We live in a world that is constantly changing due to advancing technologies in every industry. A company’s ability to undergo ‘true’ business transformation by repositioning its business model according to these evolving market conditions, is key to success.
Companies that continuously adapt their technology, processes and people’s mindsets to new market conditions, at very short notice, are generally the leaders in their fields. They start with developing the right strategy, and then carry this through the operational divisions in alignment with competitive technology enablement. During my time at Siemens, as well as many previous years working in IT consultancy, I’ve learnt to harness the value of technology to not only benefit my daily business but enable innovation for my customers. I’ve also learned what can cause a business transformation to fail.
The biggest struggles of business transformation
Transformations are highly complex, continuous journeys, accompanied by constrained budgets and demanding time frames. The painful reality is that most of the transformations fail due to major pitfalls.
It’s easy to say, but nevertheless true – time is a crucial resource that we can’t get back. Companies, large enterprises in particular, need to both start and commit to new trends and technologies so as not to get left behind.
Companies often recognize the shift in customer needs too late, giving their competitors the opportunity to innovate and reach consumers with newer products and services. Failing to take action will result in higher costs, especially when it comes to legacy systems. Innovation cycles are shorter than ever before and companies risk losing market share and relevance if they’re not identifying necessity.
Focus and consistency
The market – which is the customer at the end of the day – is the center point of gravity. People independently should always work towards fulfilling the customer’s needs, first and foremost.
A transformation process involves long-running projects with various work streams and teams. It can therefore be tough to build a common understanding of the root cause and objectives, and keep the focus on tangible results for the business, especially when there are many parties with divergent KPIs involved.
Technology helps transformation
Technology is an enabler of the overall transformational journey. It helps the company to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of processes along the value chain. Incorporating the digitalization of assets and increased use of existing technology in a meaningful way, can improve the experience of organizations, customers, employees, suppliers and partners.
Technology is especially helpful when you use the same software applications you’re providing to your customer, because you can see the benefits for yourself, as well as potential for improvement. In my own experience, it forces me to keep track of the latest product versions, which allows me to give the right support and advice to our end-users. As an example, with our collaboration platform Teamcenter, we ensure the teams working on big programs and projects are employing intuitive planning and execution. This optimizes the production of the product for the end-customer.
As Siemens’ DNA has always been technical, the company makes a huge effort to provide its employees with comprehensive and sustainable product training. And this training isn’t limited to our own products – it’s for technologies relevant for the future market too, like AI, Blockchain and 5G.
We’re also always getting updates from our management via our internal social media platform or technical forums, on insights into technical trends and forecasts. And having technical specialists in all regions means that we have a network of concentrated knowledge around the world that we can reach out to whenever we need to.
Technology has the ability to completely transform a business and its bottom line, if it’s embraced and integrated in the right way. By avoiding the common mistakes made by businesses when attempting transformation, and leveraging available technology at an appropriate time, you will give your company the competitive edge that it needs to really flourish.