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Is Your Digital Plan Working?

Digital maturity therefore is a powerful tool that organizations need to wield to deliver an agile computing environment

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The question "Is your Digital plan working?", answers one aspect - the world has accepted the need of going digital, and today we stand at the helm of evaluating our digital maturity. Digital Readiness today is not only the need of the hour for organizations but a measure of their agility and competence to deliver business goals in an efficient manner. Organizations need to keep pace with changing business conditions and hence require an environment that is more social, mobile, accessible and data driven. Digital maturity therefore is a powerful tool that organizations need to wield to deliver an agile computing environment.

Business outcomes and goal is the key driver for any initiative by an organization. The plan to Digital Readiness must first evaluate the expected Business outcome which could be one or more of the following:

"    Sales Efficiency
"    Operations Excellence
"    Time to Market
"    Customer centricity
"    Product Index

To achieve it, a multi-step approach is required that ensures People, Process and Technology work in tandem, ingesting and collecting humungous amount of data and spewing data driven information fast enough for intelligent decision making. The flexibility and agility with which these three pillars of Business imperatives collaborate, transform and hence deliver can be met only through an evolved Digital maturity level. Digital readiness initiatives should follow an approach that evaluates and transforms business processes, enables technological capabilities to meet these transformations and improves digital literacy in a time bound fashion. Thus it is critical to create a plan that engages employees and partners in a collaborative process to improve their contribution. Basis the identification of the expected business outcomes the People, Process and Technology parameters need to be ascertained. Some of them could be as follows:

People
"    Team Structure and Leadership culture
"    Collaboration in a Cross-functional Team
"    Employee Engagement and Training
"    Current Digital Dexterity of the Employees

Process
"    Digital Transformation
"    Process Re-engineering
"    Process Optimization

Technology
"    Current Gaps
"    Robustness
"    Ease of Use and maintenance
"    Future readiness

The journey to an all pervasive digital environment is a stepped approach that requires deep insight and careful thought in a structured manner. It needs a strong impetus at all stages of its lifecycle namely, Initiation, Funding and Implementation. The initiation step requires one to determine value drivers for the organization. This allows to keep focus on improving the business efficiencies critical to the organization. Next step is to create a roadmap with action plan basis the business alignment, people alignment and technology alignment. These parameters will determine financial aspect and aid in providing the fund aspect of the initiative. Finally, at implementation, execute the action plans for people, process and technological interventions, track and score progress of initiatives, evaluate improvement for future assessment and changes. Irrespective of the size of an organization, an early investment into digital initiatives reaps benefits in terms of agility and repeatable successes.

The measure to test whether a digital plan is effective has to be done in a predetermined time frame with a scorecard that touches all aspects of the digital strategy. Hence, there needs to be a consistent tracking and monitoring mechanism to ensure the initiative is in alignment with the strategy it was created for. Measurement hence is an imperative to not only determine the current success rate and ROI but also future improvements and transformations. Time bound measurement of its effectiveness will provide the direction the initiative needs to take.

Digital readiness for every organization is an ongoing effort that helps them achieve their targets efficiently. It is not just changing technology that creates the impetus to go digital, but also the need to engage workforce productively and the need to meet rapidly changing business environments. Finally, with the onset of the "Data Natives", the question, "Are you digitally ready?", is going to become rhetorical. Digital dexterity will soon be a norm than a skill in days to come.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Neetika Chhabra

The author is CIO, Gaia Smart Cities. She has over 20 years of experience in large conglomerates in the domain of Telecom, CRM, Digital transformations and IoT

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