Management Guide to Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is now the inevitable need of organisations, especially small start-ups in the Australian economy. Any business that strives to opt and establish new and advanced technological advancements, create an innovative vision, outline a digital roadmap, and wants to achieve maximum transformation, by adapting the digital advancements, must go through many stages to accomplish the purpose.

How successfully a business transforms its operations digitally totally depends on the organisation’s management. In digital transformation, the roles and decisions taken by management are crucial, considering the impactful change it can bring to the organisation, the intensity of disruption it can cause and also, the potential of its inertia.

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As an organisation adapts to digital transformation, it is not possible to do so without enabling new processes of working, that are implemented from the top level of the organisation to the bottom. Nevertheless, the scarcest of all resources in an organisation is not the technological advancement but the absence of strong leadership.

So what is the Right Approach?


To create a roadmap to a digitally transformed organisation, the management must have the capability to bring in digital initiatives, manage the accelerating and existing innovation cycles and reshape the strategies of organisations around some new approaches, for instance, the agile approach.

To further guide you through this transformation; let us have a look at some of the key factors for the management to consider and implement, towards a successful digital transformation, in their organisation.

Learn from Market Leaders but stick to your DNA

Many established companies in the Australian economy are embracing the innovations that are drastically empowering the digital economy. These organisations are leading the industry by simply meeting the customer need, in some new ways, and making the most of the technological advancement.

Equally important is the fact that the leading organisations are fearless in creating new operating models and building a transformed culture. Holding on to its core strength, the management must think of ways to apply new work processes, improve the customer’s experience and bring in a new platform for technological advancement within the organisation.

Vision and Planning will provide Direction


Plans and visions are the top critical requirement in achieving digital transformation. A vision is important to create intentions and to establish ambition and direction. On the contrary, plans lay out deliverables and responsibilities. The management however, needs to articulate a purposeful and strategic outline, along with the context for change. With that, they must remain open to feedback from employees, partners and customers. Using the approach of adaptive leadership, the management, in short, must continually adapt to changing market conditions.

Place Multiple Bets

Although the management must sketch a broader vision with improvisation, they must also use more than one approach towards digital transformation. Since the ambiguity and volatility of the market is hard to analyse, to decide what will work and which analytical and technological capability an organisation needs to acquire, there are two bets which every organisation must consider;

Open innovation: Organisations that have successfully transformed themselves participate in much broader digital initiatives, innovation and the mobile ecosystem. They step into developments beyond the existing level of organisations and let outsiders catch up with their services and products.

Portfolio Construction: When it’s about partnering, venturing and deal making, digital transformation is built on several small and manageable bets. Companies must evaluate dozens of different investments, approaches and partnerships and then scale up and build only the promising ones. However, all of these exercises must occur in the frame of overall vision.

Execute the Digital Plan


A digital strategy is of no use in the absence of its execution. With many endeavours that an organisation makes to transform itself digitally, there are a few approaches that must stand out amongst the others. Firstly, evaluate the ways to ensure success and momentum. Ideally, the senior management drives the transformation in the organisation but start ups may need to appoint a leader who will drive and coordinate the digital activities.

Secondly, decide what needs to be centralised and what must be decentralised. The management will be required to handle the tradeoffs, between experimentation and standardisation, to create decision rights with regards to digital transformation.

Finally, the management must introduce methods of agile working in their organisation. By design, such teams are cross functional, fast and self-directed, unlike traditional managers who move ahead along the hierarchy in many steps. Similarly, the management’s role is to adapt to new behaviours and to let go of traditional habits.

Polish your Existing Talent

The management may choose to hire external talent but a promising strategy is to train the existing staff to adopt digital capabilities. This can be done by building in house digital centres or academics, and training the staff over many capabilities such as analytics or artificial intelligence along with the ways of working such as agile, which are conducive to many digital activities. After all, a digital transformation is only as effective as the people who actually execute it.

To digitise an organisation, the management first needs to transform its ways of working, broaden the vision and polish the existing talent and all of this must be done by holding on to their organisational values.