The Executive’s Obligation: A Strategic Perspective on Digital Transformation

Digital transformation often stalls or fails because executives get misguided regarding the metrics of activities.

Digital transformation from a technical perspective covers topics like data management, data integrity, cost of SCADA, deployment of SCADA, networks, cyber security, dashboards, mobile distribution, cloud, equipment automation, work schedule optimization, resource deployment, customer experience, and so on.

None of these technical projects are of any relevance to the executive conversation.

If these topics are at the core of discussions at the executive level, then rest assured the company is already busy drowning in hundreds of underperforming technical projects, and probably not linked to corporate strategy.

In other words, a bottom-up approach to digital transformation will always be vulnerable to the technocrats over-complicating and over-detailing the requisite work, at the cost of achieving digital transformation.

The solution is for the executive to be pretty clear about why they approved a digital transformation in the first place. You would expect this to be articulated in terms of production stability, production optimization, product quality, overhead/cost reduction, output volume optimization, and improved customer delivery and satisfaction.

The executive conversation must be a clear referencing of digital transformation in terms of strategic imperatives – not in terms of technical project schedules. It is the executive’s obligation to protect their strategic integrity. It is not for the technical levels to interpret it for them.

Gideon Malherbe

Gideon Malherbe

Gideon Malherbe is a partner of VCI Ltd, a global strategy design company. Gideon is well known for his development and implementation of unique methodologies and strategic insights that deliver truly extraordinary results to clients. As a visionary, Gideon has orchestrated some of the largest strategy, innovation, and digitization projects in the Mining & Metals and Oil & Gas industries, the results of which have become enduring models worldwide.