Rapid digital transformation: Ensuring you can pivot, quickly

Rapid digital transformation: Ensuring you can pivot, quickly

If you didn't catch the DTX Talk with Phil Scully, CIO, Costa Coffee, it was a massively insightful half hour, in which Phil shared his extensive experience to discuss digital transformation, digital culture and much more. You can watch it below:

The argument for digital transformation has been won. That’s clear. Even Satya Nadella said in April that the crisis had already brought ‘two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.’ Digital transformation, has, as Phil Scully pointed out ‘gone into warp speed.’ 

This is highlighted by some excellent stats, including that US Online sales are up 76% like for like on last year, Disney Plus has 50 Million new subscribers and that cloud commuting companies stock prices have gone up by 50% since the start of the crisis*

Phil used an excellent quote. ‘You have to be fast on your feet and adaptive or else a strategy is useless’ from Charles de Gaulle. Speed of execution and moving quickly is where you should focus, as ultimately doing everything faster is now critical to the survival of your business. But how can you do it? How can you create a culture, supply chain and business that has agility in its DNA?

Quick decision making. Overcoming the department of no is essential. There are many people in a business who say ‘why change? We’ve always done it this way.’ This is a cultural challenge and needs to be imbued throughout your organisation. You should be asking ‘what you can do?’ rather than ‘why change?’ The days of things going slow in this way are over.

Processes need to be sped up. For example, you don’t need to be sending people documents to sign or having teams managing this. User journeys need to be easier and simpler and we need to think digital first. Take DocuSign’s growth in the pandemic which has been huge, even traditionally conservative government departments like New York’s Department of Labor adapted it quickly to pay out emergency unemployment benefits.

Moving to the cloud. Ensuring you don’t have so many customised solutions is vital, getting things off legacy systems into the cloud will mean you will be able to speed up development and delivery, becoming more agile.

I remember discussing with some colleagues about 5 years ago how consumers expected things quickly in the IPhone and digital age, while competition for businesses had increased significantly compared to the early 2000s thanks to technology, particularly as barriers to entry were reduced. My view is that now consumer habits will change faster, practically overnight or at the flick of a switch and competition will only increase. The risk of that Kodak moment for businesses has only increased over 4 months, in a period which would normally take 2-3 years.

Rapid pace of execution and having an agile culture now business critical.

Join me on 19th August, when I’ll be interviewing Gavin Barton, CTO, Transport at Booking.com about the importance of agility when it comes to your technology.

*Source: The Bessemer Emerging Cloud Index