Here we aim to provide a brief but complete digital transformation guide, starting with a definition, then tips on strategy and implementation, the potential risks & benefits, and some of the top consulting firms and experts to help you through the process.
Today in 2021, the Internet is the primary mode of communication for many organisations and their decisions are based largely on data gathering and analytics. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading technology consultancy, IDC, had estimated that global spending on digital transformation would likely surpass $1.3 trillion in 2020. While the impact of coronavirus on business processes across the globe is yet to be measured, it’s likely that it forced investment in digital transformation to be greatly accelerated to levels far higher.
Many believe that digital transformation has been accelerated by at least 5 years, and that those who can and do embrace the change will be best placed to weather the storm of business disruption and economic recession.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is an organisation-wide, strategy-led digitisation of business processes, culture and customer experience, in order to improve efficiency and product / service delivery.
It is a radical shift in the way organisations think about technology, data, people and processes to improve efficiency and enhance business performance and productivity. These changes typically require breaking down the silos within organisations, taking along the CEO, CFO, CTO, and CMO and other key roles to design, develop and rapidly deploy new software, apps and digitised processes.
Some of the biggest changes of digitalisation in 2021 are being witnessed in HR, marketing, training, customer service and operational domains – such as supply chain and logistics for ecommerce or manufacturing companies.
Many experts even call it ‘digital disruption’ instead of digital transformation as the availability of a massive amount of data, Internet of Things, blockchain, 5G, social media, smart embedded systems, and cloud tech backed by the convergence of technology and regulation have unlocked a sea of opportunities for all types of companies.
Though in hindsight, it seems to be mostly about technology, this perception is not correct. It’s about the right mindset to follow processes.
Things to Consider in Digital Transformation
Though CEOs and industry leaders are enthused about the prospect of possible gains and savings and other benefits that accrue, in reality, digital transformation can go horribly wrong if not implemented right. A research study shows that the success rate is less than 30 per cent. This reflects on the inherent difficulties involved in the process and only 16% of businesses are of the view that they got the anticipated benefits.
However, it’s seldom the technology itself that causes failure, but rather the communication, lack of buy-in and implementation of it.
The anatomy of digital transformations
For the efforts to yield expected results, a few things need to be taken into account. The most important thing is that organisations need to look within before making such large-scale changes. The objective of digital transformation should be clear, and the benefits for people within the organisation to be communicated to drive enthusiasm.
Top Digital Transformation Consulting Firms
Recognised by IDC as a top digital transformation consulting firm in the US, Publicis Sapient is a leader in this field and keeps tabs on emerging technologies in the area. It has helped some of the world’s top consumer durables, energy, healthcare, and retail brands in delivering immersive digital transformation experiences.
Top Clients: British Gas, Carrefour, Bang & Olufsen
Headquartered in London, Future worx has helped top businesses in the UK and US to embrace the digital shift since 2011. It has partnered with Cisco, Microsoft, Zoom and BT. It has a team of experts in workforce digitalisation.
Top Clients: Tesco, Tesla, Standard Chartered, Lloyds Bank
Protiviti is a global IT strategy and digital transformation consulting firm based in Australia. It has a presence in more than 20 countries and has helped 60% of Fortune 500 companies. It has been awarded the ‘Best Company to Work For’ by Fortune magazine. It has clients from consumer services, governments, private equity, manufacturing and supply chain.
Top Clients: Numerous Fortune 100 companies
Digital Transformation NZ
Started in 2027, this company is counted among the top digital transformation firms in New Zealand. Being a software company is its core and it provides a range of digital transformation services like developing enterprise applications, leveraging cloud services and other services for improving productivity.
Top Clients: Walter Findlay, Meridian, Zag
Founded in 2000 when the Internet had just started penetrating our lives, Avanade was established by two industry giants Microsoft and Accenture with a single-minded focus on delivering digital services to enterprise clients worldwide. The company has industry knowledge and expertise in consumer technology, banking, finance, insurance and retail sectors.
Top Clients: ABN AMRO, Hinkley Point C, JA Worldwide, Amco, AC Morten
Leading Digital Transformation Experts
Here is the list of leading digital transformation experts across a range of domains:
- Cyril Coste
Known for his in-depth expertise and knowledge of B2B digital transformation process, Cyril is a digital transformation evangelist and influencer in the UK. He has been a digital transformation consultant for many companies and recently he has launched his startup, Digital & Growth.
- Michael Krigsman
He has been among the most popular faces of CXOTALK, a leading industry analyst and author of the famous column, Beyond IT Failure on ZDNet. Michael is known for his insightful views on enterprise software and technology.
- Dorota Zimnoch
Dorota Zimnoch has carved a name for herself as a top digital transformation expert after working on the supervisory board of Santander Consumer Bank that she cofounded. Dorota has also co-authored a book Zing Business Consulting. She is the co-author of The InsurTECH.
- David Reiss
David Reiss is considered an authority on digital transformation in New Zealand. He drives Equinox’s cloud strategy and helps clients adopt digital technology, refine operations and customer interactions. His biggest strength is guiding companies to keep a finger on the pulse of the client.
- Mike Quindazzi
Based in Los Angeles, Mike Quindazzi is serving as the Managing Director of US Digital Alliances, PwC and is a well-known digital transformation specialist. He has helped top Fortune 500 brands in successful digital transformation.
By now you’ll understand that digital transformation is not just about technology, but more of an enabler powered by a combination of technology, process, people and mindset. Without taking these things into consideration, carrying out enterprise-level changes is not possible. The strategy principles, companies and people above can guide your journey through digital transformation in 2021 and beyond.