We’ve often said that digital transformation isn’t just about changing technology. Transformation changes work flows, organizational structure and work culture. When done well, it can lead to dramatic performance improvements. But change is a challenge for employees who are stuck using the very legacy processes and technology that transformation is meant to improve.
For them, problems feel so deeply entrenched that it’s hard to imagine a future without them. They may even design a new solution to fit existing problems, rather than remove them altogether. Anne Robinson, Chief Strategy Officer at Kinaxis, calls this approach to transformation a lift-and-shift. “If you don’t break those habits of legacy systems from days gone by, all you do is continue to propagate the same issues that you had in the old system,” she says.
Anne discusses the challenge of designing forward-thinking transformation with John La Bouff of Spinnaker in an episode of our podcast, Big Ideas in Supply Chain. Anne and John explore the idea of creating transformation blueprints to be deliberate about change. That process includes identifying the business metrics underlying your goals and ensuring that you have access to the data to support those goals.
It also requires questioning assumptions at all levels of the business. “It's our job as systems integrators to resist the temptation to just write down every requirement that they say and not challenge it critically in terms of its necessity and its actual value add,” says John, speaking as a consultant.
So, how do you begin?
John and Anne outline the right approach to digital transformation in our podcast, “Creating a digital transformation blueprint.” Listen to the entire episode here or skip to key segments using the links below.