A silver-colored bullet with inscription Digital Transformation

If there ever was a “Silver Bullet” Digital Transformation has filled the chambers of both the skeptics and the believers. If you live in the skeptics chamber you should check out a recent report from McKinsey that provides data from surveys showing that companies who have embraced digital have increased their potential for organic growth. The same report points out that this involves “…digitizing their core businesses and developing new digital businesses”.

A recent article by Jessica Davis points out that “Mid-sized enterprises are having a harder time [getting a foothold in Data Science and Machine Learning]. Without the resources of the bigger players or the agility of the little players, they are slower to implement data science and machine learning.”

So let’s go with the hypothesis that digital transformation is important to your business growth (and in the long run to survive) and that if you’re a mid-sized business its’ more difficult. Then what should your playbook look like? Culling key points from a recent CIO.com article by By Myles F. Suer via IDG contributor Network he suggest CIOs include key fundamentals that lay the foundation to become a digital technology leader.

If you have a CIO  who understands and can help lead your digital transformation great.  If you do not, you need to find someone competent who does. It’s even more important that in either case you participate fully. After all this is not an experiment you can afford to fail. As far as having limited resources you may be in a better position than the large corporations who put gobs of money and their best people toward digital transformation. Since you don’t have unlimited resources you already know you have to stay focused, invest only where needed, and make those investments reactively wherever possible.

To sum it up into things you need to include in your digital transformation playbook here’s our list

Picture showing a human hand and an artificial, illuminated hand touching each other

  • Get with your CIO, or digital transformation consultant, and work with her/him to define a 3-year strategy that is right for your business and aligned with your current and future customer demand and behaviors.
  • Vet your strategy to prove that the future state of your technology will deliver outcomes of increased sales and market share based on that customer demand (and behaviors).
  • Define a detailed plan, schedule and budget for the next 12 months, and tie that into the first year of your strategic plan.

Then add the secret sauce that when forgotten causes 60% of all projects to fail.

  • Develop a detailed Risk Abatement Plan with trigger dates that tie to your 12-month schedule.
  • If not already chosen, convert your plan into an AGILE framework so you can accelerate short term-deliverables while effectively responding to changes in the market, technology, and business priorities.

Good luck with your digital transformation journey!