Digital business is the key for enterprises to drive simplification and continuous growth. This may seem counterintuitive but digital business is not about complex disparate initiatives. Rather it’s a way to bring the business and technology together to rapidly develop new capabilities that fuel growth and market share.
Despite heavily investing to build digital business capabilities, many enterprises have fallen short of expectations and achieving desired results. This has had a dampening effect on other enterprises who are hesitant to push digital business investments forward. Their reasoning is that it takes a long time, disrupts current business and its customers, and is too expensive. The key issue is not failing to achieve business outcomes with speed, it is not having true agile collaboration between business and technology in a simplified engineering environment.
Business generally does not know exactly what they need and the data which helps them to make decisions based on detailed insights. A big bang approach without an agile environment to collaborate will likely lead to a long and drawn-out process prone to failure. Alternatively, working together across the enterprise in short sprints (1-2 weeks) will build mutual understanding and trust between business and technology. This unified environment leads to a dramatic shift in momentum where the pace of incremental outcomes and results begin to accelerate.
It is crucial that the CEO champion and instill this culture for the business and technology to collaborate in a truly agile environment. Being able to decompose a roadmap into bite-sized outcomes will provide transparency and keep the teams aligned to achieve specific goals. Also, the CIO/CTO/CDO needs to identify a cloud-based digital platform to create a truly agile environment. This end-to-end model will also provide flexibility in leveraging current digital assets with new components.
Organizationally everyone plays a role to implement a digital business environment, no group should be excluded. It starts at the top and is inclusive across the enterprise, these roles and responsibilities include:
CEO will lead and instill the culture of agile, collaboration, a bite-sized approach across the enterprise in a consistent way. They will set the priorities, outcomes for growth, and KPIs to monitor.
CIO/CTO/CDO will establish an end-to-end cloud-based agile environment for business and technology to collaborate.
Practitioners who understand both the business and technology will create a well-groomed backlog of features and user stories with the associated definition of doneness and
Digital engineering teams collaborate with the business by creating and demonstrating effective end-to-end outcomes every sprint with speed.
DevSecOps teams, proactively establish secure engineering environments and continuously unblocks engineering teams to ensure their productivity and effectiveness.
To summarize, the key ingredients in driving digital business are taking a bite-sized approach, simplifying business workflows, and utilizing defined use cases so that every two weeks the business can see outcomes that build confidence and effectiveness. We have taken this approach with many large and mid-size enterprises across Financial Services, Payments, FinTech, CPG/Retail, Automotive, and Pharma industries. In these engagements, business and technology came together which resulted in tremendous value by achieving effective outcomes with speed.