Digital as an enabler of structural innovation

Digital transformation is the utilisation of new digital technologies (social
media, mobile, analytics or embedded devices) for major improvements in the
business such as enhancing customer experience, streamlining operations or
creating new business models (Fitzgerald et. al.,2014). The
technology industry is increasing its pace of implementing innovation,
disruption, and creating new ventures. Organizations need to catch up with
technological advancements and plan for the future as digitalisation becomes a
top business priority. Digital transformation
acts as an enabler of structural innovation through the appropriate use of new
digital technologies. It requires investing early in digital
technologies and involves organization-wide changes that pose significant
challenges and uncertainties to business leaders. Digital transformation is
defining or re-imagining the human experience. It is redefining how people
live, work, play and connect (Welchman, 2015).  

 The most recent trends and directions of
digital transformation are in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and
Machine Learning (ML), Internet
of Things (IoT), Analytics and Augmented Reality (AR).  (Bongiorno et. al.,
2018) states that with the advent of social media networking, mobility, big
data and cloud computing, 4.0 manufacturing, we are witnessing the birth of new
digital organisations.

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     In the current
business world, organisations are increasingly aware  that they have to embrace digital technologies
to stay relevant and competitive. Companies must
evolve their processes with a keen focus on outcomes.

      In
order to make effective decisions while executing a digital strategy, it is
important to have a digital governance framework comprising of three facets;
digital strategy, digital policy and digital standard (Welchman, 2015). However,
research in the intersection of leadership and digitalisation remains scarce.

      Resistance
to change, poor communication amongst team members and lack of stakeholders’
involvement or buy-in are some of the challenges faced by companies undergoing
digital transformation (Solis, 2016). Hence, there is a compelling need for
proper governance and leadership to overcome such challenges. Digital
initiatives are failing due to underlying digital governance issues. The digital
transformation process affects the entire organisation and resistance may be
faced from different departments.  A
study (Matt et al., 2015) states that in order to deal with resistance,  leadership skills are essential and active
involvement of the different stakeholders affected by the transformation is
required.