What Do Scuba Diving and Digital Transformation Have in Common?

1 of the chief duties of today’s CIOs is to help to guideline their company’s digital transformation journey: mapping out the method, aligning the stakeholders, setting achievable targets with concrete timetables, and delegating duties to implement the nuts and bolts of that transformation. Most of all, the CIO should plainly articulate the “why” guiding this transformation: What is the legitimate inspiration for why the corporation should digitally transformation and, similarly, what benefit and ROI the corporation can hope to get from it.

Beneath, I’ll define what main abilities a CIO demands to tackle this job proficiently — which probable digital transformation difficulties places a CIO should be on best of, the purpose of digital transformation winner they need to have to enjoy for the CEO, and what “step 0” in any digital transformation undertaking should be to thrive.

Problems Places to Retain on Your Radar

The four regions that can hinder your organization’s digital transformation are the exact same hurdles that regularly pose issues somewhere else.

one. Organizational modify administration (OCM) is ignored. This is generally the initially product that gets cut from a undertaking budget, so unsurprisingly OCM ends up being the best cause for a project’s failure. Unless you can continue to keep stakeholders, crew customers, and end buyers all engaged both all through the transformation undertaking and just after it’s accomplished, you will under no circumstances realize your planned ROI.

two. Core definitions are misunderstood. “Digital transformation” is everyone’s preferred phrase now, but how generally do you get a group of men and women in a place the place they all essentially concur on what it suggests? Some stakeholders will say it’s digitizing their goods, expert services, and platforms. Other folks will say it’s strictly a know-how enjoy. And some will say it has to do with optimizing their back again business office. With out plainly defining what digital transformation suggests to your undertaking and your group, how you outline, observe, and know results won’t be apparent to anyone. Obtaining these definitions in position allows every person to be on the exact same web site and develop reasonable rewards cases appropriately.

three. Innovation-killing company lifestyle. The outdated way of thinking of “command and control” and prioritizing corporation and shareholder benefit in excess of all else stifles innovation and places you in your competitors’ rear-watch mirror when it should really be the other way close to. Just choose a seem at the advancement costs of digital giants and “digital upstarts” in comparison to the legacy businesses, and you will see this dynamic enjoy out in real time prior to your eyes.

4. Hats on pigs. Merely bolting new, highly developed systems onto more mature legacy techniques is like placing a Kentucky Derby hat on a pig: it’s a waste of time and revenue. There are far too a lot of businesses that are hoping to use AI, device finding out, and blockchain (so they can say they are utilizing AI, device finding out, and blocking) even though at the exact same time functioning a slew of unique ERP techniques containing undesirable facts.

Championing Transformation in the Encounter of ‘Horror Stories’

In the SAP earth, there have been a couple of noteworthy stories of S/4HANA implementation failures that have made the rounds in excess of the last couple of yrs. Hershey’s SAP implementation failure is one particular that generally gets pointed to as an case in point of application being the perpetrator and the techniques integrator as its accomplice. The reality was more nuanced than that tale, though: The Hershey incident resulted from a combination of unrealistic expectations and inadequate OCM. But CEOs go through these horror stories and occur away imagining they are greater off nixing any S/4HANA or digital transformation thought proposed to them. It would make perception why they’d have that intestine reaction, but intestine reactions about stories that have gone by a match of telephone shouldn’t dictate your business’ digital transformation initiatives.

To get ahead of this, the CIO should become the inside “champion” for digital transformation. What does that entail?

  • Communicating that for each failure there are exponentially more successes. Be positive you can cite a handful of appropriate sector results stories and point to why they were so effective.
  • Avoid “techspeak.” You’ll eliminate the CEO’s awareness pretty much quickly. Discuss to them in their language: the rewards of digital transformation in phrases of EPS, life time buyer benefit, sector share, earnings and earnings advancement price, order success, and backlog. You have to make the benefit of transformation real to them.
  • Make it apparent that digital transformation is not just an IT undertaking and not just a back again-business office digital optimization approach. The CEO demands to be absolutely informed of digital transformation is a companywide initiative. It is not a thing you silo off with one particular crew it requires devotion and real financial investment across several business units.

Stage : What It Is and What It Is not

Employing or migrating to SAP S/4HANA generally gets outlined as a digital transformation initiative. But this is not the transformation by itself, it’s laying the foundation for which your digital transformation and optimization of back again- and center-business office processes will be executed from.

This is the No. one point I want to impart to all CIOs looking to guideline their company’s digital transformation exertion. Take into consideration this “step .” If you assume of digital transformation as scuba diving, this is the “make positive your air tank is full” stage. It demands to be finished initially and foremost. When you have plainly outlined what digital transformation is, and what it isn’t, you are greater positioned to experience real benefit from it in the end. But if you assume of S/4HANA migration as the endgame in and of by itself — and if you wait until finally SAP’s 2027 deadline to begin speaking to your C-amount leaders about it — you danger your undertaking starting to be one particular of these horror stories you confident your CEO would not happen listed here.