Saturday, 14 December 2019
IMARC 2019: Ann Burns ANZ Natural Resources Lead, Accenture
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IMARC 2019: Ann Burns ANZ Natural Resources Lead, Accenture

Ann Burns, ANZ Natural Resources Lead, Accenture explored the digital transformation process in her keynote presentation ‘Avoiding digital disappointment’ at IMARC 2019. Ann started her presentation by asking delegates “Why do big digital transformation programs feel so difficult?” before providing several blind spots that may be prohibiting companies from producing successful digital transformation programs.

Acknowledge different backgrounds

Ann noted that throughout the digital transformation program journey from concept to execution, you will need to include insights and feedback from people with a variety of backgrounds. “You need to connect with digital natives, non- digital natives, the frozen middle, the IT and technology partners and more,” said Ann. Acknowledging the differences helps clarify how best to communicate and interact with each member in the team. Ann suggested that not everyone will be equally invested in your digital transformation journey and difficulties can arise when you are aware of who is on board and who is not, but a discussion around this never eventuates.

Re-evaluation is key

Each digital transformation journey is unique, but it is likely that something will not go exactly according to plan or work the way initially expected. Ann urged IMARC attendees to be flexible and willing to stop and re-revaluate should the need arise.

“If you just keep forging on, by the time you get to the end, you’ve already failed.”

Look forwards

Attempting to automate the past is a cyclical endeavor that won’t result in digital transformation. Ann likened this to driving around in circles just waiting for the fuel to go out. It is important to have a future destination in mind, to acknowledge the past but focus on going somewhere new.

Manage your load

As important as it is to innovate and look to the future, it is important to not attempt too many new projects at once. Ann advised against becoming lost in the ‘cool stuff’ by picking three good tasks, as a maximum.

Why you fail to scale

Failing to scale can set you behind, with successful companies growing at twist the rate of those failing to scale digital innovation, at a difference of 4% vs 8% revenues. Ann said, “Companies are scaling 60% of their POCS but only 1 in 10 succeed”. She highlighted they achieved this by;

  • Continuously engaging customers
  • Improving product/service lifecycle management
  • Enabling data integration with partners

How to avoid disappointment

Avoiding disappointment in your future digital transformation programs isn’t guaranteed but there are a few key steps to minimize the risk.

  • Be honest on where you are – be clear on what questions you are trying to solve and the value you are seeking.
  • Find a truly compelling purpose to follow – it is the followers not the visionary who brings the vision to life. Accenture – Zero Harm, Zero Loss, Zero Waste.
  • Decide to be a champion – Our industry has a pioneering spirit. Champions set themselves higher returns on digital investment and often achieve better than expected.
  • Stay measurable – having clearly identified where you are and your goals, it’s important to measure as you go and adjust when necessary.
  • Deploy something where it will be utilised - find a business unit that will use it to their very best.
  • Amplify skills, be social and more open to collaborate

“Digital is no longer a thing to be done, it has become the fabric of our new reality; try and avoid the pitfalls or disappointment and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead for the mining industry to become the digital champions of all industries.”

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