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The opportunity for the channel in solving the Digital Transformation dilemma

The opportunity for the channel in solving the Digital Transformation dilemma

Credit: ID 115584206 © Opolja |

Transformation is risky business. It can bring massive disruption to a company, and in the digital age has been largely associated with multi-year projects, massive outlays of investment, and statistics that say it won’t work.

Organisations around the world are failing, flailing, or frozen in their digital transformation initiatives and as they figure out the way forward to move through these stages, they are looking for partners who can help them do just that.

Customers are turning to partners who understand that Digital Transformation is as much about leadership and vision as it is about building capability, partners who can help solve their increasingly complex problems, partners who can help them to realise business value, fast.

The Digital Transformation spend forecast for Asia-Pacific is nearly US$375.8 billion in 2019 alone and this is set to increase and accelerate over the next 5 years at a growth rate of 17.4 percent, according to IDC.

With the failure rate as it is, the opportunity in solving the Digital Transformation dilemma is enormous and leads us to ask, how can partners realise this potential and deliver on Digital Transformation’s promise?

The channel is currently at cross-roads with IT strategy and as a result, a bimodal balancing act has emerged. Gartner estimated that half of all BI projects are initiated by business, not IT, which is a strong indication that traditional approaches and thinking aren’t working anymore.

BI-as-usual simply doesn’t allow for the innovation at speed that the business is now demanding. In order to stay competitive business’ must deliver added value to their clients (whose needs are in a constant state of flux) and in order to do so they need to be continually innovating, whether that’s through finding operational efficiencies, new value streams or cost reductions.

So where to start? Firstly, don’t fall into the trap that so many organisations have done before, in trying to ‘boil the ocean’. Rather, look to employ an iterative approach to innovation, using a data and analytics led methodology - this this lends itself to mode 2 in Bimodal terms, and allows organisations to be agile, and innovate fast, without risk.

“Organisations need to find some simple projects, which are probably around a single business project and business unit,” Dr. Kevin McIsaac, Business Value Consultant, Domo said. “It might be something such as automating digital marketing so the organisation can provide its marketing team with a coherent end-to-end ROI on marketing spend. It might be around a manufacturing process, looking at this from order right through to shipment.

What we would suggest is instead beginning with a pressing problem you can solve quickly, and then build a solution around it.

By working in incremental steps, the organisation can start to see results from the data transformation exercise rapidly,” Dr. McIsaac said. Domo claims results can start to be delivered in weeks, rather than months (if not years).

“This is where the opportunity for the channel lies in Domo, the advantage to a partner is that they can promise to deliver on business outcomes within six weeks, and this opens them up to further opportunities for innovation, allowing them to embark on new initiatives with their clients - which in turn, sets a strong foundation for doing more business together and in potentially diversified value streams. Partners can also complete transformation projects at a much, much lower risk profile because the scope and timeframes are made clear from the outset.” McIsaac added.

With the overwhelming majority of transformation projects falling into the ‘flailing’, ‘failing’ or ‘frozen’ quadrants, organisations at all stages of data maturity will be looking to their channel partners to help them navigate the pitfalls of this difficult, but essential, staircase to competitive differentiation.

A key piece in helping customers with their transformation initiatives is understanding exactly what stage they are at in their Digital Transformation journey.

“We’ve found that organization’s fall into four categories, when it comes to charting their transformation journey – called the Domo DX Journey Map – with one axis on the graph representing Vision and Leadership, and the other Data Capability and Maturity. Organisations with minimal progress across both axis’ are ‘frozen’. Meanwhile, when the executive team have a strong vision, but the data capabilities are limited, the organisation is considered to be ‘flailing’, and when the vision is minimal but the data capability is strong the organisation is in the ‘failing’ quadrant.” McIsaac said.

Credit: Domo

Finally, if there is a strong balance between strategic vision, execution and data capabilities then that’s when an organisation is in the ‘flying’ category and these organisations are the frontrunners. According to Dr. McIssac, organisations want to move from the bottom left to the top right categories. Both ‘flailing’ and ‘failing’ are the two dangerous traps to fall into, and difficult to get out of.

Making the transition smoothly

All organisations start out effectively in the ‘frozen’ quadrant. Dr. McIssac says avoiding the pitfalls of the ‘flailing’ and ‘failing’ quadrants requires a disciplined and incremental approach to transformation.

Depending on where they have mapped themselves, a different type of partner and speciality is needed to help them progress – for example, if they are in the ‘failing’ quadrant, a Management Consultant would add the most value in helping quantify the business impact, and if in ‘flailing’, an SI would be most suited in getting there capability up to where it needs to be.

Domo identifies five steps towards data capability maturity – these steps need to be followed systematically in order to be successful, but the approach many organisations take creates a bloated and overly ambitious project that prevents the organisation from making any headway with the project.

Step 1: Digitise – Where the organisation has embarked on its data journey by digitising everything

Step 2: Consolidate - Where the data lakes are created, the ETL systems established, and a reporting structure is created.

Step 3: Descriptive – Where virtualisations, dashboards, and collaboration systems are built.

Step 4: Predictive – Where the organisation implements machine learning and AI

Step 5: Prescriptive – At this point the organisation is performing simulations and game theory, and further optimising the environment

To learn more about how Domo is helping organisations transform - click here

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