Innovation And Digital Transformation In Enterprises

By Rathnaprabha Manickavachagam, Director, Head of Innovation & Digital Transformation, Societe Generale Global Solutions Center

Rathnaprabha Manickavachagam, Director, Head of Innovation & Digital Transformation, Societe Generale Global Solutions Center (SG GSC)Rathnaprabha is responsible for Innovation Strategy and Innovation Value proposition delivery across the Societe Generale Global Solution Center in India and European Business Services in Romania. Prabha drives Open Innovation and R & D through Catalyst accelerator , Internal startup and IIT Research park programs. Innovative products and solutions developed inhouse in the emerging technologies competency centers address key business problems that can be relevantly reused across SG group. Design services delivered through the Design Center of Excellence aid the large process disruption ambition to significantly redesign complex banking processes across SG group.

Innovation and Digital Transformation need not necessarily go hand in hand. We can accelerate on any one of the axes with or without support from the other. It is however imperative that we innovate and transform enterprises digitally to stay relevant and realize our futuristic vision. It is most important that an enterprise starts its Innovation and transformation journey with a futuristic vision that embodies significant positive impact on customers, employees, environment, organizational culture and processes. This vision is brought to life at every stage of realization through strong commitment, innovative approach, transformative attitude, responsible employees and supportive customers.

Innovation is a different approach to performing a task, the outcome of an Innovative approach could be radically different from a traditional approach and the inputs required can be significantly different too. Every job to be done in an enterprise cannot be done Innovatively - some need intuition, some automation, some incremental change and others need radical transformation. Organizations need to prioritize areas to accelerate transformation, put their innovative might and focus to experience the innovative approach. This observation is key to learning, and this can be the basis for future roadmaps to innovative transformations.

“Innovation and Digital transformation needs careful evaluation in terms of its potential and applicability to current and futuristic business context before formulating the strategy to drive it across the enterprise”

Innovative culture in an organization is enabled through flexible employment models, speed and agility of execution, recalibration of performance measurement metrics, alignment of business objectives to impact creation, physical work environment and THE RIGHT MINDSET above all. Organizations need to hire learnability and agile thinking skills

A common question faced by every organization is the decision to employ centralized, decentralized or external innovative talent to organize and execute their Innovation strategy. It matters in today’s era to employ high standards of collaboration that involves both the internal and external ecosystems. Creative platforms need to be provided to facilitate seamless collaboration and out of the box thinking by employees, business lines, IT and external partners. Alignment of IT and business is not optional today – it’s an imperative to stay relevant to lead the way for digital transformation. Transformative talent in-house usually drive the purpose, leading to the desired impact. They are focused on the means, processes, systems, communication, time to market etc. Execution teams of this transformation can bring in innovative technologies, approaches, platforms and products from in-house teams or from external vendors. It is the seamless agility of execution between these teams, systems and processes that bring in timely interventions and impacts to transformation.

Digital transformation is a stream of transformation adopted by Businesses and IT alike to solve their business challenges primarily using relevant digital technologies while simplifying processes, inputs and outcomes. Simplification is usually the main driver to digitally transform complex processes end-to-end along with enhanced efficiency and user experience. Automation tools, aggregation platforms, service and experience design, open operating models are key components used in digital transformation. Digital transformation can be put into motion incrementally and progressively reaching its desired state over years or it can be radically achieved by a parallel innovative approach that can go live in a shorter period of time. This is a good example of usage of Innovation in a digital transformation journey. Innovation approaches and methodologies involve conception of fresh ideas, new solution to an existing business problem that radically changes a customer journey. Innovation experiments follow to provide proof of concepts, minimum viable product creation leading to small to large scale implementation of the solution in the current existing ecosystem. This is key to Innovation where the subject of study resides inside a large ecosystem and the solution proposed usually needs to reside or be accessible from this ecosystem.

Innovation and Digital transformation needs careful evaluation in terms of its potential and applicability to current and futuristic business context before formulating the strategy to drive it across the enterprise. It produces best results when the entire enterprise drives it with the same intention and pace. Organizations do not have the luxury to promote Innovation or Digital transformation as an initiative, it is to be embedded in day-to-day operations to derive benefits at current state and catapult business potential into future. There needs to be an emphasis on creation and measurement of business impacts achieved through dedicated efforts on Innovation and digital transformation.

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