The past twenty years has been witness to an ongoing digital revolution: born of the advent of the Internet, it has gained momentum with the widespread use of mobile devices in both professional and private life. Consumers now expect a rewarding and quality customer experience whatever the means of communication. But let us not be misled by the dazzling promises of technology: a successful digital transformation is above all a paradigm shift and entails a profound organizational transformation.


Actually, such a transformation can shake a company to its core. Digital challenges abound: from adopting and using the technology to how it affects the company’s management, organization and culture. The demands of digitization impact everything:

  • Business and operational models and the value chain
  • Relationships with customers and business partners
  • Processes
  • Organizational structure, management practices, skills and professions, the way people work

In the meantime, digital technologies (social networks, mobile applications, advanced data analytics, cloud-based solutions, etc.) are becoming increasingly popular and prevalent.

Faced with the scale and most importantly the breakneck pace of the changes born of the digital revolution, most companies feel unarmed and powerless. Some companies, in particular SMEs, tend to postpone the launch of their digital transformation.
How to overcome obstacles and launch a digital transformation?

We recommend, as a first step, focusing on the following 2 initiatives:

  • Embrace a global vision reflecting a strategic approach, to ensure your digital transformation may indeed be a significant driving force for development
  • Master the multiple dimensions of a digital transformation

Embrace a global vision

Many companies that undertake a digital transformation initiative focus on the technical aspect. This technically-oriented view would have us forget that digital transformation has become a strategic challenge for companies in every sector, its scope reaching well beyond technical proficiency.

There’s no doubt as to the strategic nature of a digital transformation. As a matter of fact, there is a growing awareness, among business leaders, of digital transformation, that perpetuates a trend begun some years ago.

As per the 2014 “Digital Transformation Survey” published by l’Usine Nouvelle, Econocom and Sage:

Over one third of the managers surveyed see digitization as a major growth driver for their company

According to the same study, over half of the managers surveyed expressed an interest in digital practices and innovations. The study “The 2014 State of Digital Transformation – How Companies are Investing in the Digital Customer Experience (DCX)” outlines the role of senior executives and leaders who champion and support digital transformation in their companies. Thus, digital transformation is often driven by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the CEO (54% and 42% of the time, respectively), followed by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the CDO (Chief Digital Officer) when the company has one (29% and 15% of the time, respectively).

Master the Dimensions of the Digital Transformation

A successful digital transformation requires that companies meet the challenge of mastering its multiple dimensions:

  • The evolution, if not the fundamental transformation of the business model (and the related operational model)
  • The improvement of the customer experience
  • The reengineering of business processes through digitization
  • The development of a corporate culture that encourages innovation and agility, and implies far-reaching changes in the way that people work
  • The command of digital technologies and advanced data analysis techniques, either within the company or externally (business intelligence, data visualization, analytics, etc.)

How to approach your digital transformation with peace of mind – 5 practical steps

Here are 5 practical steps to begin your digital transformation with confidence:

  1. Explain unrelentingly the nature of the digital transformation, its benefits and impacts on the organization and all stakeholders
  2. Always begin with your client’s and end-user’s requirements
  3. Promote Agile principles and integrate them in all areas of your company’s activities
  4. Encourage collaboration between teams and give due consideration to the drivers that foster it (individual, psychosocial, and organizational factors as well as management practices)
  5. Monitor and measure the results of your actions with simple and pertinent key indicators according to your line of business, in particular, customer and user satisfaction

Our vision of a digital transformation

Digital transformation is not merely a question of business tools and technologies; it is a revolution in business and operational models centered on a shared, coherent vision. Digital transformation is to be recognized for what it is, an adventure in organizational transformation and a paradigm shift. This is why it rocks a company’s very foundation, thereby improving its collective intelligence and, ultimately, its performance.

To discuss the opportunities afforded by a digital transformation of your company, please do not hesitate to contact me – eric.blanchet@cofomo.com.