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Master Digitalisation - Building the Innovation and Transformation Hub

In this is the article in the Mastering Digitalisation Series describes the why and what of the ITOC. In our overview article, we already stated that the ITOC (Innovation – Transformation – Organisational Change) unit is the key to solid managed Innovation. At first, we would like to tackle the why question.

The role of a Digital Transformation Manager and his staff doesn’t imply that an organisation is capable of managing and transforming with these innovations the enterprise. But the missing link, directly into the business organisation. The business department is the place where ideas are created. Innovations must be market by the ITOC to the business departments, as only the business departments decide about the implementation. As these topics are often not taken into account, is why these initiatives will fail in the long run. Bringing innovative ideas, new technologies and the knowledge of the running business together is what transforms your enterprise to a digitally enabled company in a timely and profitable way. ITOC has a direct link to the business departments via the domain experts.

The ITOC is the executive organ of innovation management. The roles bundled under the roof of the ITOC are already present in any enterprise. What the ITOC does is to empower these roles to drive innovation and change management. Keeping the experts from technology, business and change management together in one department will enable the synergies.

Digital Transformation is always bound to overcome the classic siloed structure to be fast, more focused on the topic and not on the organisational silo. The ITOC packs the roles which are bound to the different silos and empowers them to think end-to-end. We show later what benefits each role will bring to the team. Innovations are not created by the crowd. They are a product of individual passion. Growing ideas from seeds to vigorous plants is what only a few people can do. You need personalities in the ITOC who can keep more than three balls mentally in the air. Such characters are rare, but they exist in small numbers in each enterprise to fill the rack of the ITOC. These talents must be actively scouted by HR.

The ITOC is not your blacksmith, who forms ideas to excellent products. ITOC requires the involvement of the business through the innovation management process. The end-to-end focus of the ITOC on technology, processes and organisation is the unique selling point of this approach over the digital lab. The digital lab approach could be one puzzle piece for the implementation of innovation.

The end to end view

Below we have a real-life example from a digital lab approach which pictures the difference the ITOC will make.

A new mobile app was introduced, which had the management goal of a full digital case management. The organisation working on the case clearance is not fully aware of this new digital case handling. The Digital Lab had created the app in record time, but a few bumps are still there. The business side anticipated that it doesn’t change their process because it will add only a new input channel. The expectation from the customer was that they have a fully digital communication about all their cases, questions and responses.

Customer did early complain to case management that the app is not useful. The app remained on the market, but the use of the app was a small fraction of the expected figures. The product owner had the goal to launch and maintain the app. The line manager didn’t follow the acceptance problem with the app. His digital goals were fulfilled with the distribution of the app. The ROI was never reached because of the high maintenance cost by the IT organisation. The support organisation did know about the complains but did see the change of their systems and process as a no-go since they had other priorities.

The example from above illustrates where most Digital Transformation Initiatives fail. Going fast doesn’t mean being successful. Nor does it that the solution has a real transformation aspect in it. The management KPIs will be fulfilled, but the required long-term improvement of such initiatives will never be met. A short term ROI could be possible with luck.

The innovation in the example is not the App itself. The innovation is what