Digital business transformation: where we are and where we’re headed

Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Julie Ask shares what’s in the way for most companies trying to transform digitally — and provides a new way of thinking and working to gain momentum.

Show notes:

Companies all too often operate as cargo ships laden with aged processes, beliefs, and norms. Instead, companies need to be able to operate as speedboats that can change course on a dime in order to respond to market forces or innovate in front of competitors.

Underneath that challenge is a reality that we are more aware of (but maybe no less comfortable with): The combined impact of empowered customers and the pace of digital innovation is changing how markets and businesses work. And that impact forces the hand of nondigital native companies to transform digitally — whether they want to or are ready for this change or not.

This dynamic changes the way we think about our world and defines digital transformation as:

  1. The ability to move at the pace of restless, empowered customers who adopt and abandon at amazing speed.
  2. The ability to move at the pace of digital — responding to digital disruption that may come from different angles or industries.
  3. The ability to design digital for a human being.

Digital transformation is not about innovating on the front end while (intentionally or unintentionally) preserving or incrementing on old ways of doing business. Instead, it’s about designing a business that is centered on the customer, capitalizing on real-time data, operating quickly and nimbly, and working in a way that connects different roles, competencies, and partners at each stage of design and execution.

In this episode, Julie Ask discusses what’s needed to operate in a new mindset and to make the hard changes required by the collective impact of market forces (that are out of the control of the CEO and leadership team). She explores strategies and tactics to gain momentum with a new way of thinking and working that ultimately allows companies to operate as speedboats rather than cargo ships in these tricky, turbulent, and fast-moving waters.

Listen to all of Forrester’s What It Means podcast episodes.

Featuring:

Julie A. Ask
Vice President, Principal Analyst