It sounds like a fairy tale, but it surely isn’t just that. If you think that IT projects are cumbersome, exposing you to various types and degrees of risks and a big headache that should be avoided by any means, then this article is for you. And you would be right to be scared, as statistics show that even today, despite all the progress, more than 70% of the IT projects are a failure :
But, in fact, avoiding all that is the surest way to bury your career. We hope that this article will make you see that running from digital transformation is in fact the riskier decision on medium and long term.
Throughout our professional journey as digital transformation consultants, we have built long lasting relationships with our clients and we always watched them carefully, even in cases where the business relationship had reached its natural end at some point. Thus, we had the privilege of observing them growing over many years, or, in other cases, failing due to wrong business decisions related to automation and implementation of IT solutions. Statistically, though, one thing stands out in our experience: actors who undertook a proactive role in driving digital transformation programs and initiatives have become key players in their companies.
One of our favorite – and still ongoing story – starts in 2005, when a young and bright accounting manager working for an international retailer met our current Axiobit’s CEO (then a new entrepreneur on the market) and was introduced for the first time to BPM technology. As it turned out, the young manager was quite a visionary. One could say it was a lucky break for both parties. She immediately understood the huge potential of BPM technology and that this could be the key to an incredible efficiency leap in her financial processes. A high-impact area was selected: digitization and automated processing of merchandise suppliers’ invoices. By bringing down the cost of processing one invoice by 70%, the company achieved tens of millions in savings within a year, and much more until today, when the number of invoices per month has risen above 300,000.
And so, an apparently risky decision of bringing in and vouching for a small start-up supplier with a fresh new technology proved to be a turning point in her career and also in the company’s philosophy.
Today, 14 years after that strategic “bet” and some tens of millions of savings due to automation, her Financial Department is the best-practice case-study in digital transformation in the company and her country has the highest profitability rate in the retail holding.
As a new
role in 2019, the board of the company asked her to take over the lead for
digital transformation at country level. Is her title most “important” in this
international company? Probably not. Is her position a key one? Definitely yes,
it is pivotal. And there is also an accompanying budget to support that
But, was our story really about a bet, or about a very smart and calculated decision? A bit of both probably, but more of the second, if you consider the following reasons:
1. In their quest for high-impact competitive advantages, companies can no longer avoid digital transformation, so the smart thing is to embrace it sooner than the competition. Companies that fail to do so, will lose market share and eventually disappear, through a process that we call “Digital Darwinism” (DT masters are 26% more profitable than the rest, while 40% of market leaders are expected to fall out of the top 10 in their industries due to digital disruption over the next 5 years according to Capgemini and DHR International research).
On the other hand, companies that fully embrace it, have the best chances to become market leaders. This is, in fact, the story of Amazon, a company which gained a loyal audience of omni-shoppers and increased its market value up to 1,910% in 2016, compared to 2006, by heavily investing in technology
Moreover, the latest trends show that customers want faster products and services, high quality multichannel access and enhanced customer experiences. Paper and pencil workflows are no longer sustainable in today’s reality.
2. Digital transformation makes you visible in the entire organization.
the person in charge with digitalization, digitization and automation of processes,
you have the chance of analyzing, understanding business processes and
discussing with all departments. This is a unique opportunity to meet and
connect with different business unit leaders and to understand their point of
view and their problems firsthand. Of course, using professional guidance and
expertise in these activities is highly advised. It is a rather new field, so
why not be the company “guru” in digital transformation?
3. Digital transformation helps develop your strategic and innovation skills
As a leader of automation in your company, you will analyze various business processes and will get detailed, in depth knowledge of cross-functional workflows. This makes you one of the few people to gain a clear high-level overview but, at the same time, detailed and specific insights of all business areas. As such, you are the one who can quickly identify integrated, cross-functional solutions and the best facilitator for strategic, multidisciplinary innovation efforts. What better way to be noted by top management and assigned with higher responsibilities? Leading Digital Transformation initiatives usually places you in a central, pivotal position, exerting a powerful positive influence in the whole company.
In conclusion, as much as the thought scares you, the smart choice is to take a leap of faith and acknowledge that Digital Transformation should in fact be your best ally, no matter what your current position in the company is. It is a long-term and complex endeavor, but definitely worthwhile.
As with many clients before, we are looking forward to meeting you and supporting you on this journey of learning, growing and building a culture of innovation in your organization!
You may also be interested in:
 According to The Standish Group 2015 CHAOS Report, quoted by enkillc.com – https://www.enkillc.com/insights/2017/2/10/why-do-70-of-projects-fail-to-deliver
 Business Process Management
 According to Bloomberg, quoted by Redmonk.com – https://redmonk.com/rstephens/2017/09/26/cloud_rd/