While digital technology is opening entirely new ways of doing business, some organizations fall short of their ambitions and instead settle on improving existing ways of operating.

In fact, analyst reports are predicting some $2 trillion dollars will be spent in 2019 worldwide on digital transformation technologies while as many as 70% of enterprises polled admit that they don’t have a coherent plan.

As you invest in technology to navigate your own digital transformation, consider a few questions that take you deeper than “what talent do I need” or “how much money is required.”

Examine organizational readiness

One proven starting point is to task a small team to reimagine your business to see how technology can advance your core business. A word of caution, many companies aim for digital transformation, but end up with digital upgrades, in essence, using digital technology to increase efficiency or effectiveness to something that exists (sorely falling short of the desired outcome).

It’s important to note that digital transformation is when digital technology is used to change the way you operate, particularly around customer interactions and the way value is created.

Digital Transformation: Ask the right questions

If you discover that you’re actually embarking on an upgrade instead of transformation, ask yourself if that will be sufficient to maintain competitiveness.

When organizing your IT team for a digitization initiative, consider this:

Generally speaking, a digital upgrade requires a well-defined team with a narrow scope.

And digital transformation requires a team with a cross-functional mandate and strong support.  Where the team “sits,” both physically and on the org chart can affect their ability to influence the cross-functional groups that are integral to real digital transformation.

And now for the most important question:

How will you measure value?

It’s important to note that digital transformation initiatives don’t always affect the KPIs a company is already measuring. Of course, the end goal of a transformation is to measure revenue, profitability and investor value.  But along the journey, it is important to identify and track early indicators that relate to the progress of your initiative.

Cisco knows what it takes to transform businesses and our portfolio spanning security, collaboration and networking are underpinned by simple buying programs and accelerated by our services arm and deep partner ecosystem.

I hope this post has offered you something to consider.  What are some questions you are asking as you make plans for your digital transformation?



Candace Inscoe

Sr. Manager

Software Marketing