The digital transformation: Yes! But how? 5 steps to make a success transition.

Not a day has gone by without the digital transformation in the center of all concerns and discussions. For a very good reason, it is about a determining stage in the activity of any company today, this transformation process being started or not. For a company, this strategic operation consists in integrating digital technologies in all of its activities. The main stake carried by digitalisation is obviously the one of the company survival. In a competitive context where the technological innovations accelerate and the ways of consumption and access to the information evolve, it is obvious that it is necessary to react, to adapt yourself to these evolutions and to create new opportunities to continue to exist on the market.

Here are some advice so that this operation of at first sight precarious digital transformation can establish a real trigger for performance and competitiveness.

1 – Think the project in a strategic way


Wanting to go too fast, by fear of being “uberized”, we sometimes forget to think with a long-term vision. It is necessary to be able to clearly answer the question ” Why? ” before beginning this project. Taking time to develop a strategy and end with a solid project will necessarily be more beneficial than to multiply the isolated actions which risk to waste a lot of time, money and energy to the company.

It is also important to match expectations for the digitalisation of the activities in the company, but also towards the customers. It is not only a technological transformation, it is a way to get more opportunities, to be more effective and successful than before. What are the customers expecting from this transformation? How do collaborators expect to work tomorrow?

2- Transversality and collaborators implication


For a digital transformation to be successful, it has to be thought through in a transverse way. In what way would the digitalisation of one of the activities of the company be useful if the other sectors cannot benefit from it? Integrating all sectors of the company into this project increases the possibilities of synergy afterward. Consulting at this stage the persons in charge of the business will allow to widen the spectre of possibilities with new ideas. Maybe they already have a vision of what will be their activity tomorrow!

Taking into account the stakeholders opinion allows several scenarios and will strengthen the whole thinking process. It is also the opportunity to gather inputs among the various services to determine which one will be the mainspring this project, which ones will gradually help convert certain objectors and spread this new way of working.


3 – Be agile and prioritize works


As any large-scale project, prioritizing needs is a crucial stage. From the announcement of the activities digitalisation, everybody will want to be the first sector to take advantage of it and it is a rather positive thing! But everything cannot be immediately realized, at the same time to satisfy everybody. Certain activities are faster to digitize than others. Vaster and more complex business processes will require tests and more elaborate support. Many situations to think about and to prioritize regarding the elaborated strategy. Is it to satisfy productivity goals? Is the stake to make the department more reliable and more attractive? Is recruiting and developing loyalty of new collaborators your main priority?


4 – Be careful about technological determinism!


Internet of objects (IoT), Big Data, Artificial intelligence (AI) are tools which relevance remains to determine to complete a digital transformation. Discussions are omnipresent on behalf of experts, media or collaborators to integrate these technologies in a company. But their integration goes through a first business processes dematerialization phase. It is useless thus to dash into such a work if the activity of the company is not already completely dematerialized! Proceeding step by step allows at first to test, have a feedback on the experiment to refine expectations and needs for the customers and for the in-house collaborators.


Another way frequently used in digital transformation projects : the complete modification of the existing business process to benefit the prescribed technology solution. If business has shown its ability, it may not be necessary to reshape the whole organization around, leaving some of the possibilities offered by a technology solution behind. It is common to read or to hear that digital transformation upsets the way people work, it can be partially true. But wanting to drastically change work methods, there is a very strong risk of resistance to change on behalf of the collaborators which can settle down, even a certain mistrust. Starting with the functional aspect of the business to develop an adapted technical solution is ideal to maximize the support of the digital transformation.


5 – Formalizing needs


Having developed carefully your strategy and having prioritized work steps, it is now time to formalize covering needs of the future application.


Next step : look for the right technical tool


The search for the technical solution to lead a digital transformation only occurs after numerous stages of reflection, necessary to lead this project peacefully. Leaning on the in-house experts of the CIO to find the most adapted solutions and drive the technical aspect of this project is essential. Is it a rather simple or complex need that is expressed? Are there any packaged technical solutions available? Or are developments necessary?


By respecting these steps, the chances are high that the project of digital transformation will be more mature and moved forward. The question of “How?” and means to dedicate can now be dealt with.


At Anakeen, the consultants start from the business process to develop the adapted technical solution.