With an open corporate culture, ample experience, and the right technology, digital transformation would be easy. But, as you probably know, and we have learned from our experience completing hundreds of projects, digitalization is not quite that simple, which is why this undertaking usually fails in the initial phase. In a nutshell, five factors determine whether the undertaking will be a success or a failure.
1 | Security
Customers today are much more aware of security requirements and threats. You are not willing to give up comfort or accept security issues. Trust is paramount and can only be achieved through the adequate protection and use of personal data. Technological aspects are secondary; it is paramount to designate and establish a person in the company who is exclusively dedicated to the issue of privacy and data security.
2 | Agility
The goal of digitalization must initially be defined as a vision, the so-called big picture. During its implementation, new knowledge, experience, and technological possibilities are continuously incorporated in real-time. With a step-by-step approach, it is possible to achieve quick results. You are in a continuous, agile process acting on the living system. Constant changes and prototyping are the characteristics of a digital transformation, resulting in a rapid responsiveness and is one of the essential factors leading to a successful transformation. This makes agility the most effective way to meet ever-changing market conditions.
3 | Data
Today, the big challenge is less about having the right data. Instead, the large volume, processing, and intelligent use of data poses enormous challenges to companies. Companies in all industries must deal intensively with this data's importance and consistent transformation into knowledge. In the digitalization age, this requires the right technological prerequisites, such as big data approaches, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).
4 | Culture
The corporate culture is the foundation of every successful digital transformation. In technological projects, the human aspect is often underestimated or even overlooked, which is why many digitalization efforts ultimately fail in their implementation. The functional Department silos are often skeptical about any change. In most cases, their behavior and outlook is strictly departmental.
Every digitalization project requires a consistent examination of the individual and enterprise-specific cultural effects. In a culture in which agile projects are to be implemented, one is constantly prototyping and trying out new things. Failure management culture, change management, and design thinking must be strongly anchored in such an environment. Over the long term, this means that all employees should focus on the customer and devote themselves consistently to the customer-centric approach.
5 | Continuous
When talking about the term "continuous," the goal is to make interim results and outcomes immediately visible using an agile approach so that appropriate measures can be taken if necessary. Analysts also call this the "Digital Twin of an Organization (DTO)." This model allows a company to map itself into a digital system and monitor it in real-time. The company gets an overview of the different scenarios and variants that being tested in a real environment, which is immensely valuable. Simultaneously, a culture of change is being established within the company. For this to be possible, a company today must have integrated IT as a key competence and sees itself as an internal service provider.
Companies need to embrace digital transformation and use the momentum as an opportunity to understand these five forces of successful digitalization and apply them consistently. A company on a Digital Transformation path is constantly working on its culture and does everything to make silo or departmental solutions to things of the past.
The customer-centric approach must be consistently used in all processes. However, a company of a certain size without a digital business platform can hardly succeed in taking the necessary steps. As a foundation of successful digital transformation, the corporate culture is immensely important.