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“The Digital Transformation Should Start from the Top” say Prof. Yesha Sivan and Raz Heiferman from i8 Ventures in their The Marker Article

The Marker magazine published the new article (Hebrew) by Prof. Sivan and Raz Heiferman. The December 2018 edition of the magazine is titled “The Israeli High-tech Book” and is dedicated to the growing and almost unbelievably vibrant Israeli high-tech with a huge number of brilliant entrepreneurs that made Israel the Startup Nation that it is, and one of the most innovative economies in the world.

Digital technologies are changing everything we know – the ways an organization conducts the business, the way it manages the relationships with its customers, the way it manages its internal business processes, its innovation processes, its decision making processes. Products are constantly being digitized (cars, TV sets, home appliances, and aircraft have become digital and software driven–what we call digital product augmentation), and in some cases virtualized (music, books, maps, magazines, movies, and much more have been converted into digital products–what we call digitization.) Many products have been transformed into services (what we call servitization.) Physical places are converted into virtual places (shops, banks, and service offices are all transformed into websites and e-commerce, what we call virtualization.)

In this new and chaotic business environment, digital transformation has become imperative to all organizations, regardless of the business sector they operate. If your organization doesn’t transform, some other competitor will mobilize the digital technologies to disrupt your business,
and sometimes the entire sector (e.g., Airbnb, Uber, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Alibaba, WeChat, and Tencent have all disrupted entire industries.)

Organizations should understand that this transformation is one of the major and significant journeys they should embark on, and it will take resources, managerial commitment, and time to succeed. To be successful in such an organizational transformation, a top-down approach should be
adopted. The board of directors and the executive management should be involved, committed, and lead the journey from its very first step and throughout the entire journey.

In order to successfully lead such a significant transformation, Sivan and Heiferman provide a set of tips: adding digital-savvy board members; educating and training the board on the new concepts and models (e.g., new technologies like AI, ML, Big Data, 3D Printing, and drones, and new concepts like digital disruption, digital maturity, digital business models, transformation types, personalized customer experiences, and much more.) Other tips are discussing the new strategic opportunities and threats, visiting and learning from the new potential startups (by organizing hackathons, investing and M&A, innovation labs and more.)

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