Blog from Strategic Asset

Technology to help fuel innovation and drive business growth

The Formula for Digital Transformation Success

To some CIO’s or business owners, Digital transformation begins with a Digital Vision Statement. Something grand such as “To be the first company to be fully Digital end-to-end”. But what does that actually mean and how do we become fully Digital?


This particular Digital Vision Statement was from Angela Ahrendts at Burberry who led the successful Digital transformations of the 155-year-old British icon Burberry and transformed a thoroughly traditional British business into a Digital leader. The transformation of Burberry proves that Digital technologies have a pervasive influence on business, transforming the customer experience, enhancing productivity in operations and improving the way employees collaborate. Yet, many organisations fail to capture the full potential of Digital technologies because their leaders lack a transformative vision. Executives with an incremental vision get what they aim for – incremental improvement or ineffective improvement (remember Blockbuster?). Those who realise the transformative power of Digital can achieve much more. All too often companies dive straight into a Digital transformation project without a strategy, and in truth the vision comes before the strategy but the strategy realises the vision. So what’s the best way to formulate a Digital transformation strategy?

Benchmarking your digital maturity.

At Strategic Asset we begin with benchmarking a company’s Digital maturity and establish whether the business is...

  • Primitive
  • Interactive
  • Progressive
  • Immersive
  • Transformative

To assess where a company sits within this framework we look at each layer of Digital including…

  • Customer experience
  • Channels
  • Product
  • Platforms
  • Process
  • People

One of the most important pieces in this process is ‘Platforms’. All too often businesses task an individual currently leading the IT support services function who is wholly unprepared for leading Digital transformation. In small businesses it usually the owner, in medium sized businesses it can be a procurement, technology or finance individual and in larger businesses it’s a CIO or IT Director. Also, it’s easy to spot how Digitally mature a business is by knowing who holds the responsibility for the IT Support Services function and what role they operate. For example, if it’s a Finance Director or similar then technology is viewed internally as a business cost, or worse, a liability. These businesses are typically of primitive Digital maturity. If it’s a Chief Digital Officer, then the company is either immersive or transformative and understands that IT support services are a strategic asset and they are the perfectly positioned to lead Digital transformation strategy.

Begin with Managed IT Support Services.

Businesses that achieve an operationally mature technology platform utilise a service catalogue with cost transparency that enables the IT support services department to bill the other business units per user, per workload, per month. This way, when new projects and initiatives are undertaken, the IT support services team can liaise with the Programme Management Office to accurately cost new projects and initiatives and predict the impact on business operations with relative certainty. Without this level of IT operational maturity, the IT support services team typically ends up taking the blame for projects running over budget, scope creep, etc. And before a business can even begin an effective Digital transformation journey, the IT support services platform has to be solid. There’s no better way to achieve a predictable, operationally mature IT support services platform than to operate your IT support services as a managed IT support services provider would. Whether you have an internal IT support services team or outsource your IT support services, ensure a managed IT support service provider (or MSP) model is operated utilising 24/7/365 Remote Monitoring and Management solutions and a Network Operations Centre with Product Support Automation tools.

Progress with Digital Marketing.

Once a Managed IT Support Services model has been implemented it’s all about the most important thing to your business – customers! The easiest and best way to put the customer experience front and centre within your business is by implementing an Inbound marketing strategy. An Digital marketing strategy is also the quickest way to catalyse Digital transformation strategy, chiefly because when implementing an inbound marketing strategy, you’ll be forced to think about buyer personas and the buyers journey, customer delight and growth. Or in other words you’ll be forced to implement solutions and analyse data, measure with KPI’s and discern what your customers actually want, not what you think they want.

Achieve a successful Digital Transformation.

That’s why in the formula “Digital Transformation = Managed IT Support Services + Digital Marketing” really works. By the time you come to formulate a Digital transformation strategy you’ll realise that most of the work has already been done. So rather than treat your IT support services and Digital marketing efforts as silo’s, be a truly Digitally mature business and these activities will work in harmony to support the same goal – complete Digital transformation. Of course there’s more to Digital transformation consulting than just managed IT support services and Digital marketing, but they’re a great platform for Digital transformation. And with the right managed IT support services in place, a solid understanding of our products, the customer experience and channels through our Digital marketing efforts we’re then free to begin the people and process transformation. Whilst the process of Digital transformation is easy to implement just make sure your executive team truly understands and leads the Digital transformation efforts as without executive buy in it’ll be a long road ahead.