Technology is driving change at a rapid rate and business leaders, globally and within Africa, are constantly being warned about digital disruption and how technology is changing the world. However, there is an enormous opportunity for organisations that are willing to digitally transform.
According to a study by Capgemini Consulting and MIT Sloan, large enterprises that committed deeply to digital transformation were on average 50 percent more profitable than companies that were only in the starting blocks of their transformation.
Considering that there are so many technology driven start-ups that begin small and show huge success in no time, there is no reason to believe that mid-sized businesses would not see similar successes.
Mark Geschke, CEO of the digital transformation company Xuviate, points to Relevant IT as the solution to digital transformation. “Relevant IT is a methodology developed specifically for SMEs to provide a clear, actionable roadmap of the developmental steps that need to be taken to rapidly increase the digital business DNA.”
Key to this methodology is the understanding that information technology holds the promise to add significant business value along four different dimensions. Xuviate coined this ‘The 4 Value Propositions of IT’.
Geschke says to unlock the promise of each Value Proposition, old skills have to be brushed off and new skills need to be acquired. “A breakthrough of our methodology is that we have not only been able to identify the 15 most important business technology competencies we need to master, but also prioritised them in the exact order they should be worked on.”
Digital transformation should be seen as a way of doing things, creating value at the new frontiers of the business world, creating value in the processes that execute a vision of customer experiences, and building foundational capabilities that support the entire structure.
As with most maturity frameworks, organisations aim to get as high up the ladder as possible in the shortest amount of time. Transitioning from one level to the next usually requires major mind-set changes, but is usually accompanied by significant increases in productivity and business value gained from IT investments.
Digital businesses create value for themselves by effectively harnessing modern technology and focusing intensely on improving customer experiences across all points of interaction. They achieve this by systematically upgrading their IT maturity through the Value Propositions of IT.
Relevant IT ensures a well-managed IT platform with appropriate supporting IT processes and if delivered well, IT costs are under control and the business users can generally depend on the platform to be available, as and when they need it.
After having established a reliable and cost-effective IT platform, the framework addresses automation and optimisation of business processes across the organisation.
“Once the low-hanging fruit of business processes optimisation have been sufficiently exploited, new opportunities open up to leverage technology expertise and differentiate in the market. Coming in the form of marketing or product innovations and usually involves significant step-changes that improve the overall competitiveness of the organisation,” says Geschke.
Organisations that have reached the highest level of maturity understand that technology provides an effective toolkit for continuously reinvention at the business model level.
“There is a gold-mine of opportunities waiting for service providers who realise that most mid-sized businesses are clamouring for customised solutions to support them on their digital transformation journey,” he concludes.