ILLUMULUS Framework for Digital Transformation

May 15, 2020

By Frank Trevino

Walking through the ILLUMULUS Digital Transformation Framework

Where to start?  To say there is one starting point in our digital transformation journey is very difficult to say because all organizations are at different areas in their maturity level.  The best approach is understanding the digital transformation foundation of People, Process, Product and Technology.   This exercise helps to identify the key points and resources around your digital transformation goals and how the fit into your business strategy.

We breakdown our digital transformation journey into five areas.  Organization, Data, Pilot Programs, People Driven and Cultural Mindset.

Organization – if digital transformation is new, then it starts with identifying your champion.  This is usually a high ranking management team member.  Other areas include identifying your expert (this could be in-house or bringing someone in to the organization).  Build your team but make sure its company wide and understand your resources.

Data – Define the problem to solve.  Have clean data sets, identify your current infrastructure but the most important is to validate your use case against your business strategy.  This also helps you set value propositions based on your business strategy not just the use case.  If your use case doesn’t fall within your business strategy then you need to rethink the use case.  It is more difficult to seek approval for a use case that brings no value to the company, so don’t test a use case for the sake of testing.  And this goes back to your value proposition, it needs to integrate with your business strategy.

Pilot Programs – As you develop your pilot program, start simple and specific.  Don’t try to pilot a use case that is going to affect the entire company.  For example, start with testing a simple chatbot or virtual assistant to support call centers that focuses on automating customer service inquiries.  When doing through this pilot determine your success metrics by setting outcome metrics – know what you are trying to achieve.  The other area is test, test, test.  You will fail and this is part of the iteration process to gain insight with digital transformation.

People Driven – Remember, in your digital transformation journey, it’s about people.  People drive digital transformation and not digital transformation driving people.  When it comes to training, its not just your project team, or leadership, it is company wide.  Do not alienate parts of your organization.

Cultural Mindset – Digital transformation is about change, not technology and this change affects the culture of any organization.  Be prepared to promote this cultural mindset change and learn how it needs to be adopted across the organization . The adoption is company wide and helps reduce uncertainty within your employees.  One of the biggest results from this digital transformation cultural mindset change is how it promotes innovation across departments and the organization as a whole, all leading to a new digital mentality.

Where does it end?

Like any journey, there is never a straight path toward the end and once you feel like your digital transformation journey has ended, it only opens up the next opportunity.   Always think of your digital transformation journey as a marathon and not a sprint.

Beware of SOS

We know there are many challenges throughout our the digital transformation journey, but in the beginning, the one that stands out the most is SOS.   Shiny Object Syndrome.  At the beginning of any digital transformation project comes this issue.  We all see cool technology, read about it or know our competitors are using it, so we get this idea that we must react quickly by doing the same with hte same technology or something similar.  This is dangerous.  The reality is that any digital transformation solution must be validated and fit into your business strategy, while at the same time, bring value.

Conclusion

We are all creating data and the goal for any organization is to turn data into digital assets.  It start with having the right framework.  Understanding People, Process, Product and Technology and most important is to start simple as you validate against your business strategy.  In the end, as your turn data into digital assets, you are also shifting the cultural mindset of the organization through people.  Our approach fosters a positive digital transformation journey that when done right brings a new digital mentality across the organization.

Frank Trevino

Frank Trevino is Co-Founder of ILLUMULUS.   A 20-year digital strategy veteran and expat with 10+ years leadership experience working in technology, telco and the space sectors.

Frank’s digital transformation philosophy is to connect People, Products, Process, and Technology to turn data into digital assets.  As a proponent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, some current transformation projects include cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies.

Frank’s accomplishments are recognized and featured in Yahoo Finance, Inc. Magazine, CNET, CBS, Geek News, Towards Data Science, Space News and is a winner of numerous Communicator Awards, a Silver Anvil Award, & two-time SBA Award.  Frank holds an MBA from the University of Houston and a BS from the University of Texas at Austin.