By its very nature, digital transformation involves a bimodal process during which an organization must launch changes at two levels: tangible and intangible. Both types of processes could lead to a disruptive transformation. But there is a second set of actions that must occur along with the tangible and intangible changes: (1) linear, organized exploitation processes and (2) chaotic, disruptive exploration processes. This second pair of changes has increased potential to impact an organization’s path to meeting its goals. As we explore in this Executive Update, the Bimodal Management™ model offers a lens that organizations can use to examine the processes and outcomes as they work toward digital transformation.
Digital capabilities are an imperative in a world racing rapidly toward artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, and other advanced digital technologies. Any organization striving not only to survive, but also to grow, must respond to the challenges of these disruptions and the changes they bring.
Last year, an issue of Cutter’s Amplify examined technology project failure, illustrating numerous examples of organizations falling short of their objectives. Indeed, as Guest Editor Steve Andriole pointed out in that issue, digital transformation is unsuccessful 70% of the time.
Failing to meet the defined objectives of digital transformation — and the accompanying sense of disappointment — frequently has serious implications for customer experience and an organization’s growth and competitive advantage. Therefore, a critical question every business leader must answer is: how can I increase my organization’s odds of becoming a digital transformation success story?
In this Executive Update, we examine the transitions made by organizations in the digital world using the Bimodal Management™ model as an essential strategy for increasing their odds of success.
Avoiding an Iceberg
Digital transformation is a complex process. It forces an organization to adopt a wide range of change processes in various contexts. The significant disruptions we see today within organizations are not solely digital; they span the entirety of business, management, and cultural awareness changes that must be made to adapt to the digital era. An organization’s success in its digital transformation depends on its ability to successfully and simultaneously launch interrelated changes that have shared implications. For example, Nokia’s failure to respond to Apple and the innovation it introduced with the iPhone was not a technology failure. It was primarily a management failure reflected by Nokia executives being unprepared to step out of their comfort zone and their belief that customers would continue preferring Nokia’s well-known devices to Apple’s devices with their new capabilities.