We help you build your human-centred digital DNA.
The major ingredient in succeeding with digital transformation is advocating the digital DNA internally. Without the right mindset, digital transformation will only magnify any organisational flaws.
So, how does it work? And where to start?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new--or modify existing-business processes, culture, and customer experiences.
A digital transformation strategy starts with answering essential questions such as:
But before taking any action, the major ingredient in succeeding with digital transformation is advocating the digital DNA internally. Without the right mindset, digital transformation will only magnify any organisational flaws.
Building your business's digital DNA is a continuous process that begins and ends with how you think about your customers and engage with them.
You will also need to understand and be well acquinted with the following terms:
Digitalisation vs. Digital Transformation
The first term is when the company uses digital technology to modify or modernise existing processes. The latter includes digitalisation but does not solely emphasize its use. It rather enhances the endless possibilities and ensures your company's future existence by addapting accordingly.
The best way to generate value is for the whole organisation to partake in digital transformation. Working with a Process-oriented approach enables your colleagues and employees to understand the organisation and where/how their own processes connect to the bigger picture. By analysing the process from a customer perspective, the internal capabilities to increase customer focus and value focus - will be enhanced.
Legal Parameters of Digital Transformation
GDPR, Data protection, Regulation on AI, Gaia-X Initiative, Digital Tax, IT and Cybersecurity
When working with Digital Transformation it is crucial to anchor your company's decisions with the legal parameters of Digital Transformation. You will need these for your process if you want, for example, to analyse your company’s external environment with the help of the so-called PESTLE analysis.
SSBS( Start Small But Strategic).
Digital transformation may involve the most modern technology but is first and foremost a managerial task. Thus when considering new solutions you shouldn't blindly follow the trends just because everyone is talking about them.
The best way of starting the process is to take one step at a time. Below you will find a digital transformation process guide, followed by a digital transformation template (that you can download for free).
Successful Digital Transformation Strategy Examples
1. Current situation analysis
Conducting PESTEL and SWOT Analysis for Strategy Development
Every process of change begins with an analysis of the current situation. A current situation analysis is a clear, concise look at the present state of a business within its market and it consists of:
Analysis of the external influences on your business
Analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation
Describing your current business model
SWOT and PESTEL analysis together allow your company to get a combined view of the internal and external resources, threats, and opportunities. Since both frameworks analyze the environment based on different factors, you can get a holistic view of the possibilities and threats that exist for your company.
A SWOT analysis is a handy tool for creating strategies as it demonstrates a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
A PESTEL analysis is an internationally recognised method used for strategy formation, marketing planning, and business and product developmental tool used to gain a macro picture of an industry environment.
The benefits of using SWOT and PESTEL analysis together
When using both SWOT and PESTEL analysis together there are several benefits such as:
It can be applied to large as well as small projects to identify factors that may affect success.
It helps your company to identify potential threats to the organization and reduce the chances of negative impact.
It encourages employees to adopt a strategic thinking mindset at every stage of the planning and implementation process.
It creates a methog of finding new opportunities.
When working with the methods, keep in mind that they are not the same. Depending on what data your company wants to gather it is important to note that SWOT looks internally within companies to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as attractive opportunities and potential threats.
PESTEL on the other hand looks at the external factors that may affect an organization
In order to get the bigger picture your company can use both methods together. This provides more tools for the development of new strategies aimed at improving performance levels or exploration of potentials for the development of business activities. Also by using both strategies, managers can compare a business’s position relative to other competing firms in the industry, along with the market trends affecting them.
Describe your current business model
Using The Business Model Canvas to ''draw'' a picture of your current and future company
The method of BMC (Business Model Canvas) is well suited in analysing your current business model before the digital transformation and outlining the most important characteristics of your future business model once you successfully have gone through your digital transformation process.
The BMC method consists of nine key elements of a company depicted in nine fields. The nine elements cover the company’s most crucial aspects, allowing the business’s strengths and weaknesses to be easily noticed. Focusing, on the whole, it ensures a successful growth of the business that starts ''backwards'' i.e. listening to customers, creating and maintaining long-lasting relationships. Digitalisation itself is never the goal it is rather a tool that enhances the company's possibilities to create value for
When describing the key elements of your company, start with your customers and move through the numbers in the order shown in the Template. Download the Template for free for a detailed description of all the segments.
2. Strategy development
The importance of developing a strategy not exclusively based on the latest trends
Now that you have conducted your current situation analysis it's time to develop a Digital Transformation Strategy.
A Digital Transformation Strategy is a layout of the steps a business will take to best leverage emerging technologies. It could include changes to business models, innovations to products and services, and the development of new value chains to meet the changing needs of customers.
The strategy will be your company's faithfull servant into achieving the desired results. Below you will find the steps you could use when conducting your strategy development:
Collect facts and suggestions
Get to know the “driving forces” behind digital transformation and check how applicable they are to your business
Develop and describe your new business model
Collect facts and suggestions
When collecting facts and suggestions it is important that you involve your colleagues and employees in this process and note down any ideas that emerge in the change protocol.
Start by learning the success factors for digital business models. Look at pioneers in your own market and review their success factors. Analyse the needs and purchasing decisions of your customers and the reasons why people become your customer and why interested people do not yet become your customers.
The driving forces behind digital transformation
AI, IoT, Drones, DevOps, Big Data, AR/VR. Did it already get to much?
We understand that it can be confusing and somewhat overwhelming with all the terms related to digital transformation, therefore it is crucial that before taking any important decisions you firstly know your customers and their behaviours well. You are also aware that the latest trends do not necessarily need to be used as a part of your digital transformation strategy. It is however an advantage if you understand the impact and implementation if/when their use becomes relevant for your company. Below you will find a brief explonation of the driving forces behind digital transformation and how they could be used as a part of a digital transformation strategy.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad area of computer science where computer systems are developed in such a way that they can perform tasks that previously required human intelligence, such as speech understanding, decision-making, image analysis, translating between different languages, or playing complex games such as chess and Go.
In order to be able to develop and train AI, large amounts of data are needed. Just like for people, the analysis and decision-making usually get better, the more information is available. But it is not only the amount of data that is important but also the quality of it. If there is a bias in the data that artificial intelligence uses, it will affect the analysis and the results. It is therefore important that organizations create processes to sort out useless data and to ensure that the data has no bias.
Does Siri and Alexa sound familiar to you? Both of them are digital AI-based assistants. AI is also used by doctors to analyze X-rays and detect tumours, banks use AI to predict exchange rates and stock market movements, and accountants use AI to detect anomalies in clients' accounting data.
IoT stands for internet of things and means that household appliances, vehicles, machines, clothes and accessories and buildings are connected to the network. By being equipped with sensors, processors and an internet connection, they can be controlled and steered via the internet. They can also exchange data, perceive their environment and communicate with it. For example, it could be about lights that you can turn on, turn off and dim with an application on your phone or household appliances that can be controlled via the mobile phone or a computer. But it is also possible to use the term to describe connected machines in a factory or vehicles, such as self-driving cars. Today, there are also clothes with built-in sensors, which by pressing on the shoulder can help the wearer find the right way at a road crossing, or change the pattern and shape.
Big data stands for large volumes of data, which can be collected, stored, processed and analyzed in real-time to create value. With the help of big data, organizations can make decisions based on the large amounts of data they have in their data sources instead of subjective perceptions and judgments. Big data is also used as a basis for automated business and decision-making processes, as well as for developing and training solutions based on artificial intelligence.
Big data is used today in many different contexts and industries, from retail companies to media companies, energy companies and healthcare facilities that want to increase their understanding of their customers and improve their offers to them. One example is Netflix, which today has around 100 million users of its streaming service for films and series. By using big data, Netflix can recommend new movies and series to its customers, based on what they have previously watched. This service forms the basis for approximately 80% of the content consumed by users and is an important part of the overall experience.
The famous Cloud
Cloud computing refers to software that is provided seamlessly over the internet, rather than installed locally on your desktop or your company's network. The exact location of the hardware and software doesn't matter to the end user—it's just somewhere up in “the cloud".
Cloud computing and digital transformation go hand to hand. Cloud services, which effectively offer unlimited and dynamic IT resources, form the foundation of digital transformation and can facilitate rapid business change.
Cloud empowered businesses use these readily available on-demand services rather than investing time and money in building their own infrastructure. Whenever your business comes across the need to set up a digital infrastructure, you can do it easily with cloud, on a pay-as-you-use basis. As cloud started evolving in IT business, the services offered also started evolving into Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS): A cloud computing service that provides access to applications via your internet browser. Popular products are Google G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and Oracle. SaaS products help businesses to work more efficiently. Software like CRM, ERM, Accounting and Invoicing can be purchased from the cloud. No need to care about upgrading or installing any security patches. You can pay in relation to usage or buy temporary licenses for a project. You can improve your mobility by using mobile devices to access your data from any location.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This is a cloud computing service that provides scalable databases, virtual private networks, data analytics tools, application monitoring, developer tools, and more. With IaaS, a company rents space or hardware on a virtual infrastructure hosted on a public cloud. The installation of the operating system and the software the company needs are up to the company. Popular IaaS companies include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google and Rackspace.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): A PaaS cloud computing service is mainly for the benefit of developers. It includes an operating system, databases, a web server, a programming language execution environment and other tools to help developers create their own custom applications. Some of the most popular PaaS companies include Google App Engine, Microsoft, Azure and Salesforce. PaaS are websites that use Content Management Systems (CMS), for example WordPress, Joompla, Drupal etc. These may be useful for a company’s e-shops, learning management system or any other business operation.
RPA (Robotic Process Automation)
Just to ensure you, robots are not going to take over the world. The process of using Robots or Robotic Process Automation is to actually use software that can be easily programmed to do basic tasks across applications simulating human behaviour. This technology reduces the burden on employees of repetitive, simple tasks and allows employees in your company to configure computer software or ‘robots’ to capture and interpret existing applications for processing transactions, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. Your company could for instance use RPA to add a FAQ chatbot that will guide users to the right section. Further on it could also fill out forms in a folder and update a spreadsheet with the names of the forms and the dates filed, complete the corresponding invoices etc.
Have you heard of McDonald's and Foodoras drone delivery trial?
Drones have become popular consumer devices and are also making inroads into the industry.
While the term has become in some ways synonymous with flying machines that do not require human pilots on board, it can refer to a variety of earthbound or aquatic vehicles that operate with some degree of autonomy. Most people also think about drones as being used primarily for automated delivery, but data collection is also a powerful application of drone technology in many industries. Today you will find drones used by the Film-Industry, Rescue Operations and Healthcare, Shipping and delivery etc. Before you decide to use a drone as a part of your digital transformation strategy keep in mind that you might need a permition from your local authorities.
AR (Augmented Reality) and VR(Virtual Reality)
Ever tried Google Translates' AR-based function? Take a picture of the Spanish menu and it will translate it into Swedish in real time.
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that inserts digital objects into the real world in real-time. It is a type of interactive reality-based display environment that use the capabilities of computer-generated display, sound, text and effects to enhance the user's real-world experience.
Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Users are immersed in and can interact with 3D worlds, instead of watching a 2D screen.
The difference between AR and VR is that Virtual Reality requires a person to inhabit an entirely virtual environment. Augmented Reality uses an existing natural environment and simply overlays virtual information on top of it. Users of augmented reality experience a new and improved natural world where virtual information is used as a tool to provide assistance in everyday activities.
Both AR and VR have become an inevitable part of many companies and industries' digital transformation, for example:
Healthcare, AR can improve patient diagnoses and the effectiveness of treatment by making healthcare organisations’ existing processes more precise and efficient. E.g. doctors can perform surgeries more effectively.
Retail, customers can see how a piece of furniture would look or fit in their home even before purchasing it. This helps people to make the right purchasing decision. This improved decision-making increases a brand’s popularity.
Events and conferences, VR can be used to enable virtual conference attendance or to drive collective experiences among in-person audiences.
Marketing and advertising, VR-powered campaigns help companies to immerse customers with their products.
Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.
The data relating to the exchanges is saved inside cryptographic blocks, connected in a hierarchical manner and shared between many parties, called nodes. Each transaction is digitally signed to ensure its authenticity and to prevent anyone from tampering with it. This means that the ledger itself and the existing transactions within it can be assumed to be of high integrity.
The challenges that Blockchain Technology arises are of different natures. Firstly, the technology is quite unexplored which means the IT team might not yet know the benefits and threats it brings. Second, there is a lack of legislation and regulation, which creates a risky environment. Due to the lack of these, scams and market manipulation are common, especially the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities. At last, Blockchain has an environmental cost. Since it relies on encryption to provide its security and to establish consensus over a distributed network, complex algorithms must be run, which in turn requires large amounts of computing power.
Today the technology is mostly used in the cryptocurrency world but is slowly but surely becoming a part of other industries such as the diamond and dairy industries.
''Getting engaged? Blockchain may have a hand in it. The technology may not make popping the question any less nerve-wracking, but it can help couples buying a ring breathe a little easier knowing that it’s ethically sourced.''
Do you still use summer99 as your password? No worries, you are not alone!
The increasing number of people connected to the internet increases the security threat of serious harm. Cyber security can help ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of data and information. A cyberattack is any type of offensive manoeuvre that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, or personal computer devices. The attack attempts to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal or gain unauthorised access to or make unauthorised use of an asset for personal or other gain.
The main function of cyber security is to protect information and systems from cyber threats.
A best practice for enhancing a company’s cyber resilience is the implementation of an information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS is a set of policies and procedures for systematically managing an organisation's sensitive data. The goal of an ISMS is to minimise risk and ensure business continuity by proactively limiting the impact of a security breach.
The international standards ISO27001-Information security management systems and ISO27032-Guidelines for cybersecurity are two management disciplines that help this purpose.
ISO 27001 is a specification for creating an ISMS. It does not mandate specific actions but includes suggestions for documentation, internal audits, continual improvement, and corrective and preventive action.
ISO/IEC 27032 provide guidance for improving the state of cybersecurity, drawing out the unique aspects of that activity and its dependencies on other security domains.
Below you will find the latest updates from the European Union and The Swedish governments' official investigations regarding Cybersecurity.
The Swedish governments official investigations- Cybersecurity
Have you yet made your 3D-printed coffee mug?*
3D printing is a process of making physical three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. In recent years, 3D printing has gone beyond being an industrial process for prototyping and manufacturing as the technology has become more accessible for small companies and even for individuals. 3D Printing has been described by various sources as potentially having a greater impact than the internet. Applying 3D printing can have a transformative impact on diverse operations, including prototyping and inventory management. With 3D printing, there is no need to keep a big inventory with extra spare parts as the company can produce spare parts only when the demand arises. Today the 3D-printing technique is widely used in different areas such as the production of Art and Jewellery, Communication, Entertainment and Broadcasting, Healthcare and the Medical Industry etc.
3D printing is however yet not standardised, the technique is quite expensive and its additive manufacturing impacts the environment.
*There are possibilities for utilizing 3D prints in cases where food safety is a necessity. As always, make sure to do your own research before using 3D-printed food items.
Digital Customer Experience (DCX)
Your customers decide within three seconds whether to stay on your page or not.
Digital Customer Experience (DCX) refers to any customer experience taking place through a digital interface such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Examples of digital customer experience include researching a product online, using a mobile app to find the nearest location of a store and searching for tech support information on a smartphone. The majority of consumers prefer automated self-service and many of them now use their mobile devices to connect with their chosen brands. It’s well known that customer experience in an end-to-end context (i.e. the sum of all experiences across the customer life cycle) is essential for both the future growth and the current bottom line of any organisation. The end-to-end customer experience is essential for customer retention, customer loyalty, word-of-mouth growth, acquisition and much more. The same thing applies to the digital customer experience. When working with your digital transformation strategy you might want to dive deeper into the current DCX- strategy your company has. Many digital transformation initiatives arise from business/innovation needs and growth imperatives regarding a business’s customer (experience). At the same time, consumers have now been empowered by social media and are comfortable posting their opinions and observations about their experiences on social media websites and forums. In this environment, a negative customer service story can go viral with the click of a mouse.
Businesses that have the right technology and strategy can interact with their customers and deliver a consistent experience across all media, as well as a concrete strategy for this broadened scope of service.
A DCX Strategy must be built on four key elements:
Being truly digital means enabling customers to connect the way they want when they want, and from where they want.
Quick response times
A speedy, accurate, and timely response to the initial query is essential. Appropriate self-service functions should be available in all media.
Important customer information should be captured during all stages of interaction and carried throughout the entire life cycle of the interaction and customer history.
Customer experience can be improved dramatically by using customer information to anticipate events, act on scheduled events and plan resources more effectively. With the right information, a business can use mass messaging or individual, personalised messages over voice, email, or SMS channels to provoke a response from the customer (e.g. reaching usage limits, appointment/late fee reminders, etc.).
An effective DCX strategy will create more satisfied customers, which will lead to positive referrals, fewer customer complaints, increased loyalty and new customers. On the cost side, a DCX will be significantly more efficient than maintaining a current system. Employees will be provided with the proper tools to respond to all queries in a consistent and professional manner, irrespective of the medium the customer is using. They will have the ability to escalate queries to internal experts and allow supervisors to review responses before they are sent. This will enhance productivity, improve staff retention, and eliminate duplicated efforts.
Keep in mind though that you will need to check your country's regulations regarding GDPR and other legal matters that may apply.
Develop and describe your new business model
As we have mentioned before, the company must understand the possibilities and the challenges these ten digital technologies represent therefore discuss your understanding of them and
decide which of the new digital technologies could apply to your business and their use. You could do this by working in cross-functional teams for a broader cooperation and a more profound understanding between the company's departments. An example of cross-functional teams is sales and operations planning teams, where members from sales and marketing, operations and purchasing work together to create coordination between functions and create smoother and more frictionless internal processes, from customer needs through production to the supplier base.
Adapt or develop your new business model by using the results from your SWOT-Analysis and the ideas from the Event Tracker. Finalize and describe the new business model with CANVAS.
Keep in mind though, technology itself is not the solution. It's rather a tool that helps you adapt, advance or recreate your business model based on your customers' changing needs. Thus creating and maintaining a relationship to them is just as crucial as the use of technology.
You have now decided to take the next step and implement digital transformation in your company. Whether this transformational journey is about modernising your company, improving your marketing and sales approach, adopting new business models and becoming accessible to numerous new customers and customer communities by using technology and social media to strengthen your company’s brand image or cost efficiency we assume that you have done your homework and the ''Why we are doing this'' is clearly defined.
The importance of sorting and prioritising the planned activities
It is not seldom when working with your company's digital transformation that you will find several areas needed to be improved. At this stage, you should already have made a list of all items and areas that need to be changed through the adoption of digital technologies and all solutions to be implemented in your company. Then comes the question: Where should we start? Which of the projects and changes listed should be implemented first, and which can wait? Should we begin with the faster projects and then move on to more complex ones or start with simply the cheapest and least complex, regardless of their duration?
At this stage, you will need to sort and prioritise your activities. Prioritising is the act of choosing the activity that gives your company the most benefits. Below you will find the steps for prioritising and assessing your activities followed by a prioritising template that you can download for free.
Criteria for prioritization
When prioritizing the development of the activities, it is often appropriate to look at the following
Impact on recipient satisfaction – the degree to which the process contributes to
satisfy the needs of the end recipient? In what way is the organization improved expediency?
Impact on efficiency – does the project have a clear impact on the efficiency of the business?
Effective resource utilization is the key to profitability. Note that increased turnover to
the same cost increases efficiency.
Changeability – does the project seem difficult or easy to change with regard to for example resources, competence and cultural conditions?
Improvement potential – The frequency with which the process is used is important. The
the overall beneficial effect of a change is greater the more times the process is used. Small improvements can lead to great results in a frequently used process because one benefits from
the improvement each time the process is used.
Method for prioritization
An accepted method of prioritization is to create a matrix with one row for each project and
four columns for the criteria above. Then assess each project based on the different criteria. For each category, the respective project should be assigned a number between 1 and 5. The number 1 means that the project has low potential within the current category and 5 is too high. When this is done, all four values for each project are multiplied. The product of the values is then compared and then acts as a decision basis in the discussion about which projects to focus on.
Some projects might be urgent due to legal requirements (e.g. the deployment of a new system that will make it possible to encrypt electronic personnel records to ensure privacy in line with GDPR regulations) while others may be urgent because your competition is directly attacking your customer base by deploying a new system that is more friendly and attractive to customers, practical and available online whereas you do not have such a system in place.
It is important to point out that the valuation is only a basis and not necessarily the same as final prioritization. Below is an example of how one priority matrix may look like.
Start, execute and review implementation
The importance of finding the right project management methodology, person in charge of the deployment & implementation time plan
The importance of finding the right project management methodology
Project management is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters. Project management has final deliverables that are constrained to a finite timescale and budget.
The five stages of project management are:
Monitoring and Control
Using a project management methodology can help you:
Plan your project: the planning processes can be used to develop planning details, establish baselines against project implementation and provide better ways to control and monitor the project.
Develop your budget: developing the budget around the scheduled activities of the project provides better cost control, a real-time comparison between the actual and scheduled budget and an up-to-date knowledge of where and when costs will increase.
Manage risks: identifying, assessing, measuring and mitigating potential risks ensure the successful completion of the project.
Below you will find a brief introduction to the three basic and most popular approaches to project management: The agile approach, the waterfall approach and the kanban board project modell.
Agile, Waterfall and Kanban Methodology
Agile project management methodology provides flexible, iterative design and build process. Agile is more than a methodology. It covers a set of processes for extensive projects in dynamic environments. The agile approach is an alternative to traditional project management and is typically used in software development. It helps teams respond to unpredictability through incremental, iterative work cadences, known as sprints. It is usually used in projects that need a more responsive and fast-paced production schedule, and in projects for non-software products that seek to drive forward with innovation and have a level of uncertainty.
The waterfall model is a breakdown of project activities into linear sequential phases, where each phase depends on the deliverables of the previous one and corresponds to a specialization of tasks.
Kanban methodology uses lean principles and aims to increase productivity by eliminating wasted time and resources. It harnesses the power of visual information. It’s akin to using sticky notes on a whiteboard and moving them around based on where they are in the process.
This visualization helps you to really “see” the work and better understand its flow. It also helps team members easily communicate with one another. Kanban project management methodology can be used in conjunction with Agile.
Digital transformation is not an one-time action. It is a systematic and constant digital development of a company. It is important not only to implement new tools and systems but also to align them with strategic imperatives, change approaches, and create new business models that will allow you to benefit from the applied technologies and make effective operational decisions.