"The only wrong move when it comes to digital transformation is not to make any move at all"; wise words from Senior VP of Capgemini Didier Bonnet and something we regularly reinforce to our customers. Failure to evolve, by the very definition of evolution, means you instantly fail to progress and position yourself more weakly within your marketplace.

Digital transformation is all about leveraging the very best of digital (skills, tools, processes and data) to create more valuable experiences for your stakeholders, whilst increasing your ability to work more effectively and efficiently. This means catering to your stakeholders both as an individual (a consumer, staff member, partner, etc.) and to their context – time, location, mood, real-time needs, device, etc. But, you need to be ready to go on the journey.

We’ve touched on it before, how digital transformation suggests an end point and we prefer to think of it as an evolution, but what’s critical to understand is that it is also a journey of many steps. To evolve we require lots of small elements to shift and adapt, all working towards a much bigger picture.

People

There is a lot of focus on behavioural change – your staff upskilling and learning to work within a more digitally-centric, agile business model – but for this to be successful there must be a complete culture change from the top-down. Your business leaders need to not only believe in the need for this change but they must understand its implications and how to go about this process. They need to be bold, willing to also adapt and learn from those more junior to them – in today’s society there is a lot that can be learned from younger generations.

“Great business leaders will recognise that the best learning is two-way. Wisdom from experience can be passed down, but new skills, such as tech savvy, can also be passed up from new generations entering the workplace.”

People are key in digital transformation

It’s all too easy for someone to come into your business and say “change your culture”, but going about it is a whole other headache. It requires iterative, incremental shifts in individual behaviours and constant reinforcement. Culture is something that is nurtured and created over time.

And, whilst some may say the idea of building vibrant, collaborative cultures is old-hat (and it is), many companies still fall way behind in actually achieving it.

“With digital transformation the consumer, rather than the technology, is in the driver's seat, and this matters.”

- Forbes

Tools

Many businesses believe that replacing their legacy systems and software will be the pinnacle of their digital transformation. And, yes, in part this may be true. But, in order to successfully change your digital infrastructure, you also require buy-in throughout your teams, training and an appreciation of how these new systems benefit individual stakeholders. Beyond this, you also need to look at how all these systems integrate and play together.

Look at the healthcare sector, where multiple disparate systems and websites are used for the many areas of public care. These silos create a fractured approach to healthcare for consumers, but are typical as we always organise by internal departments (there’s more great information on this over here).

So, think about how your business is currently operating and how flexible this is to your future needs. Assess where you need to go. And start to plan the first steps of your digital adventure.