The Fantastic Four of Digital Transformation

by Law Week Contributor

By Abeer Abu Judeh
LEXDOCK

Companies toy with the idea of digital reinvention all the time. Most of them fail. That’s because “true” digital transformation, venturing outside of a company’s business norms, can be like going on a space mission. To succeed, a company must have a bold imagination and true commitment to change. The Fantastic Four of digital transformation can help:

THE THING

Before embarking on an out-of-this-world mission, an organization must select The Thing or a tech rock to lead its digital transformation. The special power of the tech rock lies in his keen knowledge of foundational IT. He carries the load of everyday tech operations. He is also responsible for designing the digital transformation roadmap. He must also be a visionary: someone who is able to conceive technology modeling to meet the corporation’s anticipated business needs.

The tech rock is an architect carefully balancing legacy and new technology products. His talents allow him to identify the legacy technology to preserve versus that which is weighing down progress. He values the technology necessary for business continuity while constructing the way for future operations. In a nutshell, he validates existing technology and weeds out the dead ones.

What differentiates the tech rock is his imagination. He sees the fantastical space where the organization is headed and possesses the IT know how to navigate through the transformation minefields. He can foresee future technology solutions and how it can be built from today’s toolbox. Indeed, the heavy weight of the organization’s digital transformation rests on the shoulder of its tech rock.

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

In the tech world, the Invisible Woman is the data wiz. Every organization needs her, especially if it’s planning a mission to outer space. The data referred to here is what’s hiding behind the scenes. Most associates don’t know about this secret data. But there is an Invisible Woman permanently planted in the server room sorting through it. To invest in a data wiz is to ensure high-performance capabilities. In other words, it helps your spaceship navigate through space at optimal speed.

The data wiz knows data and all things analytics. The source of her power comes from her knowledge of the data germane to the organization. She understands content, value and quantity. Her real knack comes into play in visualizing not only existing content and capacity but that which is needed for optimal performance in the future.

The data wiz is a master of sort. It’s not so much about mass retention of data. The process requires precise excision of useful information and then running targeted analytics to create beneficial compilations. The data wiz carefully sets the parameters for what data to extract and what tools to utilize in the process. With her talent, she is able to compartmentalize information into two key categories; that which is needed for inter-organization improvements and that which is focused on customer experience. You may not see the Invisible Woman, but your data wiz is the key to your digital transformation optimization. It provides your organization and its users a marvelous experience.

THE HUMAN TORCH

When you are cruising through space, you will need fire power. The Human Torch clears the way for a reimagined future and boosts the engine to stay on track. He assumes the helm of your digital transformation initiative.

Mapping out of the organizations’ digital future is a collective effort. It requires infinite contributions from talented leaders across the organization including business, technology, people and data units. The collective team devises the digital transformation plan but it’s the Human Torch that paves the way.

For a successful digital overhaul, it is essential to build a strong foundation not only to launch but to stay the course. To accomplish the mission, the Human Torch will need the authority to resolve obstacles and ensure the completion of the transformation process. As we all know, change spurs dissent from conscientious objectors and those laden with fear. The Human Torch is able to temper his power to respond to the challenge at hand. Actions intended only to hinder the transformation process must be met with resilience. When planning an organizational digital transformation, be sure to dial in your big guns.

MISS FANTASTIC

Miss Fantastic is the digital transformation cheerleader. She is an invaluable ally to rally the troops and combat fear. She garners the necessary support for the organization’s mission and prepares associates for the new age. She is also a critical release valve to reduce tensions in the control room. Miss Fantastic is the one you call when the going gets rough.

The Human Torch can only lay down the road, but Miss Fantastic paves it with the work of committed associates. Having a consistent message builds trust. With cheer and upbeat disposition, Miss Fantastic encourages associates to shine and softens the impact of change. She collaborates with business units across the organization to determine their capabilities and adjustment needs. Utilizing her resourcefulness, she plans and rations to meet the troops needs during the transformation.

Who knows what will happen on a journey into the future? You can prepare with provisions and tools but what about the leadership team and their wellbeing? In the confined cockpit, passions on the organization’s direction, progress and course correction may get to a boiling point. Miss Fantastic centralizes and focuses the powers of the Fantastic Four to stay the course. She listens, explains and mediates conversations. She releases tensions to protect the core of the mission.

When you are mapping the technology future of your company, be sure to enlist and trust a fantastic team. The tech rock, data wiz, Human Torch and Miss Fantastic are the four indispensable pillars of your digital transformation. Each is equipped with a unique talent to further the mission. Together, they boldly guide your organization into its new digital frontier.

— Abeer Abu Judeh is an attorney, former Fortune 500 executive and an innovation officer. As founder of LexDock, Abu Judeh focuses on creating technology solutions to reinvent the manner in which legal services are rendered.

This article appears in the Aug. 3 issue of Law Week Colorado. To read other articles from that issue, order a copy online.