​Becoming a Digital Disruptor in the Malaysian Market

| 27th July, 2015

The core of IDC’s DX MaturityScape is a series of steps through which a business passes on its way to achieving greater digital technologies adoption. Malaysian enterprises need to efficiently exploit models like these and develop a roadmap to achieve Digital Disruption with minimum casualty.

Today’s dynamic business climate has left Malaysian companies with no choice: either disrupt or get disrupted. The rise in the use of social media, mobile, big data and cloud has sent almost every industry into a frenzy, and companies that do not ride this wave early will easily be overrun by those who do. According to IDC, by 2018, one third of the top twenty market share leaders in most industries will be significantly disrupted by new competitors (and "reinvented" incumbents) that use the 3rd Platform to create new services and business models. Aside from rapid technological change, businesses will have to cope with geopolitical, economic, and environmental disruptions—some predictable, but many not.

Competing in today’s intelligent markets demands for Malaysian businesses too to make their business operations more responsive and effective by leveraging the advantages of a digitally connected network. The digital enterprise has arrived. Unfortunately, most Malaysian companies are yet to achieve complete digital disruption. The clearest five way approach that CIOs can take to achieve digital transformation (DX) within the enterprise is:

Involve key Stakeholders: Key stakeholders within the enterprise can be your end customers, employees, creditors, suppliers, shareholders etc. As a CIO, one needs to bring these key stakeholders on board with the change that you have planned ahead. Involve them while you brainstorm your ideas and document them as you go. Involve them while identifying approaches and eliminating hidden assumptions before they erupt as misunderstandings.

Go for one-on-one meetings and methods to get personally involved to help you to go beyond just facts and figures and really understand their opinions. Get more interactive conversation going between your CEO and the stakeholders, this will work better for the transformation process at hand. A strong understanding of your stakeholder needs will help you get to the end of your digital transformation faster.

Identify Champions: Look for leaders and employees who have a stronghold on internal opinions. Employees who advocate new ideas are more willing to accept change and favour ideas. Influential and credible champions with sufficient technical competence should help you aggressively sell your ideas to the top management with astuteness.

Prepare well for Consequences: Perfect solutions aren't made at first attempt. There is no immediate and ultimate road to successful digital transformation. There are numerous variables involved, and no two enterprises are the same and so each solution is bound to get customized in order to work out. Let’s face it, all transformational solutions will generate their own share of ‘unexpected consequences’. When ignored for a long time, the same consequences will make it difficult to realise the benefits of transformation you set out to achieve.

It's also important to understand that most large scale transformational processes within a complicated entity like an enterprise will create long-term ripples of change. That’s why a long term strategy to assimilate these changes is very important. Formulate solutions that deal with the changes in the most simple formats. Be very elaborate here, because as a CIO you are bound to get tied up in a Catch-22 situation. It is impossible to learn completely about the problem without implementing a solution, but in the context of an enterprise, every solution you implement is expensive, often irreversible and leaves ramifications that cannot be easily undone.

Recognize the Challenges: As a change champion, you will need to work with your stakeholders and figure out how your transformation will change every process within your enterprise. Understand the change management issues that will rise as soon as you set out on implementing the changes. You will also need to devise methods to continuously improve the performance of each of these processes. If you not yet familiar with it, get familiar with ways to achieve operational excellence within a work environment that best suits your company’s culture. Figure out a personal ‘challenge list’ by using a technique called ‘negative brainstorming’. Ask yourself, “how can I ensure that this project fails?’ It’s surprising how clear the problems become once you think offensively.

Look out for Pitfalls: Yes, you are bound to encounter pitfalls before you even set out to make a change within your enterprise. That’s why it's recommended to implement tools like Multi Generation Planning as a precautionary measure. Such tools provide a bird’s eye view of all the processes associated with your enterprise’s products and services. In terms of analysing your approach, rely on your intuitions and document a detailed stakeholder analysis, especially with respect to the senior management team. Such analysis helps you get the real feel of the enterprise’s opinion on your initiative.

IDC Digital MaturityScape Model

To help companies weather such disruptions effectively, International Data Corporation (IDC) has published a new report,IDC MaturityScape: Digital Transformationthat speaks in detail on how digital Transformation will drive changes in enterprise business models and ecosystems by leveraging digital competencies. The report identifies the stages, dimensions, outcomes, and actions required for businesses to digitally transform themselves.

The IDC DX MaturityScape describes the stages of maturity that a business must achieve in five dimensions, each of which has also been developed as an IDC MaturityScape. The study describes how the five disciplines can be transformed, progressing from ad hoc and uncoordinated efforts through an aspirational view of a fully optimized, continually transforming business.