Where’s your one small step

As an outgrowth of the Cold War in the mid-20th-century, commenced a new raceIt was a race to the Moon. This race was more than a show of competitive technology demonstrations between the United States and the Soviet Union. This race was about dominance. And the first nation to raise their flag in this new frontier would inaugurate itself as the world’s new superpower. This was a show of unprecedented global authority more than anything else.

In the same way, winning in the frontier of digital transformation is not just about growing your technology arsenal and using new digital tools to attain your milestones. It is about utilising your new capabilities ‘to its fullest’ in order to differentiate yourself and dominate the competition.

Not a lot of people remember the 2nd person to walk on the moon

If you want to be the influential force in your industry you need to come in first. You not only need to have the right digital tools, but you must have a strategic way of using them to win.

So what shall it be? Will you bask in the glory of the first place, or will you be that unknown second?

How to be No. 1?

Undertaking digital transformation used to be considered very aspiring, but now it’s the bare minimum effort organisations need to make to stay relevant. If you want to be a pioneer, if you want everyone to know your organisation, and your brand, you have to push your digital initiatives to another level. You need to know how to achieve a state in which your digital ammo is used as intendedand to its fullest extent. In other words, it’s not just building your rocket-ship, but taking it all the way to the moon. And this requires you to be fiercely competitive, with an unshakable commitment to innovation. 

A recent survey of directors, CEOs, and senior executives found that ‘digital transformation (DT) risk’ was their #1 concern in 2019. Yet 70% of all DT initiatives did not reach their goals. Of the $1.3 trillion that was spent on DT last year, it was estimated that $900 billion went to waste. (Source 1, 2)

[In order to increase success in your digital transformation efforts you have to:

  • Figure out your broader business strategy before you invest in anything. 
  • Leverage the right Technology Partner (A team of experts who have proven abilities, and who have intimate knowledge about what works and what doesn’t).
  • Bring in that Silicon Valley start-up culture into your organisation.]

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

1. Is your endgame unprecedented?

The motive that drives your digital transformation strategy should be more than just achieving a high ROI on your software investment. It’s about utilising your technology to soar ahead of your contenders.

Did you know that by 1961, the Soviet Union had already successfully launched the first satellite and human into space. At that point, President John F. Kennedy knew that reclaiming the lead in the space race would require a major push. He went and partnered with the director of then recently formed NASA, and defined a goal that would guarantee victorya crewed moon landing. This is how ‘The Apollo program’ was born. (Source)  

Their next step was designing the strategy. In addition to developing rocket technology, the plan needed to address ‘usability’. Your strategy has to answer this question: How can you make sure that your technology is utilised to its fullest extent while minimising demands on users?

2. Is your staff familiar with your technology?

The efficiency in your training programs will determine how well users can operate your technology. The Apollo astronauts underwent rigorous training for nearly a decade to maximise their chances for a successful mission (failure to operate new rocket technology would result in catastrophic incidents). In addition to simulated tests, the crew who went to the moon depended on written manuals to learn how to operate the spacecraft. This thing is, you don’t have this luxury because change in the digital landscape is fast, and always accelerating. Hence, achieving the level of usability that you desire demands a very effective and agile training approach. Unlike the astronauts, you are not going to fully adopt efficiency after a few simulations. You have to choose a solution that provides ‘real-time guidance’ to ensure your users can perform at their finest in the time of need. If you don’t have that in high-pressure situations, your rocket-ship is going to crash and burn.

3. Do you have metrics for measuring success?

Once you have landed your man on the moon, it’s obviously ‘mission accomplished’. But, while the crew is still on the way, they would need a system to measure whether or not they are still on course. Without the proper metrics to monitor the progress, you wouldn’t know when to course correct (or if you are driving your digital transformation at its most efficient levels).

Just as NASA measured its progress through simulations and piloted experiments, you must have a framework and a roadmap to identify what’s working and what’s not in your strategy. You will need to understand your criteria of your mission, and your most important milestones to indicate that your mission is on track. 

4. Unlike the Apollo mission, the digital transformation race Has no end. Are you mentally ready for that?

The American Astronauts operated with a tremendous level of determination and mental strength. When the Russians put the first man in space, the Americans didn’t just throw up their hands and say, “Oh Great, we lost, it’s over.” As a matter of fact they did the opposite. They established NASA, procured the nation’s smartest engineers, and commenced the race to the moon. They didn’t look back. They pushed forward with such relentless conviction and did not stop until they won.

But here is the thing, your race doesn’t have an end. Digital transformation isn’t a result, it’s a process. You belong to a race where you have to regularly redefine the finish line. 

5. Do you have what it takes to win?

The digital transformation race requires you to have the determination to continually evolve, and inspire your people to rise to the challenge. This could meanthat coming in firstmeans creating your own race. You gotta have the grit to face the challenge at hand, and the courage to create new uninhibited milestones. That’s how you conquer new frontiers.

Remember that Digital transformation is just a small piece of the larger mission.  Digital technologies provide opportunities for efficiency gains and customer intimacy. But if people lack the right mindset to change, and if the current organisational practices are flawed, your transformation will simply magnify those flaws. You must know how to drive digital transformation at its highest level of efficiency in order to use new technology to dominate your competitors. In this digitally drenched market of today, it’s the only way to stand out in the eyes of your customers, and win.

Ready to evolve?

Whether you have a strategy in place or are starting from scratch, we can help you transform for the future. Call us at 0203 908 1977, or email us at innovate@mitrai.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  

DJ Rana

Mitra Innovation

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