The top four elements of digital transformation

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For companies globally the digital transformation of their business models has been gaining some traction over the last 2-4 years. Considering that this transformation of industry was triggered by a transformation of society (called the digital evolution: smartphones, tablets, clouds…) there was a long time gap before enterprises started adopting the “new trend”. There has been a lot of talking, which transitioned into emerging first movers and now has become a top priority for a majority of companies. For companies operating in the global competitive landscape, digital transformation in 2018 is even an absolute MUST.

Depending on the study there are several dimensions to a digital strategy that can drive transformation efforts. This is a crude overview of the main areas to look at:


  • Company Culture & Leadership transformation
  • Employee Engagement & Retention
  • Recruiting of new talent
  • Adopting a new work culture

Culture is one of the hardest things to change in a company. But a digital world requires digitally adept employees and the willingness to change the old ways. This change can be supported by implementing technology, that will enable the new way of working needed. From a digital evolution standpoint companies need to implement mobile and social technologies without compromising the security and integrity of their data. A lot of technologies need to work together to achieve this: Enterprise File sync & share, chats, MDM, Cloud Workspaces etc.

Ecosystem Transformation:

  • Industry Alliances & Digital Value Chains
  • Sales & Distribution innovation
  • Supplier transformation (external innovation)

Transforming your ecosystem to work digitally can either make you the leader or force you to move along with your ecosystem. From basic changes like having contracts via DocuSign (or similar) to actually transforming your sales with automation tools to drive down CoS and offer higher value to customers. The latest change to see in large enterprises is the realization that innovation is rarely something from the inside, but needs to be sourced from the outside as well. This has started to transform a lot of industries and will continue to do so, as even start-ups can shake up big supplier companies on a global basis (Look at how many alternatives to VMware or Microsoft ther are in the market today, that all have taken marketshare).

Business Model, Process and Technology innovation:

  • Disruptive Technologies
  • Customer centric approach – enable exponential growth
  • How to address new Markets or strengthen the footprint

Far too often, digital transformation is still considered to be a pure technology subject. These companies are clearly missing the point. Companies that realize efficiency and productivity gains and, additionally, implement digital growth, embrace the task holistically. Stand-alone solutions definitely no longer stand a chance. Especially technologies like AI, IoT and AR will continue to develop at phenomenal speeds in 2018 and fuel the overlaying topics like “future of work” or “Industry 4.0”. Organizations that are intensively exploring all the possibilities of the technology revolution and assessing the potential for their current or future business models have the best chance to use it to generate growth.

Agile Planning & Governance:

  • Data Science
  • Strategic Foresight
  • Cyber Security & Privacy

Having a agile mindset in all areas of your business is key to stay ahead of the competition and on-top of all future changes. The rise of Data Scientists and CDOs shows that Digital and “Data-driven-everything” is the new and old way to do business. Business has always been about measuring actions and results and than take action. The new technologies are about indefinitely speeding up the process by have predictions even before you have results. All of these tools obviously have to be seen under the light of data security and privacy as well as guarding those digital assets against others.

Customer benefit has the highest relevance

In 2018, new technologies will provide companies with the opportunity to enter markets at unprecedented speeds. Furthermore, there will also be completely new business opportunities for organizations. But despite all the company internal focus, digital transformation initiatives should not ignore the most important goal: to offer real value to (potential) customers.

As simple as that may sound in theory, putting this into practice is especially difficult for traditionally-grown companies. Organizations that are able to strike a new path, and thus free themselves from “old” thinking and work patterns, will have the best chance of succeeding in the digital world in 2018.

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