IBM's seven steps to digital transformation

By Kayleigh Shooter
One of the world’s leading technology giants, IBM, has shared its seven steps to digital transformation. We summarise their digital transformation str...

One of the world’s leading technology giants, IBM, has shared its seven steps to digital transformation. We summarise their digital transformation strategies below. These 7 steps are key to driving digital transformation initiatives.

1. Find your platform

Choosing the correct platform will play a key role in your transformation, you need to reinvent the core of your business by building a platform that plays to your strengths. In the digital age, there are many options for you to choose from.

Nail down what your business does best. Once your purpose is clear, build a platform around it, ensuring the customer is the centre of gravity. Made up of proprietary data, expertise and workflow, the platform is your way of staking a claim on the market.

2. Build it on data

Digital transformation involves carefully curated data that serves your platform and differentiates your business.

It’s a key role in what you do with your data. It’s what really matters, so focus all your efforts on feeding your platform and informing your core business strategy and business processes. Curate and enrich your data so it meets specific business needs, functions and workflows, and put in place robust data governance. You need to optimise your big data for a fully effective digital transformation.

3. Architect for change

Build scale, speed and flexibility into every area of your business, starting with the platform.

Create a manifesto for continuous change. Align your business architecture with emerging technology architecture. Link every change to the legacy system with your vision of a future state, using the open hybrid multi-cloud as a stepping stone.

4. Design intelligent workflows 

For long term success, you need to infuse machine and human intelligence into your customer-facing workflows.

Today’s customers expect to be engaged in ways that are humanised, founded in empathy and attuned to context. Build strategic workflows that are automated, intelligent and efficient; they will learn continuously and augment employee decisions.


6. Get agile

To kick start your digital transformation journey you need to work fast - with purpose and break down internal boundaries to delight customers.

Strategic agility is the foundation for culture transformation, new ways of working and exponential growth. Assemble agile teams that span organisational boundaries to naturally share ideas and insights, with one goal in mind: to meet customer needs quickly.

6. Empower your people 

The key to driving digital transformation is your people. Continuously upskill your existing talent and hire curious, inventive people.

Give your people the tools to grow in line with business needs. Leverage AI to identify skills gaps, design personalised learning programmes and mobilise people across new roles and opportunities. Reward curiosity and an experimental mindset in hires and existing talent.

7. Scale-up security

Find the sweet spot between frictionless user experience and trusted transactions.

Cybersecurity is critical to trust in, and longevity of, your business platform. Artificial Intelligence can take cybersecurity to the next level, framing it as proactive rather than defensive and ensuring strong authentication of transactions without restricting customer engagement.


These seven steps should be implemented into all business models to ensure real-time business transformation in these ever-evolving, digital times. 



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