Nearly nine out of 10 digital transformation initiatives fail.
Digital transformation projects fail for a variety of reasons. It can be because of a lack of resources or the dependence on legacy database technology that doesn’t really deliver the agility needed. It can be a lack of enthusiasm from the management or not enough employees buying in. It can be the organization getting lost in a flurry of new technologies, or even choosing the wrong ones.
How do you ensure success of your digital transformation projects?
Here are some examples of companies that succeeded in their digital transformation.
This company is no stranger to organizational transformation. In 2016, Barings successfully merged several corporate entities under one umbrella, including Babson Capital, Baring Asset Management, Wood Creek Capital Management, and Cornerstone Real Estate. What’s more, it also bought Triangle Capital and added it to its group.
As you can imagine, handling a diverse group of businesses that used to operate on its own can be an IT nightmare. Barings CIO Andy Lennon discovered that there were a lot of outsourced work among businesses that had a hand in $300 billion worth of investments in real estate, alternative investments, fixed income, equity, and private credit.
The first thing that Lennon did was to roll out networking, infrastructure, and other IT assets under a unified function. Then he worked on getting individual unit’s tech teams together.
The company soon had new data centers that enabled it to easily comply with data regulations and take advantage of the latest technologies. Barings also dipped its hand into data science projects that helped improve customer experience.
The work is not done, however. Barings will be working on making sure that it has excellent data. From gathering and storing it, to distilling it, to creating value from data sets they have.
Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has several beverage brands including Budweiser, Johnny Appleseed, and Shock Top. The company has 12 breweries across America and a wide network of retailers.
As you can guess, digital transformation for the company includes a lot of moving parts, including 4 million retailers at every location it had.
The company first created a mobile application called B2B. This app allows retailers to order more stocks when the inventory runs low. But what makes this app better than other similar ordering apps is that it uses an algorithm that suggests other products they can order. As such, retailers are introduced to new products, while the company’s sales teams are more focused on providing them with information about new products. It’s a win-win situation.
The company also created Beer Garage. The company describes it as a tech innovation lab. At Beer Garage, technology specialists and the company work together to give their consumers and retail partners the best experiences possible. The Beer Garage uses all the latest digital transformation technologies, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and machine learning.
How does this work?
The company is using IoT to have connected breweries. Sensors are used to gather data about each batch of brew, including temperature, quantity, and quality of the beverages. There are also plans to monitor social media posts that will give the company better insights into their customers. These insights, the company hopes, will help them fine-tune their messages and content.
Anheuser-Busch has this advice to others who are on their digital transformation journey: keep the focus on the consumers and retail partners, not the technology you use. It is important that you don’t lose sight of the fact that you are using new technology to transform the business, rather than just adopting the latest buzzwords for the sake of having it.
You may hear other companies using IoT, but if you don’t have a potential use case for it, then you should just ignore it.
Healthcare provider McKesson Corporation’s digital transformation started by moving its data warehouses to the cloud, freeing them from a bulk of work associated with gathering, storing, and crunching data. This allowed the company’s IT team to focus on data mining that gives them valuable business insights. They were able to refine their skills and technologies in analytics.
The company soon moved beyond just offering descriptive and predictive analysis. Their systems can now do prescriptive recommendations and are working their way to delivering analytics straight to the patient.
For McKesson, the focus is not on hiring data scientists, and other similar positions. Their focus is on cultivating what they call analytics translators who can explain data science to the business side of the company. As such, they have a hub-and-spoke model where their tech teams improve on providing analytics to all parts of the business.
Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sales & Services
The CCBSS has 72 bottlers operating in Northern America, and they all have their own sets of documents. The company invested in a new technology that allowed it to digitize these documents without too many errors. The company has been using automated document processing technologies for a long time, but it was only in November 2018 that it started using Ripcord.
Ripcord uses machine learning and robotics to process paper documents with utmost accuracy and speed. The result is that document processing becomes faster and error-free.
The robots used by Ripcord can remove staples from paper documents before scanning them. The machine learning systems have been “trained” to know the documents used by CCBSS and easily sort them.
The company expects the scans to be completely error-free. Human workers will no longer have to go over these documents to correct any mistakes and will be free to do more important tasks. What’s more, the Ripcord system will be able to digitize 25 million documents in one year. It will also help save them around $1 million per year.
In order to transform the way they automate building operations, Johnson Controls incorporates several modern technologies such as analytics, cloud computing, edge computing, robotic process automation, cybersecurity, and blockchain.
The company has employees who visit tech companies in Silicon Valley to find new partners. But they do not use every new technology that comes along, only those that
- fit to their overall digital strategy,
- provide the level of security that their clients expect, and
- deliver the kind of experiences their customers will appreciate.
This company provides hyper-converged infrastructure and storage. In order to expand the business, Nutanix has automated its storage, compute, and networking requirements using software. It uses a hybrid cloud system that combines their on-premise systems with public clouds, such as Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services.
They’re also fine-tuning Apple’s genius bar, which uses software and IoT to notify IT staff when there’s someone who needs help with Salesforce.com, their MacBooks, and other stuff. They also have monitoring systems that can tell them when an employee has problems logging in to an application.
Four Cornerstone Can Help You with Your Digital Transformation
One of the things you will notice that these companies have in common is that they are transforming little by little. As such, there seems to be a choice between optimizing current business processes using new technologies, or should they completely transform the organization by coming up with new business models and create new digital products.
No matter what you decide, you should ensure that you have the management experience to keep things transparent and guaranteeing that all digital transformation efforts have adequate resources and manpower. Four Cornerstone can help you ensure that this happens. Call us today at 1-(817)-377-1144.
Photo courtesy of FORTUNE Global Forum.