By Rachel Kemmis and Mayank Bhutoria
Just about everything in our lives has been digitalised. At work, digital technologies have been used to automate processes, enable remote work, synthesise business intelligence and generate novel products. And at home, from banking to travel to fitness, we rely on digital approaches to carry the mental load and make us more efficient.
Despite this, in our work with an array of organisations, we have observed that some leaders remain reluctant to embrace or prioritise digitalisation. This is unsurprising given the many stories of digital transformations that have gone over budget, over schedule and failed to deliver the promised benefits. Common sentiments include:
Do these sound familiar? If so, we think it is time to reconsider.
The omnipresence of digitalisation means customers, employees and other stakeholders expect organisations to embrace digital ways of working. A failure to do so will increasingly make your organisation less competitive and attractive, and mean you miss opportunities.
Importantly, as digitalisation has become more prevalent, tools and methods have become more accessible for all organisations.
When thinking about digitalisation your organisation should no longer be asking “Why?” but “How?”. The challenge is identifying where to start and what digital approaches are best suited to your organisation.
We are pleased to share some ideas on how you can lead your organisation through digitalisation, along with some examples of sectors that have demonstrated the art of the possible.
Digital technologies are tools and systems that generate, store or process information. As a way of working, ‘being digital’ is about using digital technologies to achieve outcomes including:
Although digital technologies are inherently transformational for efficiency and experience, they do not require your organisation to transform its sense of self. Digital tools and methods can deliver performance by:
But while there is significant upside to moving toward digitalisation, there are also significant costs to standing still, otherwise known as technology debt. The longer you hold the debt, higher the risks.
Fears that ‘going digital’ is too hard or too expensive leave some leaders reluctant to pursue or prioritise digitalisation. While this might be true for a digital transformation, it is not the case for harnessing digital enablers to improve your current business model. We all saw this demonstrated during COVID-19 across many industries.
With a clear case for why organisations should digitalise, the key question is how to go about it. The Nous Organisational Architecture Framework (NOAF), a long-standing framework used by Nous consultants around the world, is a useful mechanism to help your organisation to realise its full potential.
Starting from the organisation’s vision and mission, the NOAF identifies the critical enablers and levers available to you to achieve your desired future state. We have adapted the NOAF to help organisations identify the gaps digitalisation can fill. This tailored NOAF prompts your organisation to consider questions across the breadth of your enterprise:
Importantly, digital ways of working can augment activities across the breadth of your enterprise. You will only get the full benefit when every part of the organisation is leveraging digital tools to reduce overheads, innovate and meet the expectations of employees, customers and stakeholders.
From our experience working with a wide array of organisations, we have identified early steps and priorities. Where you start should be grounded in the insights derived from considering your organisational framework through a digital lens.
It can be valuable to use a trusted independent expert to facilitate conversations with your leaders to identify your next steps, develop your digital roadmap and action plan, and generate buy-in and momentum for change.
Being a digitally enabled organisation is no longer cutting edge, but ignoring the opportunities puts your organisation at risk of being a digital dinosaur. Enabling your organisation to flourish by seizing the opportunities presented by digital technologies should be at the top of every organisation’s and leader’s strategic agenda in 2023.
Get in touch to explore how we can help your organisation to go digital.
Connect with Rachel Kemmis and Mayank Bhutoria on LinkedIn.
Prepared with support from Sarah Harriss and Simon Guttmann.
Published on 2 December 2022.