When leading teams through digital transformation projects, I finetuned my approach over the years – the result was the idea that my weapon of choice was a quiver (Intelligent Automation) armed with with arrows (tools). I examined Salesforce, ServiceNow, BluePrism, Application Development, ERP, & O365, not because I wanted to own all these groups but because my vision required them to be in harmony in strategy to get an optimal solution. I would also find out what the customer is trying to achieve by encouraging them to think past simply reducing costs or optimizing processes and instead understand all the possibilities. Once they are thinking differently, we can paint a picture of the future state and then figure out how we build that from where we are. This is the Picasso of your organization, not a finger painting. What does that mean? We need expert painters at the table. Having the decision-makers at the table working alongside the functional team leads is vital to success.
This image of the future state can also originate from the middle layer of an organization, but that person will need some guidance in the long term. Don’t get hung up on what the technologies are or what they can do, just focus on what transformation is necessary for your business. Think of all the changes in the world, in jobs, in careers, and how they are affecting your organization (for example, there is a great site called Will Robots Replace My Job that everyone should check out). Guess what, if you’re an accountant, the forecast is 94% that you will be replaced by artificial intelligence. Now extrapolate that to your finance department and this is across industry.
How about the changes in medicine where the millennial generation won’t go to a doctor but prefers to interact with AI to diagnose and be treated? Take bedside manner out of it and think it through – a doctor is often aware of things they read and colleagues they associate with, whereas AI knows everything ever published about medicine. AI can then sort through more data quickly to produce a treatment recommendation that will include clinical trials that are not known by most physicians. Is this the future of medicine, or perhaps a blend of this? The answer is that change is hard because it isn’t a technology change, but more of a culture and organizational change. This goes back to change management being the secret sauce to success.