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Digital Is Now A Subject


There are college degrees in computer science and software engineering that feature various different programming languages and methodologies. Looking further, there are technical architecture courses and many extended forms of tuition designed to school us in every aspect of technology you can think of.

Yet, despite all these channels of teaching and the many books that have been written to explore our world of technology, we appear to largely fail when it comes to formalising a wider approach to simply ‘teaching digital’.

Understanding digital, the subject, the discipline itself, is a prerequisite if firms are going to actually appreciate where new and emerging technology will have an impact upon an organisation.

A responsibility to embrace digital

The consequences of not embracing digital and the process of moving fundamental work operations to new cloud-based services-driven platforms leads to something of a vicious circle. Firms start to haemorrhage employees who look to move into roles where they will be more productive and the company is left with a digital skills shortage.

Firms that do embrace digital platforms effectively will, in contrast, start to develop tighter integration and collaboration across initiatives that are being played out across the business.

Digital teams start to realise that the fundamental skills, approaches and execution methods they need to learn are the same across different company departments for different use cases.

The harder part of learning digital is understanding how it will change the business in the short, medium and long-term. Firms will need to do that in order to be able to scale new digital work methods organisation-wide.

User eXperience (UX) strategies

The proliferation of digital platform technologies throughout the operational DNA of contemporary organisations has meant that it has become a key element in how User eXperience (UX) strategies are formed.

Forward thinking CxO’s now regard digital as a key front-line operational topic, much like they have regarded issues such as cybersecurity since the turn of this decade. The creation of smart spaces and digital workspaces has become more mainstream as a method used to improve employee and customer experience – and will feature prominently in the next evolution of smart cities.

But digital as a discipline comes with some responsibilities. As we now focus on the resurgence of the importance of enterprise data and its quality and quantity, we must also work hard to ensure we reduce technical debt and the presence of legacy platforms that are unfit for current and future purpose.

We must also now engineer our business models to enable continued adoption of commoditised cloud services. Within this area, we need to engineer for digital with enough precision to enable the use of microservices that will deliver discrete chunks of application logic for faster and more intelligent systems.

Positive results come from thinking, doing and working digital. Within a defined timeframe we get to a point where we can deliver on customer and employee experiences, quicker and better – and organisations on this digital journey start to shift from project delivery to product delivery.

No more knee-jerk reactions

The presence of the IoT, edge computing layer and all the smart ‘things’ inside any given organisation’s own digital universe starts to coalesce inside a new data analytics fabric. That fabric allows us to be intelligently predictive across all departments, rather than work with the knee-jerk reactive standards of the past.

Digital business allows us to start a new process of reengineering. We start to see a foundational transformation of traditional IT departments that used to be driven by top-down organisational change. Instead, there is a new bottom-up architecture and infrastructure evolution.

Digital business also allows us to welcome the ‘no-collar’ workforce. The rise of smart machines means that many traditional roles can be automated. This means that the organisation of the future may need to rewire talent management for the new workforce and build a culture for increasingly unbounded and virtual teams.

On the road to digital transformation, a new core starts to develop around which the business carries out its core functions. Specifically, we’re talking about supply chain and finance these functions are fundamentally being transformed by the convergence of various technologies. In this regard, a cross-functional approach to transformation can drive the most ambitious results.

The next part of the road ahead will feature increasing amounts of AR and VR. Blockchain will proliferate and organisations will start to use exponential technologies such as artificial general intelligence and quantum encryption to create even newer commercial systems, many of which will champion connectivity via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Going digital and bringing the new world of work online is a challenge worth embracing and navigating the forces of digital disruption positively is not always straightforward. Ultimately though, graduating with a qualification from the school of digital is always worthwhile, so start your homework today.

Topics

Featured

  • Implementing agile IT service management on a cutting-edge platform
    10-16-2019 ServiceNow customer, Danske Bank, adopted a strategic approach in their service management team. As the largest bank in Denmark and a major retail bank in the Nordics region, they serve 3.5 million retail customers. They have seen tangible evidence of the positive impact of digital workflows and the seamless experiences.
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    Service Delivery and Management
    Delivering great service to employees is the first step to improving employee experience
    10-14-2019 The primary audience for HR technology has shifted. It’s no longer HR. They are secondary. Employees are now the primary audience. And while the latest cloud HCM systems can help transform an organization’s HR operations, if you want to improve the employee experience, taking an employee-focused approach to service delivery is the best place to start.
  • Strategy
    Lessons from a Top CIO
    10-11-2019 How does a seasoned CIO lead a digital transformation? She makes friends. Great ideas aren’t enough for a CIO to succeed in leading a digital transformation, says Teri Takai, the former CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense, the states of California and Michigan, as well as Meridian Health Plan. In her 40+ year career, she has had to build consensus, prioritize projects that would advance the organization’s overall goals, communicate often, and practice a lot of patience. Read more tips from Takai on WorkflowQuarterly.com, as well as other CIOs, or watch the embedded video.
  • At the Tech Lounge, the human touch makes all the difference
    10-11-2019 Director of IT Service Management Mirza Baig and his IT team created the walkup Tech Lounge- a space where employees get personalized attention on complex tech issues. As ServiceNow works on automating many common requests and providing easy to find, self-service options, the IT Support technicians have more time to focus on the tough cases.

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