Despite the digital transformation hype, according to a Gartner study from November 2019, 54% of leaders surveyed say their organization doesn’t have a clear vision for transformation, and only 11% have scaled digital business transformation. According to Gartner, successful digital business transformation is defined by business outcomes, not by specific technologies and processes used to achieve those results. “Today, however” the consultants regret, “the main focus is often placed on the second aspect.”
Closing existing gaps with competent partners
According to the Gartner Global CIO Survey 2020, leadership, management, people, processes and technologies must be seamlessly integrated and part of the change to achieve the goals of digital business transformation. But it is precisely this complex task that many IT managers are not yet able to handle properly. Above all, they have weaknesses in leadership skills such as visionary envisioning, quick decision making and relationship building. Enterprises are therefore increasingly trying to close these gaps with the help of external partners.
According to Gartner, by 2021, around 90% of all global companies plan to use the services of system integrators, digital agencies or consultancies to help them design and implement their digital strategies. While only 65% of all companies today use both transformation and optimization services, this figure is expected to rise to 80% by 2021.
“The uncertainty, complexity and increasing need for cultural change associated with a transition to digital business have led to a desire for a guide to help navigate through the opportunities, risks and threats involved,” the Gartner study states. This is because service providers could combine expertise in business, technology, design and innovation to offer their customers strategic and operational support in defining and realizing their digital ambitions.
The goal is to expand and maintain competitiveness
“Since the number of megatrends affecting all industries simultaneously has grown in recent years, companies today have to deal with their future in a more fundamental way than was the case 10 or 20 years ago,” Bramwell Kaltenrieder, Professor of Digital Business and Innovation at the Berne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, also emphasizes in an interview. He defines digital business transformation as “a combination of fundamental changes in strategy, business model, processes, technologies and culture in a company or business unit”.
The goal of this medium to long-term evolutionary, iterative process is to maintain or even increase competitiveness in a rapidly changing environment. “In terms of implementation, a transformation project consists of a large number of short- and medium-term change management projects, each of which focuses on a single process, system, technology, team or department,” says the scientist.
Companies would have to reinvent themselves step-by-step in the course of a transformation, and in doing so, should on the one hand further develop existing strategic competencies and on the other hand, build up new ones. This is a longer process that will not end so quickly and will take decades. “During this time, agile companies will develop continuously,” expects Prof. Kaltenrieder. After all, in a very turbulent world that has now become enormously dynamic, “it is not to be expected that a sudden calmness will set in and that a successful company will not have to reinvent itself regularly as a result.”