Blog: Demystifying digital transformation-A practitioner’s companion

#BookReview

Demystifying digital transformation-A practitioner’s companion

Every business model is getting turned on its head. People have to adapt to it in real time. The digital transformation needs a road map. The authors Nishith Sharan and Tushar Khosla suggest a 5 E model in an attempt to demystifying digital transformation.
Demystifying digital transformation-A practitioner’s companion

I have heard and read about the 6D model of Peter Diamandis that explains how technology grows. The basic thesis is that when we digitize anything and turn it into ones and zeros, it has the opportunity to grow like information technology. That is stage 1 and is called “Digitization”. 

Phase 2 is “Deceptive”. Many technologies that seem like modern day technology from AI to 3D printing have been around for decades. It is the long winter that is deceptive. Doubling .01 gets you .02 which is not very different. It is only when the growth moves to whole numbers that doubling starts to be noticeable. 1,2,4,8,16, 32, 64, 128 … 

Phase 3 is called Disruptive. If you can stream music, why buy CDs? If you can learn for free from the best institutions and teachers, it is only a question of time before education gets disrupted.

Phase 4 is called Demonetized. Software is less expensive to produce than hardware and is often free. Think of the vast number of free apps you have on your phone already.

Phase 5 is called Dematerialization. The flashlight, GPS, compass, maps are all new apps and you get the functionality without having to carry the physical product. 

The 6th phase is called Democratization. When powerful technology is available to everyone in an affordable manner, it gets democratized. Smartphones are in that zone. We no longer get surprised to see people at various economic levels carrying smartphones.

The 5E model

The authors Nishith Sharan and Tushar Khosla suggest a 5 E model for digital transformation. 

  1. Phase 1 is Exploration, where businesses must re-evaluate their value-proposition in view of the recent technology trends and shifts in the consumer’s behavior. This where the organization must generate options to deliver the value proposition in the new world.
  2. Phase 2 is Experimentation with all possible ways to deliver the new value proposition. Evaluate its potential to develop and scale. Check if the new options cannibalize the existing product lines or augment it.
  3. Phase 3 is Execution. It means ensuring readiness in all parts of the organization to bring in the chosen option to the market. Everything from legal and contractual aspects to data security and people readiness matters.
  4. Enabling Levers is the fourth E in this model. It deals with softer aspects like change management and the cultural dimension. 
  5. Engaged Leadership is the fifth element of the digital transformation model.

The authors have used a Balanced Score Card measure to evaluate the success of the transformation program. They have put questions that can be used to trigger different perspectives at each stage. 

The first 94 pages of the book were hard for me to get through. The authors spent too much time explaining why digital transformation is inevitable and not a choice. If you start reading the book from page 95, you can get down to the heart of the matter. That may be the best way for you to make the most of this book that can work like a step by step approach to a process most businesses find overwhelming anyway. This book can peel it down a set of questions that can get you started.

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