in leadership roles, too. I believe our decision-making abilities have been utterly eclipsed by extraordinary advances in AI-led automation.

The sheer amount of data that AI tools can analyze, the myriad sources AI can draw on, its ability to adapt algorithms as circumstances change, and above all, the speed at which that all takes place is unmatched by humans. The prodigious capability of AI leaves our old decision-making skills and processes in the dust.

Regarding the oversubscribed environment described above? By asking for more data, looking for anomalies and failing to dial back the subscription, there was no guarantee that the ultimate decision would be any better — all that did was waste time and money. The wiser approach is to program your AI resources to automatically decide when the data clearly points in a specific direction. If you don’t fully trust automation, then closely monitor the impact of the decision and adjust if required.

3. Are you capable of innovation but late to the market?

Admittedly, innovation is hard. If it weren’t, it would be commonplace, and you would have to call it something else, like 'work.' But innovation is the primary benefit you can derive from your digital transformation. So, you must put in place the right framework to produce innovation and commit to overcoming all the stumbling blocks you are likely to encounter.

One powerful impediment invariably confronts large, long-lived companies: a culture long steeped in ways of doing things, structured to do what it did well in the past, reliant on rigid legacy technologies and inherently resistant to upsetting a working model. To foster innovation in that environment, leaders need to insistently identify and eliminate cultural and structural aspects that impede innovation — such as serial processes and procedures and multiple checks and balances, like checking the checkers — without acting. Leaders need to replace them with a different mindset that fosters innovation — an attitude and structure that says “Move fast and learn” or “mistakes are good if we fix them fast,” and even “experiment, test and experiment some more.”

Digital transformation, with its cloud-based applications, can be a great platform for building innovative capabilities — for moving fast, experimenting, learning and adapting. Equally important, digital transformation vastly expands your potential sources of innovation. You can empower your people with cloud-based tools that let them test their own innovative ideas, collaborate with other groups and get rapid feedback. This can spur innovation in areas where you would not have expected it — sometimes in areas closer to the customer and better able to serve their needs.

In summary, true transformation doesn’t just give lip service to change or dole it out in increments. Instead, real transformation calls for a full-on, enterprise-wide commitment to adopting new technology. But not just new technology — also new ways of doing things in every part of the organization while moving faster on every front.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Michael Morrison

Quelle/Source: Forbes, 17.11.2021

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