Figure 3: Art of the Possible – Initiatives for “Source to Pay” Value Stream
Initiatives identified through the reimagining process will often need to be supported by foundational technological capabilities or platforms. Platforms play a crucial role in bringing together common computing infrastructure, cognitive capabilities, event-driven services, and contextual capabilities.
Ultimately, platforms influence strategy, partnerships, and business needs and have a huge impact on the business outcomes of digitalization. One of the key forces behind the success of tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Alibaba are the intelligent platforms they have built for their innovative products and services.
4. Define the Art of the Possible roadmap
The first three steps – identifying value streams, assessing them for the potential to become intelligent, and reimagining in light of digital technologies – will generate a set of initiatives to enhance experiences, embrace intelligent automation, and build platforms to support scaling. Now, analyze that set of initiatives using a portfolio-based approach, looking at use cases over a one- to three-year horizon and based on the organization’s strategic directions, market conditions, risk, and reward.
In the near term, the enterprise should focus on use cases where there are proven technology solutions today – but should also identify use cases where a technology is emerging but not yet proven at scale. Over the medium to longer term, consider selecting unproven use cases to collaborate with third parties to innovate for first-mover advantage in the market.
Many of these initiatives require challenging the status quo, taking risks, breaking rules, and challenging existing policy and governance models. It may be related to modifying an existing governance model, organization structure, change management, etc. These supporting initiatives should be included as part of the overall plan.
The plan requires buy-in from the executive suite to generate momentum within the organization, hence these initiatives should be co-led by both business and technical leaders.
5. Realize business benefits iteratively
This art of the possible roadmap should be implemented in the form of virtuous cycle – design, try, learn, and redesign – using a design thinking, DevOps, and agile approach to manage risk and derive the benefits quickly. Embracing agile concepts like “fail fast,” “minimum viable product (MVP),” “user feedback,” and “time boxing” will help ensure the roadmap takes the enterprise on a meaningful, valuable transformation journey.
While the benefits of the art of the possible roadmap are immense, they can be difficult to measure. How, for example, can a company measure competitive advantage, or how well they are embracing digital adoption? Organizations should develop a model that clearly defines and articulates all the required areas, and a reasonable way to measure them. It is also important to establish a feedback mechanism to facilitate continuous monitoring of outcomes once the model is adopted. Such a monitoring mechanism will translate the practices to tangible outcomes throughout the timespan of the project.
The Roadmap is Just the Beginning
The reason enterprises develop strategies is to generate real results. The art of the possible roadmap is a powerful approach to developing digital strategies and the journey to digital transformation – but the real challenge comes when enterprises begin to implement their roadmaps. Even when compelling commercial use cases have been identified and created, regulatory and social barriers can raise the cost and slow the rate of adoption. Moreover, it is critical that roadmaps and initiatives have very strong support from executive leadership – essentially everyone in the C-suite and the board of directors as well.
Intelligent capabilities are important not only to stay competitive, but also to survive amidst the changing industry boundaries and business models. Wipro’s “Art of the Possible” framework evaluates the intelligence that can be embedded in processes by infusing cognitive capabilities. This is supplemented by our expertise in the emerging technologies that identify future technology scenarios that can be leveraged to further transform business capabilities.