Applying a business lens to digital transformation

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For organisations starting out on the digital transformation journey, how their leaders looks at digital is critical to success.

Today many leaders look at digital through a technology lens. As a result, they think about digital transformation as upgrading existing hardware or software, migrating from desktop to mobile or from on-premise to the cloud, or automating through IOT solutions

Other leaders look at digital through the functional lens. These leaders talk about digitalising key departments like marketing or sales along their critical business processes like customer relationship management. 

However leaders who look at digital through either the technology or functional lens are missing the true potential of digital transformation for their business.

To think about digital from the right perspective, leaders need to replace the functional or technological lens with a business lens. 

The business lens widens the field of vision to encompass digital's potential impact on all aspects of a business. It encourages leaders to ask fundamental questions like: what new opportunities and threats will digital create? how should we adapt our business model to meet them? how can we build a more agile organisation in the digital age? what should we do to attract digital talent? and how can we make our decision making more data driven?

Leaders who apply the business lens are more likely to win with digital because they can quickly grasp its most important implications and focus their digital transformation efforts on where it achieves the greatest business impact. 

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