Digital Transformation

Digital transformation marks a rethinking of how an organisation uses technology, people, and processes in pursuit of new business models and new revenue streams, driven by changes in customer expectations around products and services.

Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models. The term is widely used in public-sector organisations to refer to modest initiatives such as putting services online or legacy modernization. Thus, the term is more like “digitization” than “digital business transformation.”

From the perspective of organisational transformation, true digital transformation requires leaders to go back to the fundamentals. They need to focus on changing the mindset as well as the organisational culture and processes before deciding what digital tools to use and how to use them. The future of the organisation should drive the technology, not the other way around.

Pros

  • Makes business more competitive.
  • Makes employees more productive.
  • Allows for a better customer experience.

Cons

  • Never-ending change.
  • Takes time for effective implementation.
  • Can cause upheaval & uncertainty.

Recommended resources:

Gartner Glossary, Digital Transformation

Harvard Business Review, Digital Transformation is Not About Technology

Design Thinking

Design thinking aims to develop innovative ideas and solutions for diverse problems, which applies a high level of creativity to the problem solving process. Beginning with an analysis of the users needs to understand real problems and expectations, it then applies different creativity techniques to develop, test and validate prototypes to solve the problem at hand.

Promoted by the Stanford d.School, Design Thinking has been adopted in recent years as a reference methodology in various fields, such as corporate, industrial and healthcare, used in educational, political and social innovation.

From the perspective of organisational transformation, design thinking can be a very effective way of developing a culture of growth and innovation within the organisation.

Pros

  • It is highly structured with well formatted tools to aid the creative process.
  • By asking less conventional questions, teams can discover more original ideas, leading to innovative solutions.
  • It can foster strong engagement  and help organisations to get their employees onboard to collectively meet the challenges they are facing.

Cons

  • The involvement of many people in the idea generation process can lead to chaos and incoherence.
  • As it requires the direct involvement of users it can be resource intensive.
  • The application of the methodology for the design of corporate digital solutions could clash with restrictions imposed by integrations with systems already in use.

Recommended resources:

Creative Confidence, Tom Kelley, David Kelley, IDEO 2021

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