Digital is a mindset

One of the better articles I have read for a while on how ‘true’ digital leaders operate and the mindset they bring to an organisation.

These imperatives I have been driving within all of my roles and teams, so it is great to see it outlined so succinctly and concisely, have a look:

Digital Leaders find what works, and replicate it. Digital leaders transform three times as many processes as laggards. They are always seeking out ways to reuse technology across their organizations. “And when considering each process, leaders also ask what other processes might leverage the same technologies,” Daugherty and his co-authors observe.

Digital Leaders see new adopting new technology as a strategic, not just operational move. Eighty-three percent of leaders in the Accenture study agree that it is important to decouple data from legacy infrastructure, compared with 37% of laggards. Laggards tend to patch and maintain, while companies in the middle may see moving from an-premises data center to cloud as a “lift-and-shift” move to cut costs. Leaders, on the other hand, “see the cloud not simply as a data center. They see it as a catalyst for innovation across silos and businesses.”

Digital Leaders don’t take a wait-and-see attitude. “Investing in the right tech at the right time brings big rewards,” Daugherty and his team relate. When asking companies about their adoption of 28 different technologies, they find that “while most companies hold back, leaders leap.” Most laggards, they find, “experiment with new tech on the leading edge, but do not plan or follow through with the innovations of new technologies into their core processes. Consider Software as a Service through the cloud. About 20% of leaders adopted SaaS five years ago, compared to eight percent of laggards. Today, 90% of leaders are confident of their SaaS expertise, compared to 29% of laggards.

Digital Leaders are firm believers in upskilling employees — on a continuous basis. The goal is to create and enable a workforce augmented by technology. “Leaders use technologies to make work more engaging while simultaneously realizing efficiency gains,” Daugherty and his co-authors state. “These activities strengthen their relationships with employees.” Eighty-six percent of leaders use experiential learning in combination with intelligent technologies such as AI, analytics and machine learning to predict and match worker training with required job skills and even rewrite job descriptions, compared to 35 percent of laggards.

Digital Leaders don’t believe in boundaries when it comes to both technology and human potential. “Leaders, by embracing a tech strategy built on systems that are boundaryless, adaptable and radically human, position their organizations to become increasingly agile and able to innovate at scale within the enterprise.” says the Accenture team. “By taking this approach, they can manage technology investments and track their value, even for areas that are relatively new. Ninety-four percent of leaders track the value of AI-based automation, versus 47% of laggards.”

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