Today, digital transformation is underway in most enterprises where they are looking to engage the customers (B2B, B2C or B2B2C) more effectively. While the first wave of this digital transformation initiative spanned across organizations in the form of individual projects, the need of the hour is to make these tightly coupled with the legacy and traditional processes so that a consistent and secure set of performance metrics can be met. This in turn would be able to drive an integrated and immersive customer experience.
This engagement can also be looked upon as digital 2.0 where integration, collaboration, and automation across the business value chain can help create more engaging and intuitive experiences. But this cannot be achieved without having a vision and components that are standardized, secure, can give repeatable and consistent output yet be flexible and agile to change quickly as per the business needs.
One of the ways to achieve consistent output is through the blueprints that can be leveraged to create and achieve strategy, scenarios, capabilities, and pilots. It is then that we can scale the model seamlessly to understand how the investments or the journey will look like along with the timeframes.
Digital blueprints can be implemented as a model in various scenarios. Any blueprint consideration/implementation should be backed by a clear and coherent strategy that outlines its scope and objectives unambiguously. Blueprints may be business, process, service or product oriented.
For instance, business blueprints may have aspects like ecosystem, outcome-based business models, automation, innovation, and security, among others. Each of these aspects can be linked to the organization’s goals to develop competencies, products or services that are not currently its core or are needed in the long term.
Most of the customers would typically know if they need to have a digital transformation initiative but miss knowing the “how” part of it and that is answered by the blueprints. Blueprints may span across the entire organization as a 3600 model that considers the organization as a whole and helps the team understand the effect of any implementation on an organization-wide scale (cascading effect). For instance, the end goal of providing an immersive experience via an app may trigger changes in the way an organization’s supply chain works which in turn may change the suppliers, affecting the billing systems and so on.
A good digital blueprint takes business, strategy & governance model also in consideration besides technology.
Blueprints may also be scenario-based and offer analysis that might need to cover specific output objectives and alternatives. These would need impact analysis considering various factors that would be specific to a scenario. Further, the blueprints would include analysis of the following: strategy and capabilities, governance models, business models, how technology is being positioned according to requirements, capabilities required, and lastly, the process models.
In case of digital 2.0, digital maturity and IQ would need to be assessed before any such blueprint consideration/implementation can take place. This could be done through various assessment models available in the market. The assessment is required as organizations are expected to build out some level of competency basis their wave 1 implementations that can be leveraged further.
Digital blueprints are also one of the trickiest ones as they would require the organization to change at various levels. Hence, these digital blueprints will need to be backed by internal champions/ executive sponsors, setting up CoEs, willing to bet on niche technologies, improving data management, and governance.
Infra blueprints for digital 2.0 may include the systems design and help us visualize the architecture for a particular digital scenario or a 3600 digital implementation. The objective would be to look at the vision/design without necessarily laying down the implementation details.
A digital blueprint would work best if it is developed backwards after understanding the end user needs or current pain points that are being faced. A blueprint is not necessarily a best practice suite as it helps to understand the journey/system and is referred to as the master document, without necessarily specifying the system version/server models (for instance).
Digital blueprints would, therefore, aim to support the objectives of reducing organizational silos and help the customer understand the proposed system, service or initiative as a framework that can lead to informed decision-making, cost analysis, and can provide a direction towards achieving its digital transformation goals more effectively.