20 October, 2022

Pick your own journey to Digital Transformation

The onset of the pandemic found businesses around the world scurrying to fill the gaps in their (IT) infrastructure and meet the sudden demand for remote work. That unprecedented boom is now cooling off, leaving companies in roughly the same predicament as before the pandemic. Whereas, during the pandemic, companies were prepared to follow anyone who promised to keep them running, many are now returning to the office and the digital transformation seems that is no longer of existential importance. However, this is not true. The digital transformation is a process that cannot and will not reverse.

The Digital Transformation is a fundamental shift in the modus operandi and the mindset of a company. It permeates every aspect of its being, through the organization, its processes, its models, its people. However, not all companies had the same results during thi process. Companies of the same size, the same talent, even operating in the same industry, had very different results. Recent events have highlighted the fact that there is no “recipe” for the Digital Transformation.

Experience has proven time and again that there are many ways to get the Digital Transformation right. But also, that there are many ways to get it wrong. Companies are, in principle, not created with a transformation culture; it is an arduous process, through trial and error, through which they eventually settle on a transformation approach that works for them.

Our multi-year experience in this industry has shown that there are three broad pathways which point towards the general direction of a successful Digital Transformation. The first pathway involves having the support of the company’s leadership. This is the so-called “top-down” transformation and, having the unwavering support of the leadership, it will ultimately succeed. The second pathway is through the IT department, and it is usually driven by internal talent and will result in building in-house expertise and know-how. Over time, it will create sufficient momentum, starting with small-scale projects and building on them, to succeed. The third and final path involves addressing specific issues and trying to fix them quickly and efficiently. The leadership are not willing to waste time with experimentation; they will invest the necessary resources and they will want results.

Ultimately, there are many pathways to make the Digital Transformation, but the one common factor is the drive to see it through to the end and not let it fade. It also means that you will have to follow the path that better suits your company or business, not copy what others did.