Aligning Digital Transformation Efforts with Business Objectives Delivers Greater Results
June 28, 2021

Gaurav Rewari
Digital.ai

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When carried out as part of a business-wide and aligned strategy, digital transformation initiatives can have a very positive impact on software development. However, a recent survey found those advancing digital transformation efforts without ensuring complete alignment within their business will not succeed in achieving their overarching objectives.

More than 600 IT and security decision makers were asked about their digital transformation journeys, and although the majority were fairly positive about their efforts, the profitability of these initiatives were brought into question as the efforts fell significantly short of established goals. In short — businesses implementing digital transformation are not sufficiently linking their developments to their business objectives and are therefore not hitting the mark on improving their software or their customer satisfaction.

Assessing Feedback

Despite the huge number of businesses committing to a digital transformation journey, there are many who believe they could be getting more for their money. According to the report, 91% of respondents said they need to get more out of their initiatives in terms of customer satisfaction, and 56% are worried about the return on investment (ROI).

There is also a misalignment between product development and business goals, evidenced by the mere 57% of respondents who believe they are doing a good job prioritising products and investments based on business goals. It is clear more needs to be done at both the business and product development levels amongst the various teams, particularly around linking digital efforts to business objectives. In fact, 94% feel they need greater overall alignment within the company across the different departments.

Looking beyond this, and perhaps more worryingly, only 60% of leaders believed their organisations were customer-centric. There is a very clear gap, for some businesses, between wanting to understand how to improve their overall outcomes and not knowing where to start. And this is already having detrimental effects, as nearly half (40%) of respondents do not believe they are completely customer focused.

A failure to fully align digital transformation efforts with business-wide goals will result in continued disconnect across the entire company. Visibility is crucial, but 99% of respondents said they believed they needed to gain greater visibility into the business planning processes. Without this clarity, disconnect will continue and further consequences will occur. Our survey revealed that 54% were concerned about not being able to meet the needs of their customers as a result of ineffective digital transformation approaches, which could prove to have long term damages to the business.

One Company, One Set of Goals

From the start of a digital transformation journey, every area of business, IT and security must be involved. End-to-end visibility is one of the fundamental elements a company needs to improve their digitalisation strategies. Breaking down silo walls and bringing together input from all departments will lead to a more cohesive and effective approach. Value Stream Management (VSM), as a process that aligns all software development and delivery efforts with business objectives, can help deliver and strengthen this visibility. VSM focuses on producing measurable value created by software development, with examples being satisfied customers and bigger returns on investment.

Currently, a mere 54% confidently say that their business, IT and security teams are strategically aligned and working towards the same goals and objectives. There are a number of data and management investments that businesses could consider in order to embark on their VSM journey and improve alignment across the entire business:

Flow acceleration – proactively identify and eliminate bottlenecks and non-value-added work to improve productivity and reduce costs.

Quality improvement – proactively find and fix systemic issues with software quality across the development lifecycle, before they impact delivery.

Change risk prediction – identify risky changes and proactively take steps to manage and reduce risk or prepare immediate remediation.

Service management process optimization – adopt proven analytics-driven best practices for improved incident, problem, and IT service request management.

These options should be available for all departments to ensure everyone is using the same information and working towards the same set of goals.

Currently, only 53% of respondents feel their business and software value streams are aligned, meaning there is plenty of room for improvement. In fact, companies across the nation have barely scratched the surface of digital transformation possibilities, and there is a long road ahead for some. At every stage though, it is vital to maintain a high level of visibility and ensure all objectives are agreed across the entire business. Once all departments come together, the digital strategies will become far more successful and deliver the results needed. Long gone will be the concerns around performance and security, and businesses can have more confidence in their progress towards a digital future.

Gaurav Rewari is CTO & GM, AI & VSM Platform, at Digital.ai
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