From Business Transformation to Benefits Realisation
True business transformation requires change to an organisation’s culture, processes and strategies in the face of shifting norms, digital disruption and evolving consumer needs. If done effectively, the benefits can be both immediate and long-lasting. However, transformation for its own sake is not a sustainable recipe for success. Before they begin the change process, companies must set clear goals to determine where they want to go and what enablers they will need to get them there. A clear plan for benefits realisation is critical to successful transformation.
The key driver for benefits realisation is innovation strategy. If leaders can develop the proper innovation strategy, then innovation in all other areas will follow, allowing companies to gain a competitive advantage through proper plan execution.
In order to drive innovation, two main enablers are required: technology adoption and strategic partnerships. I recently met with Neil van Heerden, Country Manager at Neos IT, to discuss what businesses need most to successfully transform themselves. He agreed that the primacy of technology and the importance of the right strategic partnerships are two of the most important drivers of change.
For organisations to thrive in the digital age, technology adoption must be a crucial part of business transformation. Big data analysis, artificial intelligence, blockchain, robot process automation, the Internet of Things, and multi-cloud computing will increasingly need to be fully integrated if companies hope to compete and win in the digital age.
“They represent a huge opportunity for companies to leapfrog their own development,” Neil said. “To introduce new products, enter new markets, serve new customers.”
The benefits of digital transformation are myriad. Costs are reduced. The customer experience is enhanced. Silos break down, and teams become more integrated and cooperative. The increasing amounts of available data can actually be properly analysed and utilised in full. In sum, the business gets measurably better by every conceivable qualitative and quantitative metric.
Many businesses in Thailand have begun digital transformation, and many more will follow as the Thailand 4.0 economic model continues. Some experts predict that by 2022, 61% of the country’s GDP will be digitalised.
In the coming years, the most important C-level executive for many firms will no doubt be the Chief Information Officer. In addition to leading digital transformation, CIOs will be increasingly involved in driving the corporate culture of their organisations. In partnership with Intel and VMware, Forbes Magazine performed two surveys of CIOs from around the world and found that the most important skill for CIOs – more important even than technological savvy – is “contributing to corporate strategy.”
The evolving roles of CIOs and their greater contributions to strategic discussions demonstrate the importance of goal setting in conjunction with technology implementation.
Team members need to be trained on how to use new technology, which in turn needs to be fully integrated at an organisation-wide level. Transformation is not something that happens overnight, and it is not a one-time event. Rather, transformation is an ongoing process that constantly needs to be re-scaled to match changing norms, capabilities, and customer demands.
In today’s changing business landscape, old attitudes around partnerships are becoming obsolete. Companies that used to see themselves as pure competitors are now seeing each other as natural allies. If two or more companies have some overlapping capabilities, but each have their own specialty that the other does not necessarily possess, this can present the perfect opportunity for a strategic partnership that creates a competitive advantage for all involved.
That’s why Grant Thornton has partnered with Neos to work together to create strategies, technology solutions and innovations to help lead companies through transformation.
“The combined team of Grant Thornton and Neos can provide an in-turn solution and help companies on their journey,” Neil said. “It’s not a quick fix. It involves applying yourself to many parts of the business.”
With the right strategy, the right technology and the right partnerships, transformation can provide both immediate and lasting benefits to both the culture and the overall productivity of an organisation. But leaders must remember, transformation is not an event – it’s a journey.