By the End of 2018, at Least 40% of Organizations Will Have a Fully Staffed Digital Leadership Team Versus a Single DX Executive Lead to Accelerate Enterprise-wide DX Initiatives. (Source: IDC)

With enterprises looking to accelerate their digital transformation journeys, the pace of change could be unsettling for organizations. Organizational culture can be seen both as a proponent and as a by-product of change. This quote articulates my point very well.

When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.

George Westerman, Principal Research Scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative

In this blog, I plan to touch upon the key drivers of organizational culture that can drive and sustain digital transformation outcomes.

1. Customer Centricity

The concept of digital transformation itself is an exercise where enterprises are aligning their processes, systems, and touchpoints to cater to changing customer behavior and expectations as a result of the digital revolution. Given that customer behavior is forcing organizations to undergo the transformation, it is important that the transformation leads to the better customer experience. One part of the transformation is putting the right technologies and systems in place to track and understand customer behavior better and create the ability to personalize experiences for them. The other part involves driving internal change through process re-engineering and infusing customer centricity into the culture. Companies like Amazon have demonstrated how obsessing over customer centricity can pay big dividends. Bringing in the systems without the culture to support the change is akin to having a really fast caterpillar which won’t get you too far!

2. Analytics-first approach

The digital revolution has created a data explosion both in terms of variety and volume and this has led to a whole new world of opportunities for enterprises. Be it understanding customers, employees, market dynamics, supply chain or risk factors, analytics can help unearth valuable insights, predict outcomes and help executives make informed decisions. The applications of analytics have matured a lot over the last decade and it holds a significant importance in the context of digital transformation. Analytics combined with AI-powered applications can help organizations consume analytics more seamlessly and help drive key digital transformation outcomes like customer experience, operational effectiveness, and new business models. For analytics to be effective organizations need to move from using analytics as needed for embedding analytics into the organizational DNA. Like the quote goes: “Analytics can either be part of the strategy or drive the strategy itself.”

3. Technology adoption

Technology is at the heart of any transformation journey. It powers the data ecosystem, bridges systems across the enterprise, enables project management and collaboration, connects, teams, stakeholders, and customers, provides tracking & reporting systems for time, expense, productivity, and risk and brings advanced analytics and process automation capabilities across the enterprise. A digital transformation roadmap without the right technology components is destined for failure. Organizational culture needs to enable technology adoption and compliance to ensure all functions are working towards a common goal at the same pace.

As a project management professional who has closely seen the evolution of this very important discipline, I strongly believe that its time for traditional thinking is over. Transformation is going to be the norm and organizations have picked up the pace or get left behind. Stay tuned for more on the topic of digital transformation and intersections with project management.