For most industries and companies, technology has created a never-ending cycle of disruption and reaction. Business leaders are required to innovate digitally to keep up with the competition or new tech-savvy startups in their industry.
Digital transformation is not just the adoption of digital technology into all areas of a business, it is also a cultural change.
Taxi drivers learned this lesson in a dramatic way from the likes of Uber and Lyft. Customers were given a new tech-enabled option and their entire perception of ‘hailing a cab’ changed almost overnight. Uber created urgency for taxi companies to react, and ultimately, resisting the transition to digital meant that you got left behind.
Act with urgency
CTOs and CIOs know that reacting to emerging technology is critical, but whether they make meaningful changes is a different question. In a study of executives by MIT Sloan, 34 percent of respondents from organizations at the early stages of digital maturity said that their company spends more time talking about digital initiatives than acting on them.
Aligning internal teams to focus on digital innovation is usually not the hard part, it’s the lack of urgency to get started. At Wizeline, we talk with executives on a regular basis who share similar pain points—they know the digital evolution of their product is critical, but they feel unable to tackle it head-on or immediately. Larger companies move more slowly, so experimentation with new technology tends to happen in siloes (if at all).
Hire people who have done it before
Wizeline believes that a lot of these problems can be solved by bringing in an outside party to handle the “dirty work” of managing disparate teams and projects to plan, prioritize, and execute digital projects.
It is imperative that companies maintain trusted, long-term relationships with digital leaders who understand their business.
Wizeline worked with Fitz Frames, a Los Angeles-based company that 3D prints custom glasses for kids, to develop the application that provides customers with an enhanced eyeglass-fitting experience. Wizeline’s experience helping startups to build scalable engineering teams composed of a range of expertise areas and technical functions, and was able to help Fitz Frames ramp up on additional skills over the course of the project. In addition to sourcing the right technical chops, Wizeline established processes and working cadences that suited the startup’s needs and integrated the team into Fitz Frames’ culture and team dynamic.
“It is sort of crazy to think about building a startup that has as many technical aspects as we do, with this many integrations, without building it in-house,” said Gabe Schlumberger, CEO of Fitz Frames. “The fact of the matter is, we couldn’t have built what we want to do in-house without hiring 30 people. It takes a lot of nuances to implement well.”
The project underscores the importance of partnering with vendors and outside experts. It is imperative that companies maintain trusted, long-term relationships with digital leaders who understand their business. Alliances of this nature empower technology firms to quickly deliver viable products.
Create a shift in culture
Digital transformation is not just the adoption of digital technology into all areas of a business, it is also a cultural change. For digital transformation to be successful, it requires that companies and leadership teams challenge the norm, get comfortable with experimentation, and commit to long-term results.
A digital transformation should be a team effort, one that examines the people, processes, and technologies of the business in order to yield long-term results.
Wizeline helps companies make the leap to digital with custom solutions. We work with businesses like Shape Security and National Geographic to manage rapid product development and build immersive customer experiences with end-to-end support. Do you have a digital project you need to get off the ground? Contact us or email email@example.com to talk to one of our experts.