Acquiring the capabilities you need to go digital

Explore Assurity 21 April 2015 Ben Hayman

McKinsey&Company recently published the white paper ‘Acquiring the capabilities you need to go digital’ which provides supporting arguments for building a dedicated digital capability in your organisation. In the paper, authors Matthias Daub and Anna Wiesinger propose a roadmap for creating a sustainable strategy for sourcing the right people and products.

It talks about the notion of a two-speed organisation – which, in many cases, is exactly the reality for orgs undertaking digital transformation. We feel however that there is real risk in talking about the business in those terms.

If we reinforce the idea that our IT is slower to respond than our digital capability, then that’s the way it will remain. At Assurity, we always try to get our clients to start out doing digital and then start being digital.

The difference is that, in the first case, you can spin up teams with partners on the edge of the IT function who are loosely coupled to the rest of the business. However, unless you embed digital thinking, iterative ways of working and procuring into all aspects of the organisation, you’ll never really get to a transformed state. You will simply have a nice, shiny digital channel.

To help with this, we take our clients through a series of organisational maturity steps. The first is to get a capability model in place to do that alongside (not inside) the IT function and then quickly start changing the way IT and digital work together towards more granular and iterative ways of working.

We then roll that thinking out to policy teams, product management and even the operational roles in our client’s business until everyone is doing and being digital across the organisation.