With an open corporate culture, a lot of experience under the belt and the right technology, digital transformation would be easy. But as you probably know - also from hundreds of projects - that digitalization is not quite that simple, which is why this undertaking usually fails in the initial phase. To summarize, there are five forces that determine success or 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 created through the adequate protection of personal data and their use. Technological aspects are secondary, much more important is the establishment of a person in the company who is dedicated exclusively to the issue of privacy.
2 | Agility
The goal of digitalization must initially be described as a vision, a so-called big picture. During the implementation process, 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 and act on the living system. Constant changes and prototyping are characteristics of digital transformation. The resulting rapid responsiveness is one of the most important success factors. 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. Rather, the large volume, processing and intelligent use of data poses enormous challenges to companies. Companies in all industries have to deal intensively with the importance of this data and their consistent transformation into knowledge. In the age of digitalization, this requires the right technological prerequisites such as big data approaches, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
4 | Culture
Corporate culture is the foundation of every successful digital transformation. In technological projects, the human aspect is often completely underestimated or even forgotten, which is why many digitalization efforts ultimately fail in their implementation. The functional silos are still skeptical about any change. In most cases, their behavior 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 experienced, in which one is constantly prototyping and at the same time always trying out new things, failure management culture, change management and design thinking must be strongly anchored. In the long term, this means that every employee in the company focuses on the customer and devotes themselves consistently to the customer-centric approach.
5 | Continuous
The term «continuous» is used to make intermediate results and outcomes immediately visible in an agile approach, so that appropriate measures can be taken if necessary. Analysts also call this «Digital Twin of an Organization (DTO)». This model allows companies to map the organization into a digital system and monitor it in real time. The company gets an overall view, which is of immense value as different variants and scenarios can be tested in a real environment. At the same time, a culture of change is being established within the company. In order for this to be possible, a company today must have integrated IT as a key competence and as an internal service provider.
It is important for companies that not only embrace digital transformation, but want to use this momentum as a great opportunity, to understand these five forces of successful digitalization and to apply them consistently. A company that is on the path of digital transformation is constantly working on its culture and does everything to make silo or departmental solutions a thing of the past.
The customer-centric approach must be consistently used in all processes. However, the fact is that a company of a certain size without a digital business platform can hardly succeed in taking the necessary steps. As the foundation of a successful digital transformation, corporate culture is of immense importance.