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How companies can prepare for digital transformation

The essential question for DX?
William Schmarzo, the CTO of Dell EMC Global Services Big Data Practice at EMC, wrote a post for Dell EMC’s blog on five questions that companies preparing to undergo digital transformation need to consider.

Schmarzo asks companies to ask themselves how well they use data and analytics to power their business model, if they understand the value of their own data, if they can successfully create a platform to harness the value of their data, and if they have active and ongoing business stakeholder support.

To contextualize these questions, in 2017, Schmarzo went on theCUBE during the DataWorks Summit to discuss digital transformation and big data. On the segment, he discussed what customers are really asking as they prepare for digital transformation: “how is this going to make me more money?”

Customers are concerned with how digital transformation is going to allow them to eliminate or reduce certain processes, improve the company’s ability to market to and reach customers — all things that come from what Schmarzo called a “value perspective.” From understanding that this is the perspective that customers are coming to the table with, Schmarzo said he’s able to facilitate the “digital transformation conversation.”

The first step and the right step
Part of this conversation is also assessing if your organization is ready to embrace digital transformation, and if it’s not ready, taking the appropriate steps to get there.

A piece in ITProPortal asked just that question, suggesting that to determine if the company is ready, executives should create future scenarios to determine what could possibly be needed; identify the skill gaps — ongoing employee and team training is essential to digital transformation — and prepare employees for a changing company.

READ MORE: Employee retraining essential to driving digital transformation

Practicality over shiny new toys
Other experts advise companies preparing for a digital transformation to match that transformation with business goals by investing in technology that has a practical use for the business and not just for the sake of having it, bring company stakeholders on board, use data to inform decisions and always be updating and changing the strategy.

Another key term of the time is “radical innovation” and companies can embrace it by “placing technology as the priority and focusing on long-term goals.”

While there are definitely other experts with different ideas, this roundup serves as a start for companies looking to engage in digital transformation.

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