Today every sector, every industry is affected by technology changes. Technology is getting more accessible and affordable for everyone. Technology lifecycles are getting faster, and disruptive innovation is becoming easier and cheaper.
Digital transformation is the execution piece of a digital strategy. Taking advantage of technology changes for digital transformation is a complex beast. Mastering the complexity is the key CEO challenge, as outlined by Michael Dell at SAPPHIRE NOW, where he stated: “Digital transformation is different. It is not an IT project. It has to be an ‘involve your company CEO’ project. It has to be driven by the CEO.”
In working with countless organizations to enable their digital transformations, we at Dell EMC quickly recognize that a dedicated Center of Excellence (CoE) can help drive successful digital transformation. A CoE is a concept driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, with expertise in the business value chain and technology. It brings together a deep understanding of internal and market processes, high diversity in skills and experience, and a strong partner network — all driven by a clear “customer first attitude.”
Why Digital Transformation
Organizations that undertake digital transformation achieve faster product and strategic innovation that leads to market outperformance and higher customer satisfaction and retention. Digital transformation has a positive impact on the whole value chain by enabling faster build-to-order and order-to-cash, as well as greater sustainability.
Consider these three dimensions for successful digital transformation: mechanism, market and technology.
1. Mechanism Innovation cycles are getting shorter. With access to advanced technologies, with tools and distribution channels more available, with processes that are easier and cheaper, the customization of products is becoming simpler than ever before. Product offering processes no longer stop at the point of sale, but are becoming an integral part of the customer experience. Customers are not just consuming the products, but are now highly customizing them and becoming an important and engaged part of the process.
The market is driving need for innovation in a competitive world. Advances in technology are driving the need for flexibility. To enable their strategic vision, customers are wanting and facilitating more customization than ever before. This means processes need to be as flexible as possible. Technology and business models are changing so rapidly that it is doubtful that one enterprise will be able to effectively manage everything, therefore organizations must stay focused, be innovative and partner effectively. Consider how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain will play a part in the strategic evolution of your company and the customization of your products. Define what roles the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices, data and analytics, and multi-cloud will play in your world.
Transforming from analog to digital means you can select a variety of options, an infinite number of permutations of hardware, software and services, with each requiring and enabling a tighter integration of IT and business processes. The ultimate benefit lies in the business process, not in the technology. Choose the best technology, but know that integration is where this begins to get interesting. Act fast and smart, and find the sweet spots in your business processes. Those sweet spots are the areas where you identify the largest opportunity to generate the biggest impact on increased digitalization, and change it. Innovation can drive demand, and the demand drives the business — the best demand forecaster is the winner.
What role does a Center of Excellence play in digital transformation? What is it?
A Center of Excellenceis a team of specialists with varied backgrounds, educations and experiences — and those specialists are the best in class on their subjects. There are many experts, but the difference here is that each of these specialists is fueled with an entrepreneurial spirit and attitude. A CoE understands deeply the whole business value chain, customer expectations, and technology of the company, and acts as an advisor on how to execute on the technology, market and mechanism — the drivers for digital transformation. The CoE is the innovation and information hub between lines-of-business, customers and partners. Instead of virtual teams working on organizational boundaries that crush momentum, energy, motivation and effectiveness, a CoE teams work on one mission, one vision, one strategy and one goal.
Center of Excellence — why does it matter in digital transformation?
The complexity and diversity of digital transformation is high. It needs to be mastered quickly and effectively. The CoE acts in an agile and innovative fashion. It operates with the understanding that being faster than the competition is the only route to success. Speed and agility matter. Success is only possible with the best of the best people on one team — forget virtual teams with varying agendas, objectives and targets. Building a CoE ensures a drive, a focus, a vision and an assurance that results will be delivered well.
As you begin your most important and most strategic drive to digital transformation, as you outline and define your approach, and determine the vision for the future of your organization, bring together the “best of the best.” Build your Center of Excellence to help ensure your success.
JP Gotter is the Director, Global SAP Center of Excellence and SAP Platforms at Dell EMC.
If you are interested in exploring this topic further with the author, please reach out to him at <Jens_Peter_Gotter@Dell.com>, <twitter@JPGotter>, <linkedinJP Gotter>
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