Digital Transformation is a white hot topic at the moment. And whilst we can theorise about the types of experiences and challenges that businesses are facing right now, there is nothing quite like getting some direct and personal feedback from real business decision makers who are grappling with how to approach digital transformation in their organisations right now.

Recently Digital Works were lucky to have enjoyed an audience with a diverse group of organisations keen to delve into the topic over a croissant (or two). The Digital transformation breakfast was hosted by our partners PSD, a leading executive and management recruitment business. It turned out to be an interesting and lively debate.

The main aim of the event

Was to engage with a range of businesses interested in getting an overview of the digital market and its phenomenal rise, how to adapt to that, while discussing the opportunities and challenges:

  • An understanding of the complex challenges business’ face today in the adoption of digital, and how they can become a true Omni-channel and insight driven business.
  • How to approach digital transformation, including some of the questions that leaders need to ask themselves. Using the macro view of digital transformation rather than the micro.
  • Examples of how other companies have approached digital transformation, good and bad.
  • An opportunity to meet other leaders and discuss their experiences of embracing digital.
  • Ultimately, to get some insight and perhaps some answers.

What type of business attended?

Variety certainly was the name of the day. There were a mix sectors represented ranging from mobile and telecoms, financial services and banking, retail and ecommerce, through to Public Sector and not-for profits. Some large and mature, others younger and more digitally evolved, but with one thing in common – a desire to find an effective approach digital transformation.

It’s clear the topic of digital transformation is one people are interested in (judging from size of attendance, how long they stayed, the lively debate, and wanting follow-on focus on some core areas that were discussed, and from seniority of people (ranging from CEO’s, CFO’s, Founders, Heads of Online/Digital/ Emerging Payments, Global Programme Managers to name a few…).

During the session a few common issues were raised:

Market insight was generally understood

There was a general consensus amongst attendees that growth, pace and complexity are valid and important – especially pace (a few people mentioned that). As highlighted by the graphic below:

Digital transformation market insight

growth, pace and complexity of digital transformation

Business model change is core

Digital is both the reason for a change in the business model and the enabler of the new business model. Not everyone perhaps understood the full ramifications of this quite yet, and there were mixed attitudes amongst attendees. But this is absolutely fundamental.

Be assured, digital is an innovation game changer; getting better at your GTM is important (being effective), as is being more efficient (internal) as they both positively impact top and bottom line; but business model is a competitor crusher…leading to digital ‘Darwinism’ and blowing the competition out of the water.

Many companies are focussed on digitising or transforming ‘parts’ of their organisation piece by piece…..this causes fragmentation and silos of change.

Micro digital transformation

micro digital transformation graphic

The right approach is…to drive digital transformation and innovation from the top across the entire organisation. Through a clear vision and data drive customer insight.

Macro digital transformation

Macro approach to digital transformation graphic

Businesses are struggling with finding the right people to help bring about the digital transformation piece

And in our experience people change is key. At this point in time it is clear there are large skills gaps that exist in many businesses.

Digital change graphic

The convergence of the gap between ‘marketing/business’ and ‘technical’ is vital

Ultimately this still remains to be solved for many. Some of the business leaders in organisations who attended clearly had some of the ‘skills’ needed to lead transformation, but the rest of the organisations (and market) hasn’t quite woken up to the value of those ‘bridges’.

And these are critical if organisations are going to enjoy the benefits of the Marketing Technology (Martech) revolution which is happening right now.

Making the change

Judging from much of the feedback both during and after the event many organisations want to start their digital transformation journey, but are in need of digital champions in their businesses; ones who can communicate a vision, create successful strategies and lead change throughout the business.

Again these are critical. Ones with enough seniority to enable and champion the change.

Interested in finding out about similar events on digital transformation?

We are hoping to run another digital transformation event later this year. If you would like to be kept informed of any similar events then please get in touch.

Alternatively we are always happy to talk to find out what your individual digital transformation needs might be.

For more information on our Digital Transformation services contact Andrew Salmon.