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What does the ‘new age’ Digital Transformation specialist look like?

What does the ‘new age’ Digital Transformation specialist look like?

Domo vice-president and general manager, Asia-Pacific, Paul Harapin, said the channel has a significant opportunity to help customers build a successful approach to innovation.

Credit: ID 139076304 © Opolja |

The startling failure rate in business transformations is well-known. According to McKinsey, only 16 per cent of organisations believe their transformation efforts have made a sustained performance improvement, and only 3 per cent said they successfully sustained the change.

Despite the clear challenges in successfully delivering transformation projects, organisations can’t ignore them either – transformation cuts to the core of the philosophy of “innovate or be disrupted,” and many incumbents, especially, relying on old and antiquated systems, have fallen for this trap.

Domo vice-president and general manager, Asia-Pacific, Paul Harapin, said the channel in Asia-Pacific has a significant opportunity to help customers build a successful approach to innovation.

“The channel has a major role to play in business consulting; working with the C-suite to help them understand the business challenges and questions they are trying to answer through the transformation.

“In our experience we have found that organisations fall into one of 4 categories when it comes to their transformation journey - Frozen, Flailing, Failing or Flying, and we developed Digital Transformation journey map that allows organisations to plot themselves and develop a path forward.

The next generation of partner, the ones who are able to take customers from the “frozen, flailing, or failing” stages on their Digital Transformation journey and move them to flying are the partners who:

  1. Understand that Digital Transformation is as much about leadership and vision as it is about building capability. Partners must be able to engage with business leaders and IT to deliver on the vision.
  2. Recognise that the BI-as-usual approach simply does not support the advanced requirements of the business, whether this be analytics at scale, access to real time data and insights on mobile (or any device) or the ability to publish data to third parties.
  3. Have a practice and methodology AND partnerships that allow their customer to augment the investments that have already been made and deliver in areas that the existing systems and processes may not be able to support against the new and ever changing requirements of a data driven organisation or department.

“These are the types of organisations that we see customers turn to to solve the Digital Transformation dilemma and these are the organisations that we are looking to partner with to help us manage the overwhelming opportunity we’re seeing in market,” Harapin said. “It takes an entire ecosystem to be able to respond to customers changing needs and deliver the level of service they now expect.

“We can help collect and clean data, which means channel organisations don’t need to spend months trying to write APIs or have a team of people generating reports. Instead, the channel organisation can go to the customer and work on developing better data feeding practices, and drive deeper and more comprehensive services around the data. The higher margins for channel organisations are around business consulting,” he said.

Domo aggregates an organisation’s data across the many sources. This enables it to subsequently leverage AI-enhanced analytics to deliver deep, actionable, insights across the organisation in real time and helps address one of the biggest data challenges businesses face – data analysis that is delivered too late to be of strategic value.

“What Domo enables is a performance management culture. By providing information – in the moment – on the things that are happening, we can offer insights to business questions that are important to changing performance metrics and the direction of the company.”

The transformation strategy of far too many organisations is to simply collect data into ever-deepening data lakes. That in itself won’t deliver a transformation success story, Harapin said. Rather, success is found in how the organisation engages with the data.

“If the marketing team decides to run an advertising program across its website, over the next two or three weeks everybody puts together their PowerPoints and then presents what happened,” he said. “It’s only at that point that people realise it isn’t working well, and wonder what they can do to change it. The answer is zero. It's too late, it’s finished. The data that wasn’t collected didn’t generate actionable insight.”

A successful transformation project would allow the organisation to adjust the campaign on the fly, based on the instant analysis of the data collected. Harapin used the example of a cosmetics retailer that used Domo to leverage real-time insights from its warehouse and adjust marketing displays throughout a 24-hour sale, so it wasn’t spending money on advertising discounts on a particular brand of lipstick that had already sold out.

This highlights a particular challenge and quirk of a transformation project – although it’s driven through technology, a successful transformation initiative relies on stakeholders throughout the organisation being motivated behind it.

“The CIO drives the transformation less often than you would think,” Harapin said. “Generally, what we see in this type of digital transformation is first championed by the chief marketing officer, chief financial officer or chief operating officer, depending on the size of the company. 

Essentially, channel organisations need to champion a change management journey, Harapin said, and need to be able to talk across the executive layer – and potentially to the board – to highlight that traditional BI thinking is not going to solve today’s problems.

“The journey has to start from the C-suite,” he said. “They have to set the direction, get the goals in place, and then have IT come in to enable that vision. For the channel, the benefits will come from becoming the business consultant, rather than simply remaining a cog in the IT enablement process.”

To find out more about Domo, click here

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