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Lessons Learned from Digitopia Maturity Summit

Leading digital maturity consultancy, Digitopia, led its first Digitopia Maturity Summit on 23rd September, hosted in London and broadcast virtually to audiences across the globe. The single day event guided attendees through the importance of digital transformation, exploring how businesses can maximise their return on investment by accurately measuring their digital journey.

Digital transformation has become somewhat of a buzz word to many across business in recent years, but the past 18 months have proven its necessity. From working from home to innovating supply chain processes for streamlined production, digital transformation is everywhere and it is having a significant impact on many organisations.

As the world continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Digitopia Maturity Summit hosted an exclusive panel of experts, who offered their unique perspective on digital transformation, leaning on their experience to provide advice for those who have embarked on a digital journey.

Of all the insights shared at the event, we’ve compiled the sessions into three key takeaways.

  • You Manage What You Measure

Opening the event, Halil Aksu, CEO and co-founder of Digitopia, explained that  digital transformation has affected every aspect of our lives: books, music, movies, payments and ordering, as well as industries: mobilities, commerce, insurance, logistics, banking. Yet 90% of companies who are currently undergoing digital transformation don’t have visibility of the progress they are making.

Nick Forde, Partner at Digitopia, added to Aksu’s remarks, explaining that the idea of ‘we are different from the rest’ simply doesn’t cut it anymore. To find true business value, companies must understand their progress. Everyone is on the same journey, but Forde explained how these organisations are all at different stages – and they must know exactly where they are, as well as what is needed to progress.

But how? It is one thing to invest in digital transformation, but measuring and benchmarking progress is another operation in itself. Ken Douglas, ex-CIO Global Projects at BP, drew on his early-career experience to explain how measurement frameworks must be applied. They act as the vehicle for having powerful conversations with organisations. They show businesses how they can do what they want to do, and how to achieve it. The difference between those who measure and those who do not, is vast.

If you don’t know exactly where you are, and don’t know where you are going, then you shouldn’t be surprised if you can’t move onwards. Importantly, how can you expect to bring people on to join that journey? Measuring digital transformation is the key to everything.

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  • People Are a Crucial Element

Discussing his organisation’s work with Digitopia, Eray Karaduman, Chief Human Resources Officer for KordSA, emphasised that digital transformation requires a specific mindset company wide. Karaduman explained that although digital transformation starts with the C-Suite and continues with the C-Suite, it must be embedded into company culture to succeed.

People are at the core of every organisation, a point aptly made by Sammi Marwan, Partner at Digitopia, who gave a session on the 5 lessons he has learned from a decade in digital transformation. Sammi asked, how do you ensure that you prioritise the customer? Do current staff have the right skills? What is the culture of the organisation? Invest in people and the people will transform an organisation. Plan to change the culture.

Do most people in the organisation work together or in silos? The latter is the most common, but those walls need to be broken down between departments. The process of idea generation has to be empowered by voices across the business. Some of the best ideas will come from the most junior people within the company. Encourage failure as well as success, Sammi explained. Fail and fail quickly, and importantly, learn from it.

  • Businesses Need a Holistic Approach  

During an in-depth panel discussion between Bradley Yorke-Biggs, CEO, IDE; Axel Bindel, Executive Director, HSSMI, and Mark Walker-Smith, Head of EMEA, Digitopia, the trio discussed the need for a holistic approach to transformation.

If businesses want to achieve something, they must first take a step back and assess the bigger picture. Digital transformation is made up of a variety of elements, including culture, leadership, and technology. The value in any move must be understood.

Yorke-Biggs explained that it has become fashionable to look at digital transformation, but it can begin to kill business if not done correctly. Instead, assess what value can be created, and how this can strategically grow the enterprise to achieve objectives. Suddenly, it is no longer just about technology – it’s about the people involved, the frameworks surrounding transformation, the leadership and governance. Only then can businesses find genuine sustainable success.

To watch the full recording of the Digitopia Maturity Summit, visit Digitopia’s YouTube channel here.

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