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Digital transformation for any organization is a significant undertaking that puts an end to “business as usual.” Such upheaval is best addressed by a digital factory, which balances the structure that prevents your initiative from hitting a wall with the agility that enables you to respond to change. This framework has four dimensions: structure, talent, ecosystem, and process (STEP).
The digital factory offers an organizational structure designed for successful development and delivery. It addresses questions of team size, key team roles, where architecture fits, agile governance, and testing. An important part of the structure is the interface to business product management and how the product will be taken to market.
The talent dimension of the digital factory offers a careful approach for identifying and sourcing the roles for successful delivery of digital solutions. People transformation is critical to digital, particularly when leveraging existing skills but many digital capabilities will require new skills such as design thinking and creative problem solving. Overall the talent is more business oriented and focused on the business outcome rather than the technology.
This includes systems of record, data services, service buses, cloud services, application lifecycle, DevOps tools, and business operations. The ecosystem dimension provides guidance for considering the sequence for tackling integration and building an extensible, continuous change and improvement capability.
No change management framework would be complete without consideration of the processes that need to be modified or established to support new ways of delivering software. The process dimension of the digital factory prescribes how different parts of an organization should interact, and how business and IT work together to ensure success through enhanced capabilities. An effective factory requires an integrated software delivery capability, closing the gap between business and IT.
Stages of the Digital Journey
There are three digital transformation stages. The digital factory adapts for each of them, so moving successfully through them is made easier.
This stage focuses on enabling the first project team and successfully delivering the first project, which can address a digital operations or a digital experience use case. Getting an early win is critical because it builds confidence and paves the way for subsequent projects.
Center of Excellence
As the first team successfully delivers more projects, the natural progression is to increase or scale. Building a center of excellence enables more teams and enhanced capabilities, making it easier to integrate with other parts of the business and IT function, and adding governance as a focus.
Full Digital Enterprise
The journey to becoming a full digital enterprise allows you to embrace all use cases with enhanced capabilities. With a truly agile digital core, businesses are equipped to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and competitive pressures.
In Conclusion
Digital transformation is a significant undertaking that needs a structured approach in order to achieve success. The digital factory as a framework for change provides this kind of structured approach by taking care of the four key dimensions of digital transformation, which are structure, talent, ecosystem and process. The digital factory framework also enables digital transformation to be done in stages, with each stage building upon the success of the previous one.
Digital transformation can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it. Ultimately your Digital transformation initiatives should simplify complexity, increase collaboration between business and IT and deliver customer (internal or external) centric, modern solutions to address the threat of market disruption and the need for new business models.
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Reference: Adapted from ©Copyright OutSystems Digital Transformation Playbook 2018