It is important to note that AI, machine learning, advanced analytics and automation are not silver bullets that will enable you to reinvent your business overnight. They provide potential and over time, will deliver substantial value to your organisation, if you approach it correctly.
These are the important building blocks for maximum benefits realisation as an outcome of your digital transformation endeavours:
- Business and organisational leaders should develop a deep understanding of the levers presented to them by the various digital transformation technologies and disciplines. Leaders should push the envelope; they should truly embrace the art-of-the-possible and I urge them to develop a burning excitement about the opportunities for business and business model innovation presented by digital transformation. It is NOT just another enterprise technology project.
- Develop a digital transformation strategy fundamentally grounded in business value and in the innovative reinvention that will be required to embrace and thrive during the fourth industrial revolution. The strategic nature of this endeavour dictates that it ought to be owned and driven from the very top of an organisation.
- Invest in the capacity and capabilities of your staff and in change management. The true benefits of AI, machine learning, advanced analytics and automation will only be realised:
- If your people understand the business strategy, the “Why”,
- if they are empowered with new knowledge and skills and,
- most importantly if they do not fear it.
- Ensure that data quality has strategic focus and support. An important reason Data Science, ERP, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Digital Transformation projects fail to deliver value is the lack of high-quality data. The sheer granularity of the digital world means that any errors in data are amplified exponentially and they lead to vast deviations from the truth. Think of the effect of a two-degree error in direction if you are traveling 100 meters vs. 10 kilometers vs.10,000 kilometers vs. 10 million kilometers.
- Finally, adopt an IoT, big data, advanced analytics and automation architecture that will allow for scale and agility.