17 Apr

Three Building Blocks For Digital Transformation Featured

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Digital Transformation is the force businesses are using to develop ways to unify the competencies, be more people focused, and customer centric, while operating lean and mastering innovation. 


Digital Transformation has evolved from aligning technology to the business to technology being inclusive in the business.


I’ve been in IT for twenty-five years and marvel at the thought of IT being aligned because logically speaking; when was technology separate from the business?  Technology is a major player to business, it always has been but the advancements in automation elevate the status it has in the business.  In the past, the business knew IT existed however there were no formal paths of interconnectedness between IT and the rest of the business.  That has changed and technology is essential for businesses to operate, compete and grow. 


Digital Transformation stems from three building blocks –

  1. The Customer Experience
  2. The Operational Processes
  3. The Operational/Business Models


These three building blocks are ever changing with a multi-dimensional structure.  Ever feel like your swimming against the tide while adopting frameworks and models to be more agile and efficient?  That is because by the time you reach a milestone it seems another aspect is now of importance to consider and it affects the entire plan and changes the results.  It creates a cycle of chasing and fire fighting.  Digital Transformation isn’t something new, however it’s meaning has more significance to what “we” (the industry) has learned over the last two decades when it comes to being lean, efficient and innovative. It comes full circle highlighting the criticality of the customer experience, putting people back at the heart of business, and instill an operating/business model in which you can mature and refine for growth. 

The three building blocks to Digital Transformation - 

1.    The Customer Experience

The customer experience can only be established when you truly understand the customers, how and where they interact with your company. The platforms used to understand customers are done through target marketing, surveying, geographical studies, and social platforms as a way to understand what leads to customer dissatisfaction and what attributes make the customer happy.  Digital media and marketing is an acceptable approach to understanding the customer better.  

Another aspect to customer understanding is to learn how the customer views your brand.  Branding most often is driven by demand and behaviors of the customer are affected by various technologies.  One key point to highlight, the customer experience is quite different from the user experience.  The user experience is far removed from cost investment to the service level expected which the customer has knowledge of and the customer experience is far removed from day to day delivery experience users are accustomed to. Balance both for the best experience possible. 

The customer experience is one area you want to focus on the most.  If you had to prioritize the building blocks, then this one comes first as TOP priority to transform.  The people aspect is the most crucial factor to pay attention to.  Making life easier for the customer will streamline the experience they have with your business.  Make use of crafty automation to streamline customer-facing processes.  Making your service useful to customers to solve issues and eliminate their pain points will open the pipeline to growth. 

Customer experiences are the most visible so make it a better experience than you would expect.  Customer experiences are the most challenging because it requires you to fully comprehend their view of your company’s brand, service delivery model and support model.


2.    The Operational Processes

Transformation characteristics are formed from renovating operational processes.  What is your methodology for aligning processes to the organizations strategic plan?  This question must be addressed first.  You may be surprised to discover there will be different views on the methodologies used between the different areas of the business.  A business must be able to align itself to the strategic plan in order to achieve effective transformation and alignment of the Operational processes. Once processes are aligned intentions, goals and measures can be utilized to assess progress.  The second building block succinctly forms an operating work flow which is clear and functional in instruction, design, handoffs, escalations, notifications and the customer experience.

Operational Process Transformation Requirements

  • Recognize organizational functional capabilities and break down any functional barriers.  Increase organizational buy-in with inputs from various levels in the business.
  • Identify process interactions, integrations, touch points and any inconsistencies to understand how the existing processes work in the organization.
  • Identify any negative feedback systems in place.
  • Identify and understand the processes that have the most importance on the businesses success.


3.    The Operation/Business Models

Organizations frequently evaluate how their functions work and look for ways to improve upon them. How functions interact is even more important than how the functions work.  A crucial point to Digital Transformation success is to ensure the operation/business models are continually evolving the functional boundaries and activities for a cohesive design.

To realize how vital it is to transform in order for the business to survive puts the aspect of transformation into the appropriate context.  It isn’t about the way or how fast a business changes technology; it’s all about modifying the way you do business and the high performing and functioning of the organizations competencies.

The methodology you use for the framework of the operation/business models isn’t as important as the Governance to the model. How you manage and govern the policies in the business create a more solid operating model that works and handles technologies more effectively.   

Digital strategies in the organization must be developed with a focus on transforming the business.  When evaluating the operation/business model in building block number three, be sure to expand the focus from individual technologies to the integrated suite. 

Digital Transformation requires a new mindset that it isn’t about the technology at all!  People and process presence in the business drive and advocate change.

In order to effectively approach Digital Transformation instill a strong leadership presence in the business to drive and advocate change.  Remember, the structure of the three main building blocks is ever changing and multidimensional.  The multi-dimensional layers to the three main blocks each have their own branches and layers to it. Ever changing isn’t implying rapid change to the point of instability, it means being attentive and willing to change for the betterment of, the customer experience, the operational processes, and the operational/business models.   

 People Colloborating 

Focus is important and it isn't necessary to tackle all three building blocks at once.  To succeed continue to identify and apply new ways to work in the digital era without compromising people and process!  

Read 873 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 April 2017 20:20

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