Laura Cleaver, Udacity’s Vice President of Enterprise Sales, recently sat down with Mike Braithwaite, Managing Director of MDB, to discuss digital transformation journeys.
MDB Service Consulting focuses its work on delivering transformation projects and technology services to companies around the globe. Braithwaite was able to share his wealth of knowledge on the three pillars of a transformation strategy — people, process, and technology.
Keep reading for the top three takeaways from the Decoding the Digital Transformation Journey webinar.
Beginning a digital transformation project.
The start of a digital transformation project can be the most difficult part. How many steps to take and how to align with the end goal can often be overwhelming. In Braithwaite’s experience, it’s best to take a step back and get a good look at where the organization is, compared to where it wants to be.
“A lot of organizations leap into starting a transformation journey without really fully understanding where their start point is,” Braithwaite explains. “When we go into organizations, we look at the maturity of the organization itself, how well it’s operating, how well it’s performing.”
The next is outlining the process; mapping where the organization is to where they want to go. Finally, Braithwaite’s team figures out what is possible in the scope of time available. Once everything is planned out, the digital transformation can begin.
The biggest challenges in a tech life cycle.
There are lots of challenges to face when it comes to the tech life cycle of getting new digital transformation projects deployed, maintained, and iterated on. According to Braithwaite, one of the biggest challenges is teaching technical skills and closing the talent gap.
“As technology advances,” Braithwaite said, “…the skills required to run, operate, and drive that forward become greater, [and] the resources that [are] available become scarcer.” Many tech companies are finding it difficult to find and retain workers with the necessary skills they need for digital transformation. This shortage of upskilled workers means that companies should be focusing their time and efforts on training current workers and making sure their organization is a good place to work.
The elements of a successful digital transformation.
One big question about digital transformation is: what makes it a success? Braithwaite’s answer is threefold. The elements of a successful digital transformation are technology, process, and people. In particular, the combination of technology, process, and people is critical. They are not separate pillars, but instead three interwoven factors that work together.
Many tech companies, Braithwaite says, particularly lack the human element. “Ultimately technology is human-driven and therefore as the technology advances,” Braithwaite states, “you’ve got the human side and the skills side of that.” In other words, technology cannot advance with humans, and humans need technology to advance themselves.