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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Digitalization: Part 3

Posted on 05/31/17 by Mirco Schönebeck - Principal

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Posted on 31-05-2017 by Mirco Schönebeck - Principal

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” (Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

In the previous part of this blog series we explained the most important terms and outlined the skills necessary for a digital transformation. Now we can start planning our journey through the digital transformation and thinking about how to inspire our travel group.


The key here: Find your own path

There is not one model for a digital transformation or one technology that must be implemented to reach this transformation. Rather, one must figure out how to use the many new digital technologies – from the cloud to big data to artificial intelligence – and how to find one’s own path to support and reach the organizational objectives.

Nevertheless, there are of course milestones and check lists that can guide one’s path. Based on the positive experience of other travelers, but always with the goal of finding one’s own path, while avoiding mistakes and maybe even being the first to discover better possibilities.

In the following posts, we’ll take a closer look at these milestones and checklists.


First off, a few general tips:

Tip 1: Develop a clear vision of what your company wants to achieve with a digital transformation

The organization needs a clear vision of what it wants to achieve. Now is the time to be ambitious. When planning a digital transformation, companies often only think of a means to save some money on software licenses, document management or transferring e-mails to the cloud. Instead, you should formulate a broader objective for at least the next two years – and make this part of your corporate strategy. In this manner, you can show that a digital transformation is wanted at the top level. Be sure to also name someone who is responsible for the implementation.


Tip 2: Be credible and follow a plan

You know the saying: “talk the talk and walk the walk”. Your digital strategy must be credibly communicated and realized both within and outside of your company. What is said must be backed up by actions at the management level. Motto: think digital, act digital. Those who strive for a digital transformation, but trust big data less than their own personal experience, will have trouble finding followers.

When you start on your journey, you should create and follow a long-term transformation plan. The implementation of this plan should occur step-by-step and include flagship projects. There won’t be “one great success”, but rather many small steps and attempts. And there will be failure on the way. This has to be accepted.One very important requirement: you have to invest in digital transformation, in order to differentiate yourself on the market. This means that a sufficient budget must be provided and benefits must be measured.


Tip 3: Prepare your people for change

A digital transformation is not accomplished by technology alone. Technologies can be understood, perfected and permanently optimized. The introduction of new technologies is ultimately a question of budget and time, not “we don’t have a technological solution for this”. But this is not what it comes down to. It is about customers, about employees, about changing people’s behavior through digitalization. Digitalization is not a pure tech change, it is a people change.


Tip 4: Use your wealth of data

The capacity to collect more data than ever before and to use it in a meaningful manner is one of the greatest advantages of the digital era. Data analysis can provide you with groundbreaking insights from the growing volume of information that you collect on your customers and your business. Through the analysis of data patterns, inferences can be drawn, which lead to increased knowledge and thus better decisions.

One of the most important principles of digitalization: use data to generate value for users and customers!


In the next blog posts, we’ll take a closer look at the “how”, and at which milestones and check lists can help to realize these tips, so that you can start the journey feeling well-prepared.