become a digital leader

WORKSHOP RECAP: Becoming an Effective Digital Leader

January 4, 2021

Workshop Recap: Becoming an Effective Digital Leader

Does your company feel the pressure to appoint a Digital Leader? Where does the pressure originate? Is there a natural Digital Leader on your team? Is it you?  The first portion of this workshop focused on identifying the demand for digital leadership.  From there, we moved through the five steps to becoming an effective Digital Leader.  Finally, we explored the assessment tool “Are You a Natural Digital Leader?”.  Access the assessment tool.

become a digital leader

Here’s a snapshot of the 5 Steps to Becoming an Effective Digital Leader:

Reframe your Perspective

Define your Digital Leader Mindset

Change your Brain Monologue

Reinforce the New Mindset

Amplify Behaviours with Experiential Learning

Assessment Tool: Are You a Natural Digital Leader?

Next Dimension worked with a number of sources to create this free assessment tool.  A successful Digital Transformation begins with the identification and selection of your organization’s Digital Leader.  Is it you?  Assess your natural skills and abilities to determine how ready you are to take on this critical role.

Other topics in this workshop series:

Workshop #2 will help you assess your organizational readiness.  It will address the critical question of “Are you ready to fail fast?”.  Included in workshop is an organizational readiness assessment.  Our third and final workshop in this series will help you develop your roadmap to launch your digital strategy.

Learn more about all available Digital Leadership workshops here.


become a digital leader

WORKSHOP PREVIEW: Become a Digital Leader

December 8, 2020

Workshop Preview: Become a Digital Leader

On December 15th at 1pm EST we will kick off our Digital Leadership Series.  The first interactive workshop will engage in How to Become a Digital Leader.  Do you have a Digital Leader on staff? Do you consider yourself the one who’s been thrown into that role? This Digital Leadership workshop series will take you through the Five Steps to Becoming an Effective Leader workplan.  Once we’ve reviewed the five steps, you will have the opportunity to take a blank workplan and customize it to your own business needs.  Reserve your spot to claim your copy of the workplan.

become a digital leader

What’s in the workplan?

Effective digital leadership begins with a shift in your mindset, followed by a shift in culture, and finally a shift in how your organization views, relies on, and leverages technology.

The workplan will give you practical tools and instruction on how to shift your mindset, and influence your organization’s culture.

Who should attend?

Influencing the culture of your entire organization must be a team effort.  Those invested in the operations, efficiency, security, and the technical infrastructure should all consider attending.  We know that’s not always feasible, so we will be recording the workshop and making it available as a self-paced recording.

Are there other topics in this workshop series?

Yes!  This is the first in our interactive workshop series.  Workshop #2 will help you assess your organizational readiness.  It will address the critical question of “Are you ready to fail fast?”.  Included in workshop is an organizational readiness assessment.  Our third and final workshop in this series will help you develop your roadmap to launch your digital strategy.

Learn more about all available Digital Leadership workshops here.


strategic IT insights from the week

Strategic Insights: Digital & Operational Efficiency

December 7, 2020

Strategic Insights: Digital & Operational Efficiency

Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.  This week we shared articles across our social media talking about Digital and Operational Efficiency.

With threats on the rise, gaining visibility into the OT environment is crucial.  Conducting regular architecture reviews will help ensure devices are up to date.

ZDNet says Industrial Control Systems (ICS) at greatest risk for new cyber threats on the shop floor.  Industrial Control Systems pose a particularly challenging risk – they’re connected to almost everything.  What’s worse?  They’re likely connected to every location as well.  Worst case scenario?  Production is halted long enough to impact an entire industry.

This is why ICS protection has quickly climbed the ranks to the most important element in Operational Security.  It’s not the amount of threats in the market, it’s the severity of the impact if threats materialize.

What can you do?  Gain the ability to see.

“Gaining visibility into the OT environment is very crucial – you can’t protect what you don’t know exists”.  Not sure how to get started?  We can help.

SOURCE: ZDNET

Agile decision making relies on collaboration between IT and the Boardroom.  The business, and its technology, must work together to complete the transformation.   

BusinessLive shares great insight about the cohesiveness that must exist between IT and the Boardroom for a successful Digital Transformation.  To truly evolve, the organization must consider what’s best for staff, customers, and suppliers.  Every decision maker needs to be on the same page.  Here are 4 NON TECHNICAL gaps that must be addressed for a successful transformation:

1. Gaps in existing leadership capability

2. Gaps in digital mindset

3. Gaps in operating models

4. Gaps in skills set

BusinessLive prioritizes changing mindsets and reskilling and upskilling as critical first steps to transformation success.

SOURCE: BUSINESSLIVE

Operational Technology on the shop floor is at risk as team are overwhelmed by volumes of security and data.  

IT and OT Convergence will continue to soar through 2021 and beyond.  As integration increases, so does the need for secure and reliable connections between devices, plants, and networks.  Teams are overwhelmed by the volume of data, and the requirements to secure that data.  These challenges can no longer be solved by IT alone.  Once again, articles like these are clearly defining the problem;

MANUFACTURING ORGANIZAITONS LACK THE VISIBILITY NEEDED FOR EFFECTIVE THREAT DETECTION AND RESPONSE – ESPECIALLY WHERE OT ASSETS ARE CONCERNED.

SOURCE: PRNEWSWIRE

Entrepreneur says 67% of the worlds largest organizations are likely to invest more in technology than staff development in 2021.  Which way are you leaning? 

With the addition of connected devices, paired with the plethora of new technology solutions available, your organization’s tech budget can get blown before 2021 even begins.  Business operations need to be more safe, and more readily available for not only remote staff, but also remote customers.

Now is the most critical time to dispel the belief that your company’s digital transformation must be a long, expensive, and arduous process.  There are many solutions that can help you improve and automate your processes, and better and more safely connect with customers, without the need for massive investments or vast in-house technical knowledge.

SOURCE: ENTREPRENEUR

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strategic IT insights from the week

Strategic Insights: Digital Optimization

November 30, 2020

Strategic Insights: Digital Optimization

Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.  This week we shared articles across our social media talking about Digital Optimization.

Connected sensors produce 1.5 billion data points per Plant per day.  Integration is crucial when seeking operational efficiency.

The year is 2021; digital transformations are in full swing.  Digital optimization is under way.  There’s an Augmented Reality-trained workforce.  Sounds futuristic, but these initiatives are being discussed in many boardrooms today.  For manufacturers, the need for smart manufacturing technology is evident.  IT/OT integration is the answer to the $77B need for IIoT.  Here are some other key takeaways from this article from the Digital Journal:

Edge is the new cloud

Digital twins save $1Trillion in manufacturing costs

AR training is the new standard for a distributed workforce

Automation accelerates employee advancement

Indeed the shifts in 2021 sound light years away, but it’s upon us in just over a month.

SOURCE: DIGITAL JOURNAL

Digital Leadership means embracing technology changes; and digital transformation projects have proven acceptance of change is an ongoing effort.  

Digital modernization and transformations have been taking place for the better part of the last ten years.  CMSWire recounts these valuable lessons we’ve learned in the last decade

1. Desktop automation does not equate to digital transformation

2. AI has created new possibilities for process discovery and data mining

3. Business users play a significant role in digital transformation

4. Data analysis is key to extracting true value from digital transformation

Of all the tips and tricks for successful digital transformation, the most critical, in our opinion, has to be #3.  Users most definitely play a role in the degree of success of your digital transformation!

SOURCE: CMSWire

Digital transformation is a company-wide effort that requires buy-in and collaboration across departments in order to be successful.  

Do you know the key roles to have in place for your digital transformation?  Having resources both defined and informed will help to ensure a smooth and successful digital endeavor.  Each of the following leaders in your business will have a key role to play: Executive Sponsor, CFO, CIO, Sales VP, and the CMO.  When these leaders are all on the same page, focus on these next four steps:

Brainstorm your vision and approach

Communicate openly and often

Create a center of excellence

Provide ongoing training

The success of your transformation efforts is directly tied to the inclusion of leaders and employees from across the organization.

SOURCE: ENTERPRISERS PROJECT

These 7 pivots are integral to digital maturity. How many of these pivots are on your radar for 2021?

The digital transformation journey for your organization will not be without its false starts and missteps.  It is, after all, a journey.  It’s important to take a good look at where you are on this journey, so you can plan out the next stages and (hopefully) minimize issues.  ZDNet says these are the seven digital transformation pivots:

1. Do you operate on a flexible, secure infrastructure?

2. Do you feel you’ve achieved data mastery?

3. Do you have a digital savvy, open talent network?

4. Do you conduct ecosystem engagement?

5. Have you deployed intelligent workflows?

6. Have you created a unified customer experience?

7. Have you achieved business model adaptability?

Digital optimization and maturity will drive the financial performance of your business.  Start where you are, and pivot where you can – especially in 2021.

SOURCE: ZDNET

Digital Optimization mindset goals that will accelerate business growth in the new year.

ITProPortal asked a significant series of questions in this post: As an organization, how will you strive, revive, thrive, and drive goals through these times?  ITProPortal recommends the following mindset goals for a successful digital transformation in 2021:

Take Baby Steps

Optimize and Enhance

Forgive the Missteps

and MOVE FORWARD

As with any endeavor, the right attitudes and mindset will all but dictate success and failure.  Keep your mind right as you navigate your digital optimization strategies in 2021.

SOURCE: ITPROPORTAL

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strategic IT insights from the week

Strategic Insights: Secure & Rapid Transformation

November 25, 2020

Strategic Insights: Secure & Rapid Transformation

Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.  This week we shared articles across our social media talking about Secure and Rapid Transformation.

Do you think like a Digital Champion?  By doing so, you can begin a roadmap for digital success and a higher ROI. 

What does it mean to think like a Digital Champion?  First and foremost, it’s taking an organizational approach to assessing Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics.  Next, it’s evaluating these tools against customer, supplier, and competitive demands.  Finally, it’s a commitment to using what you’ve learned and reshaping your business operations.

What makes a Digital Champion?  Few organizations have been able to master the cultural, strategic, and operations changes required to complete this transformation into Industry 4.0.  If you’ve done this, then you are most definitely a Digital Champion.

SOURCE: PWC

Rapid digital transformation, according to Gartner, will be a key priority for business.  

Lengthy, carefully plotted, extended digital transformation strategies are a thing of the past.  Obviously, the pandemic caused many organizations to rapidly deploy their transformation tactics, and now, those that did not are racing to catch up.  Those that do complete their digital technology initiatives will likely move through to Customer Experience and optimizing their dispersed workforce.  The goal must be to move quickly through your transformation, because there are many other initiatives on the horizon!

Not sure where to start? Here are four digital initiatives to start with:

1. On Demand Cloud

2. Accessibility

3. Open Collaboration

4. Enhanced Flexibility

Expanded thoughts on these initiatives can be found at the link below.

SOURCE: REWORKED

It’s imperative to have the right balance between security and usability to build a cyber-resilient digital organization.  Don’t fall victim to these common challenges: 

Forbes invited Steve Durbin, Managing Director of Information Security Forum to write about the three common challenges known to derail digital transformation efforts.  Steve identifies the challenges and gives tips on how to avoid and overcome them.

1. Lack of training and employee engagement
2. Rushed or skipped testing
3. Leaving security as an afterthought

Ensuring employees are actively engaged, frequent and comprehensive testing, and security as the forefront of every initiative will help your organization overcome these pitfalls.

SOURCE: FORBES

Organizations are under increasing pressure to stay competitive and create connected customer experiences. How are you delivering on this promise?

It’s time to invite IT into the Boardroom to discuss trends shaping digital transformation efforts in 2021.  These trends impact all areas of the business and will define relationships with your customers, suppliers, and even competitors moving forward.  Here are the list of the top 8 trends shaping digital transformation for next year:

1. The digital-ready culture
2. Democratization of innovation
3. Composable enterprise
4. Automation
5. API Security
6. Microservices
7. The data divide
8. Data analytics

Since 2019, Deloitte has maintained that every business is a technology business – and considering these trends inside your organization will help your business excel in 2021 and beyond.

SOURCE: ZDNET

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