In an increasingly omni-channel world, the digital transformation is a cornerstone in every successful business, helping to transition into what we call the NEW to generate increased revenues and to keep costs under control.

Digital strategies need however to be designed to incorporate all channels in order to leverage the physical and human elements that are crucial for brands to maximize the impact they can have on their customers.

At Accenture, we view digital as a lever to drive business value across three major areas:

  • the digital customer, where we are changing how our clients engage and interact with their customers;
  • the digital enterprise, where we are helping clients fundamentally rethink their strategies and enable new operating models and business processes, create connected product platforms, and improve their analytics and collaboration capabilities to enhance productivity;
  • and new business models – where we help our customers innovate and offer products and services that didn’t exist before – like pay-as-you-go insurance, for example, or help create entirely new business models that depend entirely on digital technology.

We believe that an end-to-end integrated approach typically yields better and faster results than a project by project approach

In today’s world, the necessity to transform your business and to embrace digital technologies has been recognised by almost every company or government – however, the real challenge lies in the execution of that transformation and ensure that the value that is expected from the - often heavy - investment is realised. In order to do so, we believe that an end-to-end integrated approach typically yields better and faster results than a project by project approach, which not only leads to misalignment but can endanger the overall business strategy. From my personal experience, I can see three major success factors for digital transformation that – if you get them right – will almost every time yield the expected results:

  1. Architect an innovation-led strategy and corresponding transformation roadmap as a holistic approach together with the C-level team of your company – we use our innovation architecture to help our clients gather around a single strategy and create buy-in for their transformation agenda.
  2. Go after value fast and make it the underlying driver of the overall transformation. In every transformation you need to create and harvest value from the very beginning, this can be through fast implementations of key cornerstones of the new customer experience or a very clear “cost-out-first” approach where you realise the savings upfront, which then forces the transformation programme to deliver the necessary new capabilities to fill the gap (vs. releasing value only after the implementation of new capabilities). Value also needs to become a key performance indicator for the financial remuneration of the top management which helps drive the right behaviours throughout the programme.
  3. Ensure continuous alignment between the different initiatives through a single design authority to avoid duplication of effort and to truly drive an omni-channel, front-to-back thinking making sure that all impacts of the change are aligned and timed in the right way.

In digital transformations, it is often less about skills, but about a more profound change

As mentioned earlier the real challenge of a digital transformation is the execution, that is why we believe at Accenture you want to work with a partner that has experience in designing digital strategies, but that also know how to walk the talk – with our experience not only in strategy and digital but also consulting, technology and operations, we know what is realistically achievable and how to make it work.

Another aspect of a digital transformation that should not be underestimated is the change it will bring to your employees and customers and that is why it is so important to make sure your employees can effectively connect with your customers as they are the most important change agents towards the external world. In digital transformations, it is often less about skills, but about a more profound change that affects behaviours, mindset and the company’s culture itself and needs to be carefully planned and executed.