Digital transformation is a change in how an organization delivers value to its customers. As said by George Westerman, MIT principal research scientist, “Digital transformation marks a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes to fundamentally change business performance.”
The world is starting to show signs of recovery from its own coronavirus lockdown period, and digital transformations have sprung up on a wide variety of business. The coronavirus lockdown was effective at getting some of the business’ that weren’t willing to go outside of the box before to do so now, and “Going Digital” is one sure thing we know for the post-COVID era while the rest of the future are still uncertain.
However, transformations are hard, and digital ones are harder even we know it will derive new value to its customers and help us winning new and recurring businesses in the post-COVID time. What are the means through which we can achieve this? How to accelerate our digital transformation?
Focus on Customer Interest
A deep understanding of the customer needs is the most important starting point in understanding how to lead digital transformations. We should put customers at the center of our endeavors but not to focus on creating operational efficiencies and reduce costs. Our goal is to create a competitive experience to differentiated gaming experience with all other entertainments values that is competing to attracts new customers and keeps them coming back. Finding the customer interest can be challenging, and I learn from my experience that follow the “Design Thinking” steps can make things easier:
• Empathise with your users
• Define – your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights
• Ideate – by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions
• Prototype – to start creating solutions
• Test – solutions
Having the right, digital-and-business savvy leaders in place
In fact, digital transformation is business transformation. No one person can really lead digital transformation fully, because digital cuts across marketing, technology, operations and finance. Among the most important person in operationalizing the road map should be the one who understand your customer most, follow by the technology expert in different area. My experience is telling me that this usually involve the team of “Marketing”, “IT”, and “Product”. Furthermore, transformation is about things that never done before and for this reason, there is often no playbook to follow. One way to achieve a successful team work is to empower the people to try new things and learn along the way by setting up a common goal(s) for the key leader from the 3 sectors. Everyone understands not only what their responsibilities are but also how their work will be resulted.
I personally love to use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to drive this effort. Invented by the Intel co-founder Andy Grove, OKRs is a collaborative goal-setting tool used by teams and individuals to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. The key benefits are focus, alignment and engagement. The idea is simple: Set the objective, have the measure in place to declare the objectives are met, and plan the actions to achieve the measures. We will find another chance to discuss OKRs in details, however, you should be able to find tons of YouTube videos to started without me.
Start Small and Experimental
Digital transformation is like starting a new business, and my startups experience have discovered that deploying a minimal viable product (MVP) in the shortest possible time is extremely important to find our mistake fast (and fix it fast too!) in the process. We shall release the MVP to a select group of test customers to determine what improvements need to be made. While the MVP is often extremely minimalistic, the feedback from the initial group of test customers helps us learn what’s working, understand what isn’t, and figure out what direction our “transformation” should go at the lowest cost in the least time frame. “Build-Measure-Learn” repeatedly, with the goal of turning that the MVP into a sustainable business model. You will be surprised the practice may lead you to pivot from one to another in earliest possible stage to avoid unnecessary failure in the quest for a great new product.
The Bottom Line for Post-COVID
After any crisis, there is a strong desire for rebirth and renewal. For example, after a war, there is a post-war boom. After the .com bubble busted, we have the internet era. After the financial crisis, we have seen Uber and Airbnb arise. We the citizens at crisis after the big lost and destruction will appreciate more with the peace comes with tremendous creative energy and new economy-building. History has been telling us that there will be new demand for products and services; companies are eager to get back and survive and innovate itself will take part of the new world.
About Raymond Chan
Raymond Chan has 25 years of experience building award-winning teams and products with global technology companies. He joined Alphamirai and co-founded Alphaslot in 2018, played a key role in business innovations with Fortune 500’s senior leaders in Japan and China over his career. He also co-founded TGG Interactive in 2014 and was instrumental in the founding of Global Gaming Group in 2007. Earlier in his career he spent 10 years R&D in Silicon Valley and was part of the founding team that established the E*TRADE and TiVo Business Intelligence Data Center in North America.
Mr. Chan holds an engineering and management science degree from the University of Waterloo and earned his Sir Isaac Newton physic scholar in Canada.