Digital enablement is all the rage. Every business must be digitally connected to succeed in the future, or so we are told. So organisations jump on the bandwagon and purchase newer, whizzier, technology, which frequently fails to deliver the envisaged ROI. Why is this? Could it be that organisations are looking at digital enablement in the wrong way?
Let’s cut to the chase…
- At the heart of digital is data. Data, which informs organisations and their people, facilitating improved decision making, leading to greater efficiency, enhanced customer service and profitability.
- To have a digital vision is essentially to have a vision of the optimum data flow across a business, its customers and suppliers.
- The key question is – what data do employees need/want to do their jobs better at all levels of the organisation? The trick then is to identify how that data is going to be collected, analysed and used to create business benefit and how employee behaviours and processes are going to be evolved to support new data driven ways of working.
- Digital Apps, Tablets, IoT etc, are only a means to an end
The way it should be
If there is a clear understanding of the aspirational data flow across a business much of the enabling activities required to evolve the organisation can be executed prior to the actual selection and implementation of technology thus ensuring that all component parts of the organisation work in a cohesive fashion. This will not only improve the business operationally but also help its employees develop to meet the strategic goals of the organisation.
Digital is therefore only a means to an end. Data and peoples’ ability to use it will be key to future business success.