The case for digital transformation starts with engaging stakeholders around the core business model and outcomes they expect. Of course, IT concerns are important, but transformation must focus on the bottom line, which goes beyond IT alone.

To accomplish, be sure the platform considers future processes as well as current ones. Without the right platform, the business model itself might become unsustainable in the face of change. Therefore, technology foundations must evolve at the same time as business foundations.

To engage stakeholders, create a succinct point-of-view document, limited to a single page, which summarizes likely benefits to the business. Be sure stakeholders understand that digital transformation is a business-wide process intended to achieve very specific outcomes.

Building the Business Case for Data

Irfan Khan: Setting a solid case for your business transformation is imperative. It starts off with engaging the stakeholders, and that’s across the spectrum of both senior leaders in the company, but also the business users of course as well. If we understand that the disruption we are introducing to the business is not just there to provide another iteration of IT to get their work done, it’s really there to provide greater profitability for the business, provide greater shareholder value, and ultimately to product new business options and new business models, that will essentially provide greater monetization in the future.

So the platform needs to be significantly strong enough and foundational to support not the weight of current operations, but future operations. Business processes do evolve, they do change, so you need to be able to create more of a virtual experience, a virtual understanding of where data is today, and how the evolution needs to be understood in the future as well. So this is really a very significant part. As the processes, and of course your branches evolve, your translations into the technology foundations have to also evolve at the same time.

Having met with many customers, who are all trying to embark on their own journeys in terms of digital transformation, the one piece of advice I typically give them is, “Be succinct. Try to define exactly what the outcome should be. And a good approach to doing this is to actually create a point of view document, and I would literally limit this to a single page. If you could write down, in a succinct manner, a very crisp fashion, what exactly the benefits to the business would be, what the outcome [is] that you would be able to achieve, and that could be communicated widely…”

Ultimately, a digital transformation is company-wide, enterprise-wide. It’s not restricted or limited to one particular business user, or one line of business. Let’s get the engagement of all the stakeholders, make sure that the understand the outcome that they’re all trying to drive towards, and ultimately the success that we’re able to drive, overall, n2n, for the corporation.