First published at http://www.1to1media.com
Author: Mila D’Antonio
Digital disruption is happening at lightning speed and only some of the best-in-class businesses are successfully keeping up the pace.
In documenting how companies are going through this digital transformation, Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a Prophet company, developed a maturity model that chronicles the stages and the key areas of focus and change.
Solis said the “6 Stages of Digital Transformation” took 1.5 years to assemble and was developed to help CIOs, CMOs, and key stakeholders follow the paths of other successful companies like Dell, Lego, Starbucks, and Target to help make the case for driving transformation.
Last week, Solis spoke with me about his inspiration for the research, the key takeaways, and his vision for our digital future.
Your new report examines the six stages of digital transformation. What inspired this research?
In having done several reports on digital transformation I noticed everyone was operating somewhat blind and the one thing that everyone wished for was some roadmap or model to bring about change that would have impact and the steps to get to each of them. Through all the conversations I became an analyst and a therapist listening to the challenges people had. After I published the first few reports I went back to see if there were indeed patterns and there were. I spent the next year and a half looking for those patterns.The thing that surprised me the most was the brands that we all celebrated as being on the leading edge weren’t as far as they need to be and had so much more work to do and that was surprising. When they had seen the model, they had all said they wished they had this when they started. Here were these trailblazers that weren’t seeing the sense of accomplishment and deep down they have a greater vision on how things should change to be relevant in the digital economy.
What kinds of organizations are typically at each stage, and what advice do you have to advance to the next stage?
One of the things that I found was no one business is at any one stage at any one time. It starts in pockets. They’re exhibiting the behaviors of what will later become digital transformation. When you’re in the “Business as Usual,” stage it doesn’t mean that you’re ignorant or open to change, it does mean there are aspects that are being experimented with…. As you move from left to right [on the scale], you may see a lot of CMOs investing in marketing technology. The CMO in many cases starts driving new innovation. That sparks a lot of debate. What ends up happening is now you have certain pockets of the group that are distributed. Somebody or some people realize we may not all be moving in the same direction and at the same pace. You might have an executive sponsor of one or two projects. When you get to the “Formalized Strategic” stage, usually it’s driven by the customer experience team. There has to be some kind of light people are drawn to…. If you’re a company like Starbucks or Motorola, the CMO and CIO would eventually form a union to expedite these pilot programs.For the research, you spoke to numerous brands.
Was there a common thread? What surprised you the most?
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