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Agile Digital Transformation - Everlasting Market Competency Secret

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Pooja Chatrath, CIO, Oncquest Laboratories Ltd

A Master’s degree in Computer Science, Pooja is a seasoned technology leader with over 23 years of experience in driving digital transformation initiatives for numerous organizations. She believes in the amalgamation of innovation, collaboration and adaptability to efficiently solve any modern day business problems and achieve sustainable growth.

Of late, we are witnessing a heightened competition across almost every industry worldwide. Thus, companies are left with no other option but to innovate and come-up with new, more efficient products/services to maintain a competitive edge in the market. However, striking a balance between innovation and operational stability & reliability has been a tough nut to crack for many organizations. To achieve this, the organization must strategically allocate its resources based on the priority of each innovation project in the overall organizational objectives. This will not only enable the company to maintain stability in its operations, but also pursue future innovation opportunities.

Also, business leaders must cultivate a culture of continuous learning and adaptability across all functions. For instance, since not all innovation projects can be successful, the company must ensure that employees learn from the mistakes and inculcate those learning in their future projects. Most importantly, the management team must make sure that all the departments within the organization collaborate with each other in their innovation efforts and not work in silos. This way, companies can balance between innovation and stability within the organization.

Aligning Digital Transformation Strategy with Current Market Trends
The foremost step that companies can take in this regard is to develop a culture of agile innovation across all functions of the business. Also, they must invest on employee L&D initiatives and conduct regular training programs to help the workforce update their skills and stay abreast of the latest tech trends in the market. Additionally, organizational leaders must build a conducive environment for the employees to freely experiment with new ideas without the fear of failure and develop a mindset of learning from their mistakes instead of seeing it as a setback. Further, having all the systems and infrastructure on cloud enables businesses to scale-up/down with ease as per the market demands without the need to allocate additional resources.

Common Digital Transformation Challenges
One of the most common, yet crucial challenge that most companies are currently facing during their digital transformation journey is the employees being resistant to change. Many employees are accustomed to their regular processes and reluctant to come out of their comfort zones and adapt to new technologies being implemented into the process. Thus, it is important for the organization to have a strong leadership team that can clearly communicate the benefits that this new transformation will bring-in to both the employees and the company as a whole. Also, since not all employees possess the necessary skills to function using new processes, it is extremely crucial for the organizations to have regular training programs for employees to up-skill them and supports them in getting adapted to new technologies.

It is extremely crucial for the organizations to have regular training programs for employees to up-skill them and support them in getting adapted to new technologies.

On the other hand, many Niche can’t be used for manufacturing industries such as healthcare and manufacturing still have a lot of legacy systems which are either incompatible or render ineffective when integrated with new technologies. To overcome this setback effectively, organizations must have an effective strategy in place about which legacy systems to retain and which ones to replace with modern applications depending upon the TCO and time required achieving the ROI. This enables the companies to embrace digital transformation without having to shell-out big investments on new systems or applications. Additionally, the widespread digitization of processes across all industries has significantly broadened the attack surface for cyber-criminals, posing serious security and privacy related risks to business. Thus, it is paramount for companies to prioritize security and consider data security & privacy as the core aspect right from the initial phase of every project and not keep it is an optional or support function which can be integrated at the later stages of the project.

Data Analytics Facilitating Informed Decision Making
Firstly, the company must have a clear vision/mission around what they want to achieve through digital transformation – be it improving customer experience, enhance process efficiency, cost optimization or any other. Also, they must have well-defined KPIs in place to assess the progress of their digital transformation projects. Since data is considered as the lifeline of every digital transformation initiative, organizations must have effective data strategies in terms of collecting data, standardization of data, centralized data management, governance policies that must adhered to and many others. This enables the enterprises to then develop algorithms for both diagnostic and predictive analytics, helping them better understand the reason for any past issue/problem, predict if that problem was to recur in the future and accordingly take the necessary preventive measures. However, business leaders must make sure to imbibe a data-driven culture across the organization and enhance data literacy among all employees.

KPIs of a Successful Digital Transformation Drive
In today's hyper-competitive business landscape, maintaining an effective communication with their customers is the primary reason why most of the companies are embracing digital transformation. Thus, customer experience is one of the most effective KPIs that enterprises can use to assess their digital transformation initiatives. Further, customer experience can be measured by analyzing the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which enables businesses to set specific standards for customer satisfaction. CSAT score is another effective KPI through which companies can access the customer satisfaction post implementing new products/services as part of the digital transformation drive. A few other common yet effective metrics to measure the success of a digital transformation initiative are cost efficiency, TTM, employee satisfaction & productivity and many others.

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