Updated: Apr 7
"We spent millions on digital transformation but did not see improvement in our business," a facility management company owner lamented. "Was there an update to your SOPs as part of the digital transformation?" I asked, knowing this is a common issue for many small businesses that adopted digital technology as the vendor had promised 'digital transformation'.
Digital transformation is more than just technology adoption. It includes a component that improves business outcomes. And often, a digital transformation exercise traverses across business divisions to design the right metrics to measure, track and improve business outcomes.
A successful digital transformation consists of 5 steps, and many such 'transformations' failed as the adopter skipped steps 4 & 5. Source: HBR - https://hbr.org/2021/11/the-essential-components-of-digital-transformation.
Technology providers pitch dashboards, insights, machine learning, anomaly detections and all the buzzwords that catch attention. The power of data analytics lies between digitisation and transforming people, processes and systems. This is where business outcomes are achieved.
As a technology consultant, I often help companies diagnose digital transformation exercises by aligning the technology to business outcomes. And often, I start from the intended business outcome and work backwards to identify the right metrics to measure and the sensors to deploy.
Start with the business objectives
Define measures of success (KPI) and identify sub-metrics to measure
Deploy sensors and digital systems to measure progress
Designate roles and people to act on the insights
Effect change and transform the business