The digital transformation re-examines the business model and the company’s processes and therefore requires strong management support to embody the many changes that it implies.
The majority of companies are now engaged in digital transformation: in May 2018, 91% of mid-size companies (Mid-Size Companies) planned to get started within the year.
However, if 5% of companies say they have completed this transition, there are still 95% who are looking for the right solutions to bring it to a successful conclusion.
Technological solutions, of course, very symbols of digital transformation, but not only. To be successful, digital transformation must involve and educate all employees, all gathered around a common and shared vision.
How To Ensure The Support Of The Teams? What Good Managerial Practices Should Be Favored?
The digital transformation re-examines the business model and the processes of the company as well as the functions of the employees and therefore requires strong management support to embody the many changes that it implies.
The first difficulty encountered during a digital transformation is to formalize the target to be reached: indeed, it is not always clear and evolves rapidly, which makes the proposal of a unified vision in which the collaborators. It is therefore a matter of trying to formalize these objectives as precisely as possible in order to mobilize employees in this development.
In such a configuration, management plays a decisive role. Being simultaneous “the guarantor of the culture and the structure of organizations”, it is up to him to stimulate a dynamic of change but also to ensure that this new vision descends in all layers. organization.
The notion of exemplarity takes on its full meaning in management models: AXA, for example, has chosen to begin its digital shift by enriching the skills portfolio of its COMEX with new digital, CRM, and data scientist profiles.
This transformation of the governing bodies has also paved the way for general decentralization: the teams in charge of the transformation have thus been distributed among the different Business Units, thus making it possible to bring employees closer to the reality on the ground.
The example of AXA is not an isolated case: indeed, the choice to organize the company in decision-making islands was taken by a good number of companies. It incorporates the founding principles of the agile method which intends to redistribute decision-making power within a Team made up of a Product Owner, responsible for validations and decisions, and business contributors, suppliers of needs, and testers. The approach breaks with the principle of purely vertical decision-making, it accelerates the production release cycles and thus promotes the appropriation of the product and/or the project by the employees. It is also by bringing together employees who have historically had little experience of working together that digital transformation can materialize.
Cross-Functionality Is Really Being Put In Place: The Businesses (Marketing, Finance, Digital, etc.)
Beyond the managerial impulse, the support of the teams also requires the “field” proof that this transformation can bring as well as a faster and more flexible decision-making process.
To more quickly prove the impact of innovations, some companies have chosen to include consumers in the construction of the value of products or services via user tests. In fact, digitization is now leading manufacturers to address consumers directly by integrating them well upstream in the value creation cycle, which makes it possible to increase speed (consumer needs taken into account from the start) and efficiency (a product that meets expectations).
The integration of this new dimension makes it possible to generate a direct business impact in this profound transformation of the company.
To accelerate decision-making, the increased accountability of employees at the executive and operational levels makes it possible to gain agility: reprioritize certain projects, be more responsive according to events and opportunities, adapt investments in real-time.
For example, the web acquisition manager is often called upon to manage and adjust significant amounts of media investments without notifying their management on a daily basis. Decision-making is localized at the Product Owner level while management focuses on the projects of tomorrow.
Digital transformation is therefore above all a human transformation: when the benefit is perceived and shared by the teams, then the employees are ready to join the project and engage in a dynamic of change. But to make these changes in tools, methods, and culture visible and accepted, the most appropriate management model seems to be one that evolves towards more horizontality.