X Hits the Spot
“It’s a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.”
Pullela Gopichand came into prominence when he won the All England Badminton Championships in 2001. Considered the unofficial world cup of badminton Gopi’s win came a staggering 21 years after Prakash Padukone become the first Indian to win it in 1980. These men are considered to have the X factor, something attributed to Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, Sachin Tendulkar and more recently Rohit Sharma among others.
While most consider Gopichand’s greatest achievement to be the success of his wards Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and the other players making waves in the badminton world, I believe his importance lies in solving the X factor…that mysterious gene that bestows sporting greatness on some, while reducing others to mere plebeians. Gopi has done this by instilling a process that starts at four in the morning and goes on till late in the evening. The process ensures every single aspect of a budding sportsperson is taken care of. Right from physical fitness, diet, coaching, drill and mental conditioning. The X factor then is no longer an individual, but a process that delivers consistent results over a wide base of players.
For an enterprise looking at the emerging world of digital and wondering about what needs to be done to attain the position of digital leadership, the story is very similar to Gopi facing an army of Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese and European badminton players wondering what it would need to make sure Indian’s perform regularly at that level.
X for Gopi was the holistic process that involved every aspect of a player’s journey. X for an enterprise on the road to digital transformation is also the process of being able to deliver to a heightened customer expectation. A Mckinsey survey on IT delivery identifies three key areas IT departments need to ramp up to meet the demands of a connected customer. These are:
Digitization is leading to increasingly sophisticated technology to deliver customer satisfaction. Recommender engines for sites like Amazon and Netflix are examples of data mining that crunch through terabytes of data to deliver greater profits for their organization. Even the smallest stores are rolling out mobile-payments and apps.
Time to Market:
The survey points to efficiency being the most important performance parameter for many companies in the past. However, in today’s connected age everything is equally important.
The third parameter according to the survey is greater business engagement and oversight from senior management into IT, as digital increasingly becomes the focal point of an enterprises’ operational strategy.
The challenge then for a CTO is to identify the X that could be the potential winner in the digital transformation game, or conversely the one thing that could trip up the journey. Like with Gopi the X’s are clearly defined. In the case of an enterprise it could be:
- Release Management
- Competitive Advantage
- Cost of scaling
- How to go Digital
- Architecture for Digital Leadership
- Outdated UI/UX
These X factors are more or less common to all enterprises. But what separates the digital leader from the laggard is simply the process that needs to be followed to ensure that X hits the spot! Simply providing enterprise solutions or software solutions to solve a problem is like providing a patch to fix a leak. It doesn’t solve the inherent problem that caused the leak in the first place.
The key to solving X lies with finding the right kind of software development company that not only has the requisite expertise in enterprise software, but also the experience in having helped other companies hit the X on their transformation company.