Digital transformation means more than IT
There is a fundamental issue with common definitions of digital transformation. The issue is that people get caught up in thinking that the word “digital” implies that it’s a concern for IT departments only. That’s simply not the case.
Digital transformation of a business has as much to do with the departments outside of IT as it does in IT itself. The technology for digital transformation begins in IT, but the culture of it extends throughout—and beyond—the entire organization.
For example, converting paper archives to digital ones might be an important step. However, it requires the buy-in of everyone who uses or references those archives. End-to-end workflow automation could facilitate immense gains in productivity, but if the people controlling those workflows cling stubbornly to manual processes, the transformation won’t be effective. If a company develops an AI solution to improve their service, but no clients use or appreciate it, then can the company claim success in digital transformation?
Digital transformation can’t be the sole responsibility of IT departments. It calls for organization-wide support. It should consider short- and long-term strategy, goals, stakeholders, board members, employees—really any entity or concept that’s important to the function of the business.
Although there are different departments in any given business, they’re all part of the same team. As the role of technology grows, interplay and overlap between IT and other departments increases with it.
The traditional purview of IT may have looked like this: