Digital Transformation

Digital transformation: let’s move up a gear

20 September 2017

Digital transformation: let’s move up a gear

The digital transformation of companies and organisations is radically changing processes, interactions with customers and management styles through the complete reinvention of methods as well as strategies. Leading on directly from the white paper Succeeding in your digital transformation and further developing the beliefs it explores, Jean-Claude Lamoureux, co-author of the work and Sopra Steria Consulting Group Executive Director, pursues the discussion with this series of four articles entitled The new challenges of digital technology in business

Four keywords embody this change: speed of execution, excellence, openness… and fun. Going faster than your competitors; demonstrating excellence to satisfy your customers’ new demands; opening up to be able to deliver an increasingly broad customer experience, and having fun. Four keywords for four essential factors in the success of the company’s digital transformation. 

Here is the first article in this series, dedicated to speed of execution.

The speed of start-ups, reduced time to market, and the instantaneity expected from all digital natives force the company to go faster, even if it means taking risks. Speed is the main and most structural driver in digital transformation.

The transformed company that emerges from digital change is only viable if it acts quickly, if it is able to provoke instant reactions, and if it provides an immediate service.

Immediacy of the service provided

You are ordering a book on the internet. The next day, you are told that it is out of stock… You will immediately go to a competitor’s site where the product’s availability and delivery times are guaranteed. Amazon promises same-day delivery, even on a Sunday. Carrefour offers delivery within the hour. The company must adapt its economic model, its production model and its information system to provide an increasingly immediate service.

Instant reactions

What about TripAdvisor, whose reviews are shaking up hotel chains? Previously protected by their brand, major companies must now defend their e-reputation every step of the way, and react very quickly to any negative customer feedback. A few bad scores in a row and your reputation is ruined. Digital technology demands immediate reactions.

Speed of execution

Uber only takes 48 hours to open its platform in a new city. The initial idea behind Uber is not very original – it does not employ breakthrough technology. Uber knows how to move fast and that’s what makes the difference! Many companies are focused on searching for sophisticated ideas when they should above all decide and deploy their new ideas fast to stay or get ahead of the game. It all plays out in the field!

Five action drivers to go faster

The speed requirement is the digital revolution’s key feature. But what should one work on?

Making quick decisions, i.e. accepting to take risks in decision-making, to go faster and react more quickly.

Innovations must be rolled out quickly and soundly to get or stay ahead of the game.

The company’s whole value chain must be rapid in order to satisfy customers’ impatience. Production of goods and services must be organised to react as quickly as possible to customers’ requests or criticisms.

Field teams must be allowed considerable freedom to make decisions, so that they can adapt immediately to new situations.

The services offered must be simple in order to meet customers’ expectations more quickly and to move fast when deploying innovations. The movement around frugal innovation (Jugaad) converges, in this respect, with the digital revolution’s demand for speed.

Speed is the primary key factor in the success of the Company’s digital transformation. Ignoring it would mean underestimating the danger caused by start-ups and the most agile competitors. As General Electric CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, said: either you move faster than the others, or you disappear…


Group Executive Director at Sopra Steria Consulting for over a decade, I'm leading our clients to the success of their digital programmes by offering creative approaches, collaborative working methods and tools to accelerate the company's digital transformation
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