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Guide to Digital Enterprise Management

As the most recent public health crisis has shown, we are living in a fast-changing world. At the same time that digital technologies are appearing and disrupting industry after industry, organizations today are pursuing large-scale change efforts to capture the benefits of these trends, to meet customer demands or to simply keep up with competitors.

All the ongoing changes in today's business environment are forcing companies to adopt new technologies. Digital Enterprise Management aims to deliver a framework that ensures transformational processes in businesses occur with pace, high-quality and security. It does this through a set of IT solutions that are designed to make digital businesses fast, seamless, and optimized at every level.

In this article, we will guide you through the components of a successful Digital Enterprise step-by-step.

First, drive Organizational Agility

Organizational Agility translates into business value.

McKinsey & Company have defined the concept of Organizational Agility as the ability an organization has to renew itself, adapt, change quickly and succeed in a rapidly changing and turbulent environment. Understanding this concept is fundamental in order to instill digital transformation in any organization.

Having great agility allows the workforce to stay motivated while responding to change. This way, they will be able to continue to perform to the best of their abilities no matter the challenges and business environment changes that come their way. When implemented, agility can translate into a source of business value and a real competitive advantage.

How to Drive Organizational Agility

The foundation for an agile organization is in its People, Culture, and Processes. In order to be successful in implementing agility into an organization, decision-makers should always thrive to create and maintain:

  • Catalyst leadership;

  • Continuous learning;

  • Open communication;

  • Adaptable governance;

  • A quest for knowledge and innovation.

Implementing agility under the 5 pillars presented above will help ensure that change is not only viewed as something that can be managed but also as an opportunity to disrupt. Disruption means to bring about change through the usage of new methods or technology. Changes such as simplifying organizational hierarchies, restructuring to minimize bureaucracy and empowering workers to make decisions.

By creating an open communication and continuous learning culture, employees will start to feel they can freely learn, create and share their knowledge; and it is essential that they are recognized or rewarded for doing so. Agile workers are the fuel behind some of the most innovative, fast-moving companies today.

Address Change Management

Organizations do not change. People do.

According to Sheila Cox of Performance Horizons, Organizational Change Management (OCM) ensures that the new processes resulting from a project are actually adopted by the people who are affected. OCM guides how an organization prepares, equips and supports individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success.

Research shows there are definitive actions that can help influence people in their individual transitions. OCM provides a structured approach for supporting the individuals in organizations to move from their current states to future states.

The need for Change Management

The perpetual innovation of technology has resulted in a continually evolving business environment. Phenomena such as social media and mobile adaptability have revolutionized business, and one of the effects of this is an ever-increasing need for change, and thus for change management.

By itself, Change Management does not increase sales or reduce costs. Instead, it increases the quality of the teamwork required for the organization to accept the changes and operate more efficiently.

Making a new technology available can, and probably will disrupt the workflow of the individuals within an organization. This disruption can lead to slow adoption and inappropriate usage of the new system or tools. OCM aims to reduce the risk that the introduction of a new technology or system will be rejected by the enterprise.

Factors of successful Change Management

Having a structured approach that is aligned with the milestones of the new technology’s implementation is fundamental for successful change management. Unipartner’s methodology for change management is as follows:

  • Publicize and raise awareness to the new solution, identifying its benefits and functionalities;

  • Inform everyone in the organization about the timelines of the implementation;

  • Educate and train the new users on how to correctly use the new technology;

  • Identify and minimize the resistance points;

  • Monitor and evaluate the change management process.

Implement Innovation Labs

Innovate and disrupt.

According to World Bank Group, innovation is all about finding and applying new approaches to address existing problems or serve unmet needs. From a development standpoint, an innovation is a new solution with the transformative ability to accelerate impact and success.

To achieve innovation, companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Volkswagen have created and implemented Innovation Labs in their organizations. Also known as hubs, business incubators or accelerators, these labs are business units that utilize the methods of nimble startups, with the goal of coming up with new ideas in order to complement the overall organization or generate positive disruption.

Open office with people working in computers

Explore how world-renowned companies are using their Innovation Labs here.

The challenges of implementing innovation

The basic and yet the most difficult challenge to organizations concerning innovation is to implement a framework that guarantees ideas can be transposed into a solution that meets the 3 following criteria:

  1. A desirable solution - one that your customers need;

  2. A feasible solution, building on the strengths of your current operational capabilities;

  3. A profitable solution, with a sustainable business model.

On top of this, innovation must be an inclusive process, where the whole organization comes together to achieve the proposed objectives. A clear governance model must be defined so that the innovation journey doesn’t interfere with the reality of running the business today.

The innovation cycle must be correctly defined and implemented, with all stages properly aligned, so that there is efficiency in the process avoiding blocking points that can undermine the credibility of this cycle.

Agility and focus must drive the teams that are involved, and results must be shared so a continuous improvement approach can be set. Each innovation cycle can require different focus, tools, and resources, but organizations that want to remain competitive in the long run should allocate its research, and resources to implement mechanisms that guarantee that innovation is a continuous journey.

The keys to successfully implement Innovation Labs

Successful Innovation Labs involve a strategic and goal-oriented unit, that can be focused on a specific area that is tasked with creating anything from a new product or service to a new technology or business model, often to the parent company.

Paulo Cancela, Services Leader, at Unipartner, has raised some questions that companies should ask themselves during the creation of an innovation lab:

  • What does innovation mean to the organization?

  • What does the organization want to achieve with innovation?

  • What innovations are needed?

  • How do you get to the ideas?

  • How do you identify the most promising areas and turn ideas into a successful innovation?

To cultivate an innovation culture, organizations need to assure that it engages the whole enterprise. It should always provide measurable results, enable ideation and stay aligned to strategy.

Although its main objective is to provide results to the parent company, the innovation lab and the company should try to maintain some separation from each other - usually, that’s the best way to think outside the company’s four walls. Quoting WeWork:

"The mere fact of having innovation lab employees sit in a different space than those who work at the core business has been shown to promote new ideas."

Practice Enterprise Architecture

Effective and sustainable.

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a business concept used to describe the structure of an enterprise, or organization. A good EA creates a sustainable organization that is equipped to achieve its business objectives effectively and sustainably. Through EA, companies can plan for effective use of IT resources in developing their business strategies.

"To keep business from disintegrating, the concept of information systems architecture is becoming less of an option and more of a necessity" - John Zachman

How to structure your repository in 7 simple steps

  1. Have Top Management Sponsorship - Enterprise Architecture requires top management support to be effectively adopted;

  2. Involve Key Users at all levels and establish governance that agilizes changes and decisions;

  3. Define principles, practice and tools - set a solid framework with the support of tools and processes;

  4. Stick to the essential - don’t bring into EA what you can’t maintain updated;

  5. Plan small to achieve big - define what challenges/questions you want EA to answer. Prioritize and address one at a time;

  6. Communicate progress - embrace Change Management as a key element to EA, especially the communication aspect;

  7. Set new goals - apply governance and set new goals and productivity.

Elevate to Enterprise PMO

An Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) is a business function that operates at a strategic level in collaboration with an organization’s executives. Its goal is to provide guidance, governance and standardized processes to the company as a whole.

Elevating to an EPMO ensures strategic alignment between business objectives and projects executed.

How to achieve an EPMO

8 step infographic about how to achieve an EPMO
How to achieve an EPMO

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For further reading on the topic:

The Keys to Organizational Agility, by McKinsey and Company - link What is Organizational Agility & Why is it Valuable? By Reflektive - link What is Change Management? By Prosci - link What is Change Management? A guide to organizational transformation, by CIO - link Change Management, Wikipedia - link The 3 As of Organizational Agility, by HR Executiv - link Innovation Labs, by WeWork - link What is an innovation lab and how do they work? Eco Consultancy - link What are Innovation Labs and how can they improve development? By World Bank Group - link What is Enterprise Architecture? By Orbus Software - link What is Enterprise Architecture? By Forcepoin - link What is an EPMO? The organizational key to project success, by CIO - link The enterprise PMO as strategy execution office, by PMI - link


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