Digital transformation begins within the workplace

Fernando Polo

27 December 2016

If you’ve already downloaded and read our whitepaper on digital transformation (Article in Spanish), you will know that we present an approach with three work axes: customer, business and enterprise.

In this post, we tackle the last point and introduce some of the approaches to the organization of teams, departments and responsibilities in the process of digital transformation:

A conservative approach: digital teams attached to existing teams; to create digital areas which then act as support for other departments, such as marketing, for instance.

The Chief Customer Officer and/or Chief Digital Officer figurehead: The mission of the party most responsible for the digital process is to ensure the customer experience at all points of contact, and to help implement the digital culture within the organization, respectively.

Digital Laboratories that incubate projects in isolation: There are organizations that have chosen to create departments or “digital labs.” These are teams independent from the rest of the organization, who work on studying the customer experience and conceptualizing products and originally digital services, to later be integrated into the business areas. After several false starts, Walmart acquired a company and technology for the mass monitoring of conversations, and thus launched Walmart Labs, with the aim of working on developing digital capabilities. In two years, Walmart has grown from online billings of $5 billion to $10 billion, gaining ground in an area dominated by Amazon (who has 50 billion dollars in billings).

Corporate incubators for startups: Telefonica with Wayra, or Mercadona with Lanzadera exemplify how companies are sponsoring and recreating digital entrepreneurship ecosystems, aware that mortality of startups is high and that it must diversify and provide autonomy (and belonging) to entrepreneurs.

These are our organizational recommendations for the digitization of the company:
The direct involvement of the CEO (and the CIO): Strong support from the CEO is essential (it is advisable to go through previous high-level training) for teams to feel the support before the rejection of organizational change. CIOs, meanwhile, have a general overview of all business functions and therefore, should not be left out of this process.

The personal leadership of an influential manager (Article in Spanish): Have absolute power to intervene in all areas and lead digitization projects with direct support from the CEO.

Creating digital laboratories: Demonstrating “doing” that can develop projects of improved agility, using lean methodology.

Digital training for all employees: To understand, with tools even on a personal level, the why, and the benefits of digital skills.

Download our whitepaper and begin 2015 with a clearer view on how to guide your organization toward digitization.