Five tips for digital transformation success

Five tips for digital transformation success

Implement a risk management program

Here are some specific pointers to keep in mind when creating your risk management program to support your digital transformation. Implementing a program that leverages these tips and tricks helps your organisation achieve greater risk reduction in less time and with fewer resources.

Tip 1: Crawl, walk and then run 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a world-class risk management program. It is going to take time to get your program where you want it and it will also require the right building blocks in place. Where you start depends on your organisation. You could start with vendor risk, IT risk, enterprise-wide risk, or compliance. The key is to inventory the different types of risks up front and start looking for interconnected risks (connecting the dots). Soon, you can plan different risk projects in sequence or perform them in parallel. After you have the hang of these steps, implement automated indicators and controls. Have a plan in place for these steps from the beginning and make sure you don’t fall prey to quick fix tools that won’t support the longer-term program.

Once some foundations and goals of the risk management program have been set, your business can begin to migrate from managing your risk with ad hoc manual processes to integrating risk into the day-to-day jobs of employees. As you begin to integrate the automated efficiency machine that you call your risk management program, think about strategy, people, process and technology.

Pick a couple of areas of risk and test out the process. You can’t dive in with the entire risk program and fix it all right away. By slowly building out your risk program, piloting it with smaller groups, managing change, celebrating your wins and demonstrating value, you’re much more likely to succeed in your risk journey and establish a lasting culture of risk-informed business success.

Tip 2: Keep your eyes on all the balls in the air 

After you’ve laid out a risk management vision, goals and road map, it’s time to embark on the journey. Now, as you go through this journey, there are typically multiple initiatives and parallel activities underway. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Bringing different stakeholder groups on board: Existing business functions and business units may be operating in different ways. The journey may include engaging with different groups to bring them on board.
  • Aligning business requirements: Multiple internal stakeholder groups may have varying business needs that have to be rationalised without complicating the new processes.
  • Talent: You must identify skill gaps and bring the right talent on board to support the various stages of your digital risk journey.
  • Rolling out multiple use cases: At any given point in time, you may be rolling out and taking some use cases live with pilot groups or broader audiences while ramping up the next use cases.
  • Training and change management: Business users and participants must be educated about the revised and new processes. See the later section “Plan for Change” for more on this.
  • Stakeholder communication: All key stakeholders must be closely engaged and aligned throughout the journey.

This list is just some of the common activities in your risk management journey. Your own journey will differ based on your organisation’s vision and digital priorities. With all these different types of activities underway at the same time, it’s essential to treat this as a program with holistic program governance rather than as an isolated project. Establish periodic reviews, steering committees, independent reviews, and other controls to ensure the program’s success.

If your organisation doesn’t have the right skills and capability to lead the journey, get help from a partner who understands your business as well as your technology platform of choice. This could be the best decision you make to both de-risk and accelerate success in your transformation investment.

Tip 3: Measure success

Your organisation needs to understand that this investment is paying off. Find meaningful metrics that show off what you implemented. Show how this state-of-the-art program generates tremendous business value through increased efficiencies, drastically minimised risk, happier employees and transparency so stakeholders can understand the risk into your organisation. Find metrics such as:

  • Risk reduction: How well does the program identify and mitigate the key risks to the enterprise?
  • Efficiency: How many employee hours have been cut down or how much cost efficiency has been accomplished to achieve the same result as before?
  • Adoption and culture: Are stakeholders pleased with the new processes? Are they using risk information to inform their decisions?
  • Transparency: What percentage of the risks identified have been remediated or addressed? How quickly are they being remediated?

Tip 4: Automate everything... almost! 

Not everything can or should be automated but find ways to continue to automate everywhere you can. There’s no need to manually perform expensive and time-consuming tasks like control monitoring, risk monitoring, remediation tracking and continuous risk assessments. Also, the 100-question surveys about a department’s compliance status are a thing of the past. With the right technology, many of these can be streamlined or automated.

Don’t forget to look at communications processes: automation can provide detailed and high-level dashboards and generate reports for all audiences.

Tip 5: Plan for change

The purpose of the risk management journey is to enable your business users, executives and the Board to make risk-informed decisions on their digital transformation journey. Therefore, the ultimate goal and success of the program depends on how well employees and executives understand their new digital risks, take ownership of the risks and leverage risk intelligence as part of their daily operations.

This cultural transformation requires as much attention, or even more than all other aspects of the risk management journey. A well-designed change management program helps employees understand, commit to, accept and embrace the inevitable changes to their daily processes. Proper change management processes include engagement, education, feedback cycles and coaching to reduce the resistance and cost that come with organisational transformation.

For more information on digital transformation and risk management download the free eGuide below.

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Digital Transformation & Risk for Dummies - ServiceNow Special Edition