Digital Transformation Success Stories Examplesblog
Companies need to evolve and grow if they want to survive consistently. The first industrial revolution in the early 1800s was one such change. This new manufacturing process radically transformed the way items were built and also saw an increase in the use of mechanized systems. We have since seen two other revolutions that have transformed businesses. The second was a change in energy production and the creation of the oil and gas industries we are familiar with today. The third happened quite recently and led to the launch of the telecommunications, computing, and electronics industries. With the birth of the internet, we are currently in the fourth industrial revolution.
Companies are once again forced to rethink the way they work and operate. What was once accepted best practices has now been radically altered. Businesses are now learning to an ever greater degree the importance of the customer. With the advent of social media and other online mediums, companies are having to rethink the process of interacting with customers while at the same time, revising the way they work and operate.
At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.”
— John Chambers, Cisco System
Digital transformation is the new priority for businesses, and while 87% of business leaders agree that digitization is essential, only 40% of companies have fully implemented digital initiatives. This massive discrepancy is only growing, and without a real vision that is shared throughout the business, digital transformation projects will continue to lag.
Fortunately, there have been some hugely successful digital transformation initiatives across a host of different industries. These companies provide some clear guidance that can be useful for others to learn from.
Examples of Successful Digital Transformation Across the Industries
Food & Beverage Manufacturing
The Bottlers’ Sales & Services arm of Coca-Cola – CCBSS – made a significant change to the way information is shared. By digitizing documents for the 72 bottlers located across North and Central America, CCBSS has come up with a way of saving Coca-Cola $1million/year.
The company that Coca-Cola reached out to help realize these savings was Ripcord. Ripcord offered CCBSS a way of using ML and robotics to process documents with greater accuracy and speed. By making this change, Coca-Cola has come up with a system they can use to digitize 25 million documents annually saving the company significant amounts of time and money.
Tesla is far and away one of the innovators when it comes to vehicular technology. They are incredibly close to the release of fully autonomous vehicles and their energy storage and generation groups also offer exciting technology. While batteries are one part of their business, their expansion into solar roof tiles is groundbreaking, and the potential for their inter and intra-city tunnels with the Boring company is also very intriguing.
One thing that makes Tesla stand out even further is not the technology itself, but rather the sharing of that technology. Historically, companies have hoarded patents like gold, as that was their key differentiator. Tesla, however, has taken a very different tact. They have made all of their electrical vehicle patents available for free. This strategy will have two significant benefits. Firstly it will drive investment into the market but perhaps just as importantly, it will help cement Tesla technology as the standard. This example has been taken to hear by other car companies as Ford (Electric), BMW (Electric) and Toyota (Hydrogen) have all followed suit.
eCommerce and Retail
Home Depot is one of the giants of the home improvement sector. They made a radical change in 2017 and focused on a more robust and inclusive digital transformation strategy. For three years, Home Depot has made many different changes. These changes include the creation of an IT team that not only gathers customer data but also works with other internal teams to utilize the information gained.
Also, they have improved their back-end and underlying distribution channels. These changes have had a significant impact on Home Depot’s bottom line. Over this period, their share price has increased from $135 to $215, and their revenues have grown by $17billion.
Microsoft has radically transformed its business from 2014 to today. With a stock price hovering at under $40 in 2014, Microsoft’s investment in cloud computing has seen the stock more than triple in less than a decade.
With a current stock price of $136, Microsoft has increased its market capitalization to $1 trillion. This growth is a direct result of its shift in focus from a traditional software company to a business that is focused on cloud computing for consumers and enterprises.
Pfizer partnered up with IBM and its ML teams. This group provided doctors and researchers with a system of sensors that enabled them to track critical disease systems in real-time. By using these sensors for Parkinson’s disease research, the team at Pfizer was able to find valuable connections in their data not readily apparent.
How to Avoid Digital Transformation Mistakes
While the list of successes is promising and growing, there are, unfortunately, many more digital transformation mistakes. According to Gartner, there are 9 of the biggest mistakes companies make. Let’s check them out and see some ideas on how to avoid them.
1. Misunderstanding Digital Transformations Rationale
Companies need to understand the impact of digital transformation on their industry and how it will affect their corporate mission, value, and goals. Businesses that have to narrow a focus can, at times, fail to understand what this change will bring.
Do This: Organizations should instead approach digital transformation from a different viewpoint, one of reinvention. By completely changing the paradigm, companies can radically alter their short term prospects as well as impact their future growth.
2. Stop Navel Gazing
Companies around the world share a prevalent malady. They focus on what is best for them instead of what is best for their customer. It is essential to realize that digital transformation is not merely a new operating model. Instead, digital transformation requires an outside-in perspective to be truly successful.
Do This: Organizations and businesses should focus their efforts outside of the narrow environs they are used to. Do not only look at your local competition but consider examples outside your industry and even outside your country.
3. Take Responsibility
Companies that fail at digital transformation share one common trait: responsibility and ownership. Many directors believe that digital transformation is a management issue and not part of their duty. Also, team members often find that digital transformation is an IT initiative and not something they need to worry about.
Do This: Organizations need to realize that digital transformation is something that everyone is responsible for. It needs to be called out in a company’s mission statement and owned by all of the leaders. If ownership is avoided, incremental progress is possible, but the real transformation will not happen.
4. Defining Digital
Many companies fail at the creation of a specific digital plan. Without a clear strategy and associated measures and targets, success is fleeting if at all.
Do This: Define clear goals and KPIs for individuals and the business based around digital. Look to bonus-drivers to help push the success of your digital transformation.
5. Think Big
When a digital strategy is undefined or incorrectly defined, budgets are at best limited. This means that companies can only focus on short term objectives and goals.
Do This: With digital transformation, it is essential to aim big. Management needs to find funding to ensure that the change has enough resources available to succeed.
6. Fixed Mindset
If your team has a fixed mindset and is unwilling to change, there are ways to get them back into a learning mode.
Do This: By providing top-down support and encouragement along with learning opportunities, employees can grow with the company.
7. Reluctance to Act
Companies, at times, get too focused on planning and forget to execute. If your organizations spend more time debating then acting, check out what you can do to fix it.
Do This: Organizations need to transform from a staid corporate model into a lean startup mentality. This needs to be part of companies’ corporate DNA and should drive innovation across the organization.
8. The Next Big Thing
Technology is essential and it has had a massive impact on the way we live and work. It is, however, necessary to ensure that, as an organization, you do not get blinded by the hype of the next “big thing.”
Do This: The executive team needs to rank problems based on their priority. Based on this ranking, investigations into technology and technical solutions can be undertaken.
9. Understanding Culture
Changing corporate culture is difficult. It is also one of the most significant barriers to scaling digital transformation.
Do This: To succeed in digital transformation, leaders must become experts at culture. They need to understand how the changes they are making will impact culture and ensure that they focus on a company’s core purpose.
Digital transformation is something that companies need to embrace. Not doing so is simply not an option. However, while digital transformation is a necessity, it is just as essential to ensure that it is done correctly. Companies need to ensure that they do not rush their digital transformation projects. CIOs and other leaders of large enterprises and businesses should decide what is feasible and what is not. Their planning needs to take into account what the expectations are of their boards, and what their current capabilities are.
The team at NIX can help you achieve your digital transformation goals. We can work with you to build a plan that will move your strategy forward carefully and with an understanding of your company’s needs and strengths. Let us help you succeed at digital and digital transformation.