The year 2020 has seen an unprecedented and rapid shift in emphasis towards enabling creativity, innovation and production led by technology, and this shift is transforming organizations of all sizes globally. According to Mckinsey research, “we vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of eight weeks”. The obvious impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding, this shift we surmise, is also being driven by three overarching themes.
First, the nature of customer engagement is radically changing, making it impossible for organisations to apply the traditional industrial command and control approach. Secondly, the value-predicting and operational management capabilities of digital technologies make it possible to more quickly identify potential issues and make changes, rather than waiting for entrenched processes to play out. And thirdly, digital technologies offer organisations the ability to improve their systems or the services they provide, and create new services without necessarily having a large capital outlay.
Despite the positive shift however, many organisations struggle with taking the steps required for a successful transition to digitally enabled ways of doing business. Studies show the most prominent organisational issue preventing this, was “resistance to change”, emphasizing the need for change management and a corporate culture embracing transformation and collaboration.
In our practice at Archima, we have also found that what often hinders successful digital transformation in many companies is not organisational capability, but the lack of appropriate structures within which digital transformation can succeed. At present, many companies still employ siloed organisation structures that fail to maximise innovation and synergies between business units.
If the digital transformation process is going to be successful, it has to overcome these challenges and focus on identifying and prioritising the ambitions of the business that will lead it towards its aspirations. In fact, the digital transformation process should help to build alternative organisational structures. And while it’s not necessarily easy to make the shift, we have identified 6 key actions that firms should consider when striving to realize value from their digital transformation efforts.
1.) Preparing for impact.
Identify what functions need to be more effective in order to achieve your digital transformation goals. Consider, for example, if changes are needed in your IT architecture, your website, how you train and certify employees, or how you navigate security and privacy concerns.
2.) Communicate your strategy.
Make sure employees are aware of the success-building and communication opportunities digital transformation provides. Find a way to raise the level of awareness throughout your organization — in all departments, on your intranet, email memos, face to face meetings, corporate social media etc.
3.) Reevaluate your Customer experience
Creating value for your customers is essential to your success, but the first step to creating value is to gather information about your customers and establish realistic expectations. From data regarding your customers, you can benchmark performance versus other firms. And you can establish what specific challenges and opportunities customers have encountered in the past, what they consider the biggest problems at present, and what type of tangible outcomes are important to them. Then, use that information to build your digital transformation strategy to become a more “customer-centric” business.
4.) Conduct A Complete Data Audit
Determine what you already have and which assets need to be migrated and consolidated. It can be a considerable project, so commit to supporting your IT teams and business units with resources.
5.) Education and training
Many employers have found it challenging to secure the necessary change management resources to accommodate digital transformation. This means training and education can be challenging, but if done, it is time well spent. The effort that your organization is putting forth to make the right investments in employee education will not only impact your bottom line, but will also have an impact on employee engagement, loyalty, and retention.
6.) Being Accountable
Accountability — whatever level it comes from — is key to successful digital transformation. By creating a culture where people can hold each other accountable your organization will be able to serve its mission best.
As your organization focuses on transforming into a more customer-oriented business, your top responsibility will be to obtain appropriate return on investment for those efforts by meeting clear business objectives. The key to realizing that value, we believe, is to implement the right organizational structure that will give your digital transformation effort the best chance at success. To get started on your DT journey, schedule a no-obligation consultation with Archima today.
 “Global Surveys of Consumer Sentiment during the Coronavirus Crisis | Marketing & Sales.” McKinsey & Company, 2020, www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/global-surveys-of-consumer-sentiment-during-the-coronavirus-crisis. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020
 Belle, Van, and Rion van Dyk. “Factors Influencing the Intended Adoption of Digital Transformation: A South African Case Study.” ResearchGate, unknown, 26 Sept. 2019,