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Are You Ready for the Digital Transformation Olympics?

By Johanna von Geyr, Principal Consultant

While sourcing providers, consultants and clients continue to debate legacy contracts, cloud services and scope, the Internet of Things is knocking on the door of the sourcing industry. We are living in the most accelerated innovation lifecycle ever. The highest performing businesses are those that recognize the fact that digital and social technologies have spawned a new brand of consumer behavior highly intertwined with new ways of working. Increasing wealth and greater global connectivity are redefining what it means to be in any consumer-facing industry.

Do we have the answers to move us beyond foreseeable planning cycles and release calendars? These ISG Top 5 questions ask how we can best embrace disruptive sourcing and agile digitization.

1. How do you stay competitive? While the expansion of network connectivity among people, processes, data and things presents enormous opportunities for innovation, it also presents significant challenges to IT organizations. Operational costs are on the rise while budgets remain tight and businesses take advantage of external cloud-based services for a jump in time-to-market. Smart data (data that companies can access and evaluate to increase measurable value for their customers) + speed + security = success for big providers. Watch out for more nimble niche providers that are, in many cases, already beating big providers to market.

2. What should you expect from a classic sourcing advisor? Look for sourcing advisors who are flexible, who are open to change and who understand the forces that are driving the market now in terms of technology and business. While a company needs to keep risk low, it also needs to adapt to a changing market and develop mitigation proposals, while keeping an eye on growth.

3. How can you benefit from emerging technology trends today? There is a never-ending stream of announcements on new technologies, with each new advance considered a breakthrough. Not every emerging technology will alter the business landscape, but some truly do have the potential to change the way people live and work, transform organizations and rearrange value pools. Business and policy leaders must understand which technologies will matter to them and prepare accordingly. To address the rapid-fire evolution of technology, leaders need to continuously update organizational strategy by planning for a range of scenarios, evaluating assumptions about where competition and risk could come from, and do not be afraid to look beyond long-established models.

4. Do you really need a Chief Digitization Officer (CDO)? If your organization has not begun the work of digitizing, be assured you will miss out on one of the key market value drivers of the next quarter century. A digital organization uses agile practices to design, deliver and update software-based products at high speeds and considers data to be a proprietary advantage and medium of exchange. CDOs run their spheres of influence – information, data, technology, security and marketing – on platforms that are updated independently and assembled into a digital supply chain with new products and updates delivered on a continuous basis. The CDO is central to executing a transformation strategy for adapting to a world infused with automation, data and technology.

5. Who will be the winner in emerging technology? As Niccolo Machiavelli says, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” Organizations on the cutting edge and willing to take a calculated “leap of faith” are the ones who will best position themselves for success.

ISG helps organizations drive their digital transformation and look beyond long-established models. Contact Johanna von Geyr for more information.

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