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Questions to Ask to Accelerate Your Digital Transformation

DZone's Guide to

Questions to Ask to Accelerate Your Digital Transformation

Make sure you're prepared to strategize for your digital transformation journey by asking the right questions about your organization beforehand.

· DevOps Zone ·
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The journey to digitally transforming your company is a long one, with plenty of roadblocks and dead ends along the way. However, there's a way to speed up the journey — ask the right questions before you set out.

MIT Researcher Stephanie Woerner offers advice on the right questions to ask in an interview on the Knowledge@Wharton website, "Six Questions That Can Help Guide Digital Transformation." Woerner and co-researcher MIT Peter Weill wrote the book, "What's Your Digital Business Model? Six Questions to Help You Build the Next-Generation Enterprise," based on several years of study at the MIT Center for Information Systems Research.

Overall, Woerner says, when undergoing a digital transformation, companies have to "develop new ways of working, really taking evidence into account when making decisions." In particular, they need to figure out "how to integrate the business. What customers are expecting is a seamless experience, and you really can't deliver that in the long term without using technology to integrate silos so that you're able to share across the business."

With that in mind, she says, the first question a company should ask before undergoing a digital transformation is "How strong is the digital threat or opportunity to your business model? [It's helpful to figure out] where do you have competitors coming in, where are startups [and] what percentage of your revenues are under threat."

Next, ask, "which business model is best for your enterprise's future?" The third question is "What's your key competitive advantage — are you going to focus on content, experience or platform?" After that ask, "How are you going to use mobile and the internet of things to connect and learn?" The final question, she says, is "Do you have the leadership at all levels to make the transformation happen?"

Based on all that, she says, you'll have all the information you need to set out on the right path towards digital transformation.

Woerner also offers an especially important piece of advice to companies interested in digital transformation — don't be governed by yesterday's business goals. She was asked, "Businesses are always looking for an advantage over their rivals. How has digital changed that?" Her answer: "Often, they were looking for efficiencies and cutting costs, and now they're thinking as much about creating that relationship with the customer and learning more about their customer. You're thinking about partnerships and changing your business design so that you're not just a value chain but more of an ecosystem. I think that digital makes those easier. It also increases your potential for being seen globally."

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Topics:
devops ,digital transformation ,enterprise devops ,software development

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