Digital transformation is more than just a project; it is an overall strategy, which often affects or changes numerous ongoing activities. The introduction of a virtual branch, the restructuring of a company’s internet presence or the automation of processes are examples of individual projects that serve a greater purpose. In the past, such initiatives were seen as separate undertakings and carried out as isolated projects. But that approach is not appropriate to the digital transformation. A company’s virtual branch and internet presence must be mutually compatible. Any changes made to a virtual branch also have to be taken into account in downstream systems. Meanwhile, IT staff have to consider everything from organisational structure to technology as they work to establish end-to-end digital business processes.
The teams working on such projects often lack the necessary tools for interdisciplinary cooperation during the early stages, which involve assessment of the current situation and the initial development of digital solutions. That is where the “Interaction Room for Digitalization Strategy Development” (IR:digital) comes into its own. It allows specialist areas and IT departments to rapidly and reliably identify potential for digitalisation in an organisation.
The IR:digital is based on the Interaction Room methodology, which was developed by adesso in cooperation with “paluno – The Ruhr Institute for Software Technology”, part of the University of Duisburg-Essen. The aim of the Interaction Room is to help participants establish a common perspective on a project. That is achieved with simple tools, including end-to-end visual representations of processes, known as maps, and by assessing individual aspects of a project using annotations.
adesso and paluno developed the IR:digital to address the specific needs of the digital transformation. The process of digitalisation often involves concepts and technologies that are unfamiliar to project participants. The IR:digital uses special maps, such as its “Touchpoint Canvases”, to address those issues. They allow a project team to identify the process steps and channels used in communication with relevant customers, partners and users, helping them to establish a uniform overall picture of the company that goes beyond individual services and points of contact.
The IR:digital is also used to fill important positions in a project with qualified digitalisation experts, including the roles of “Digital Business Expert” and “Digital Technology Expert”. They contribute expertise on developments in the broader digital transformation, which is affecting numerous sectors, and analyse the associated technologies used in projects.
When complete, an IR:digital project makes it clear to the entire team where and how the company should invest in its digital transformation. “The digital transformation will only be successful if all those involved have a uniform conception of the technologies to be applied, and how they can be used to meet customer’s expectations, prevent inconsistencies between media, automate interfaces and directly integrate objects into business processes,” argues Volker Gruhn, Head of the Software Engineering Department at the University of Duisburg-Essen and Chairperson of the Supervisory Board of adesso AG. He also notes that “the IR:digital allows companies to rapidly identify digital opportunities that could offer benefits.”
Andreas Hitzbleck, Head of Line of Business Health at adesso, added: “The IR:digital is an innovative method that will help advance digitalisation in the statutory health insurance industry. Our Interaction Room workshops support statutory health insurance providers as they take appropriate initial steps towards a digital future, and allow us to assist them in identifying their individual potential for digitalisation.”
At the BITMARCK customer days, held in Essen on 3 and 4 November 2015, adesso presented the Interaction Room at its own company booth and raffled an IR:digital workshop. The IT service provider was the main sponsor of the event and used the opportunity to provide information about its new strategic partnership with BITMARCK, which focuses on digitalisation, and the associated services and solutions.
For further information about the BITMARCK customer days visit www.bitmarck.de.