Digital Transition Is About Business Transformation

CIOReview India Team | Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 05:25 IST

In an interaction with CIOReviewIndia, Kaushik Mitra, Senior Director, Cloud ERP, Oracle India shares his views on what digital transformation means for business and how to bring about the transition.  

Excerpts:

What do you mean by digitally determined and digitally distraught?

All the businesses are thinking about digital transformation. Almost every business has covered some distance on this journey. However, not all journeys are pleasant or successful. So, digitally determined are those organizations who have been successful in formulating a strategy and digitally distraught are those who are struggling with the change. A digitally distraught business or organization is one that is caught in indecision about which business processes should be transformed or may be involved in continuous cost-cutting measures to regroup from legacy investments. Choosing the right partners for digitally distraught businesses is also very difficult and hence they often lose track of the right business decision.

On the other hand, digitally determined businesses are those that have the bigger picture in mind and plan a roadmap towards advanced changes with a view of the entire business. They understand that this transformation is not a destination, rather an ongoing journey. Digitally determined businesses understand that there will be hurdles in the journey, and yet are resolute to overcome those hurdles while still rolling the ball forward at a fast pace.

Almost every organization is thinking about or undergoing digital transformation. However, some of them are not successful in this transformation. In your opinion, what could be the reasons for their unsuccessful attempts?

Digital transformation at the project level is a recipe of a disaster. Digital transformation in silos can never be successful, there must be a holistic approach that would put the company culture first. In the future, there will be two types of companies, digital and non-digital. According to IDC, 46% of organizations worldwide are "digitally determined," and have the right digital transformation strategy and processes for their organization. The other 54% of organizations are "digitally distraught," which is in danger of being left behind in the digital economy. These organizations may want to undergo a digital transformation, but they haven't changed their culture yet and each functional area or line of the business tends to have its own approach.  

Digitally distraught organizations often struggle to demonstrate that digital transformation is good for the company on the whole because they're working at a project level, so they only demonstrate ROI project by project rather than see a cumulative effect. The digitally distraught are either running digital as an impromptu effort; running multiple digital strategies initiated by the line of business or operating with a short-term perspective. Hence, these organizations become distraught. Without unified efforts or high expectations of short-term ROI, it is very difficult to bring about a major transformation.  

Your brand has been a strong proponent of CFOs being leaders of digital transformation. Can you please tell us more about it?

Today, the onus of taking technology decisions does not fall on CIOs only. True transformation will start when all organizational functions like HR, Marketing, Sales, Finance, etc., come together and to become the core of the business instead of operating in a silo. That requires organizations to operate on connected data that is secure and one that is driven by connected intelligence. Connected data means all business functions are operating as one, eliminating siloed operations and connected intelligence means business functions being able to influence decision making and empowering adjacent business functions. For example, excess liquidity in finance triggering early payment discounting in procurements function, another example being productivity improvement measures in human resources coming by operating expense guidelines from finance. More connected the various functions are, the better they are with the seamless flow of data resulting in better business decision making for growth and resource optimization for enterprises. Bearing in mind, on this eighth continent transformation is one constant game – with emerging technologies drives extreme automation and intelligence that eliminate redundancies. Getting on with transformation isn’t a nice-to-have; it’s a must-do. Companies with the right leadership and data-driven vision will seize the opportunities offered by cloud computing to grow and thrive on the eighth continent— start now before it’s too late.  

How does your brand help its customers to undergo digital transition? What are the important factors that one needs to keep in mind while planning the digital transition?  

Digital Transition is about business transformation, which encompasses every facet of the organization including culture, the way you engage with customers, transforming the way you manage data and turn it into intelligence, transforming your operating model, and transforming the way you work with employees and the way work gets done. Digitally determined organizations have one integrated strategy, where all the digital innovations across various functions or business lines of the organization are in place. These organizations adopt digital transformation as their sole business strategy for growth. To keep on bolting on new digital tools to thrive in this digitally occupied age is a depletion of resources and finance, without any clear benefit. Instead, the organizations need to put all their digital connections and platforms at the heart of their enterprise to develop new ways of working, drive innovation and maximize value in every interaction.

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