Is anyone immune to Digital Transformation today? Only if business advantage, profitability, and business success are not your priority.
Digital Transformation is no longer the future – something for reconsideration for the next fiscal year. Today 70% of companies have digital transformation strategies in place. Those that don’t, are probably working to get one into effect.
We have to accept that digital disruption is merely a response to constantly shifting market forces and dynamics. Organizations want to, and to an extent, have to, leverage the latest technology to scale today’s challenges and needs. And then there is the influence epidemic -where influenced by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Apple, etc. customers across industries are looking for unique experiences, new products, and service innovation.
These are some of the things we tell our clients who are still on the fence regarding their digital transformation initiatives. We work with some of the largest manufacturers and distributors of the world. We have helped these B2B and B2B2C giants transform themselves as they leverage the latest in digital strategies. They’re turning to digital commerce, at least in part driven by our advice. So, it’s only natural for us to consider our own digital transformation!
When we decided to embark on our digital transformation journey, the rules of engagement that we expect our clients to follow did not change for us. Much like we tell our clients, digital transformation does not begin with the ‘how’. It begins by answering the ‘why’.
The challenges that stem from rapid organizational growth are hard to ignore. While this is a good problem to have, because quite obviously it is a metric of business success, this landscape can change into a minefield quite as easily.
It was two decades ago that we founded Codifyd (then ByteManagers) with a handful of people. We continued to grow business-wise in a strong and structured manner. In the past few years we have witnessed the dramatic scaling of our India and UK operations. The number of clients increased as did the number of employees. The processes, people, and culture were changing. The operations changed. In many ways, we had to shift from being individual-driven to becoming more process-driven.
In the face of this dramatic scaling, the writing was on the wall – we needed to reorganize ourselves and our processes, habits, and behavior to stay on the path to success. And to achieve this we turned to digital transformation.
Change in the business proposition
Codifyd started out as a services company. But as the business grew, we identified new opportunities in the products and solutions space. While we were assisting companies in their digital transformation initiatives, we realized the need for a product that would seamlessly align the digital strategies of manufacturers and distributors together. We developed a content syndication platform called Codifyd Bridge and added that to our offering.
However, while doing this we realized that, once again, the rules of engagement were different from what we had imagined. What rules might work in a services environment will fall short in the case of a product company. Marketing, for example, is vastly different for a product company. The dynamics of how you approach the market, the conversations you have with the customer, the customizations and personalizations, etc. all change when the switch from services to products (or vice versa) happens. The kind of people you need for driving product management is a different breed. Finding, hiring, managing, and retaining them are all different.
Given these shifts, we had to transform our processes, our marketing approach and our conversations with our customers. Of course, we had to first evaluate how the processes needed to change and how to help people adapt to these changes. This, in turn, demanded a cultural shift which became more process than individual driven. Then we had to look at what could be codified (yes!) into tech-driven workflows and processes to ensure scalability as we continued to grow.
Dealing with a multi-locational team
We also realized that we needed to embark on a digital transformation journey to address some of the challenges that came from having a multi-locational team. While the focus of digital transformation is assumed to be primarily on the IT infrastructure, we realized to successfully implement such an initiative, our primary focus had to be on our communication infrastructure.
We thus decided to implement agile communication processes to ensure that communication between teams was seamless, objective, and unambiguous. This also meant that our team members not only possessed excellent development skills but also had excellent communication capabilities.
Given the dynamics of a changing organization, a changing market, and a changing employee base, we had to make ensure that communication about change was clear, prompt, and decisive. The digital transformation move also involved taking an unbiased look at the way we worked and decide which process to keep, which ones to change, and which ones to scrap to usher in the benefits of digital transformation.
Needless to say, implementing and managing change is hard. However, we noticed that when you lead by example, establish the right processes, communicate change coherently and help people accommodate to the change with the right set of tools and resources, this journey becomes much easier to pilot. Of course, this is not a note to announce “Mission Accomplished.” Digital transformation is a bit of a moving target. When you do so much, it encourages you to attempt some more. So, as we continue on this path, look at this post as a kind of travel diary. This is where we are now. And this is why we chose to go down this road.