Digital transformation (DX) is a major challenge and opportunity for businesses. Even though executives are willing to apply digital transformation to the organization, in-house teams may not have the experience or time to achieve this objective. Digital Transformation Consultants can help the organization overcome the challenge by establishing a digital strategy and implementing digital technology across the enterprise.
We’ve written before about digital transformation, feel free to read that as an intro to the topic.
What is Digital Transformation Consulting?
Digital Transformation Consultancy is a service that helps companies formulate their digital transformation strategy and implement it to enhance their performance through digital technologies. Digital Transformation Consultants (DTC) analyze the company’s tech infrastructure, processes, people and organization to both strengthen the organization’s short-term performance and maintain sustainable long-term improvement.
DTCs generally provide services in these broad areas:
- Formulating a digital transformation strategy and roadmap including both short term, high ROI initiatives (i.e. low-hanging fruits) and long term initiatives
- Implementing digital technologies to diminish the manual workload of organizations to
- reduce costs
- Increasing process effectiveness (e.g. reduced error rates)
- increase employee satisfaction by reducing dull work
- enabling faster responses to clients.
- Building digital products to allow the company to expand into new businesses or new channels
- Outlining necessary changes to people and processes to enable and sustain the digital transformation
Why is Digital Transformation Consulting important now?
In order to understand the relevance of DTC, first, you need to recognize the importance of Digital Transformation.
The world is shifting through digitization and technology and competition is getting fierce every day. However, organizations are lacking either awareness, expertise or the manpower to complete their digital transformation that’s why their digital transformation efforts fail. DTCs provide knowledge and experience to businesses so that they ensure that digital technologies and strategies of the company are connected.
How do consultants add value to digital transformation projects?
Consultants add value via their additional manpower, global expertise from working with hundreds of companies on similar topics and outsider perspective. This is also the case in digital transformation.
It is expensive and difficult to attract digital experts to your company. Consulting companies have been improving their digital workforce via acquisitions. Expertise is a valuable asset in most digital transformation projects. Consultants should have seen processes being automated with various technologies through their work in many client engagements.
For example, they should be able to point you to the most effective automation solution for your accounts payable automation. Since accounts payable (AP) is a common process for companies of all industries, consultants can have experience from implementing AP automation to tens of organizations and you could learn from their experience. Another broadly applicable area is process mining.
Another example is a leading process mining service provider, QPR, which has public case studies of their work with tens of companies, They likely worked with hundreds of companies across different industries to have such case studies as most companies are not willing to be publicly associated with vendor. They can help organizations avoid common mistakes and follow best practices.
Outsider’s perspective is crucial in organization related projects. And since the organization is a key part of the digital transformation, consultants can add value with their outsider’s perspective.
Finally, companies tend to be afraid of consultants sharing their strategy and secrets with competitors as consultants share their experiences within their consulting organization. While this is a concern for strategic projects, it should not be a concern with digital transformation projects. All companies are doing their best to digitize and automate their processes, therefore, in most cases, there are not many company-specific secrets involved in these projects.
How to choose a Digital Transformation implementation partner?
The success of the project will be mostly dependent on choosing the right digital transformation consultant. Here are a few critical criteria for evaluating digital transformation implementation partners. We sorted them from higher to lower priority:
- Since consultants add value with their expertise, it is important to make sure that they have the relevant expertise for your project. For example, a digital transformation company that focuses on back-office automation may not be a good fit for your company if your priority is to boost digital sales. Companies need to analyze consultants’ previous projects to see that they have the right
- Technical expertise
- Process-specific expertise
- Industry-specific expertise.
- Though the expertise of the consulting company is important, individual consultants are the ones that get the job done. Companies should review CVs of individual consultants to ensure that these individuals have the necessary expertise.
- Finally, the best consultants are the ones that can objectively assess the technologies that will be implemented. Companies need to understand that consultants that work as part of a tech vendor will be biased towards that vendor’s solutions
What are example case studies from digital transformation consulting companies?
Chipotle is an American restaurant chain that serves Mexican food. A slowdown in demand made the company realize that they don’t have a one-to-one relationship with customers and this was preventing them to deliver personalized customer journeys.
Chipotle needed a way to create relationships with customers that’s why they partnered with a digital transformation consulting company, PwC, to bring a new approach to the food restaurant chain. They embraced PwC’s Business-Expertise-Technology (BXT) framework. PwC provided customized change management playbook and training execution programs to employees and launched a customer loyalty program. PwC consultants defined the design and tech requirements, integrated the solutions with the emphasis of securely managing customers’ private data.
With the help of PwC’s consultancy, Chipotle experienced
- 99% increase in digital sales (Q2 2019 YOY)
- 1 Million enrolments in Chipotle Rewards within the first week
Wipro’s client is a leading financial service provider that attempted to accelerate its performance in several key areas. They intended to use advanced technology to meet the needs of the evolving investment market, however, their outdated tech infrastructure did not integrate well with internal or external applications. Along with their old infrastructure, manual processes also prevented them from being an agile company.
They partnered with Wipro Digital which led the project from design to implementation and provided ongoing technical expertise. Wipro Digital designed a scalable infrastructure that could handle multiple app integrations, boost its agility, and enable the firm to offer new microservices in response to market demands. Wipro also implemented Pivotal Cloud Foundry software and migrated data to the cloud with zero downtime for the investment firm or its 12 million brokerage clients. Pivotal offered ongoing managed services, meeting the financial services company’s objective to focus on developing new products and services rather than managing its infrastructure.
With this new infrastructure and digital technologies, the client reduced the time-to-market significantly and became capable of deploying a new application in 3 to 4 months.
For more case studies on digital transformation, feel free to read our article with >30 case studies.
What are digital transformation strategy companies?
Emerging digital transformation companies with innovative approaches
There is a new category of consultants that rely on your company’s data to suggest which areas your company should focus on.
Bandwitt is an emerging consultancy that works with local Fortune 500 as well as SMEs to help them identify areas of digitalization and select digitalization partners.
Founded by BCG alumni, Faethm.ai works with Fortune 500 and governmental organizations and benchmarks their data to identify areas of digital transformation they should invest in.
Established digital transformation companies
Here is a list of consulting companies with more than 5,000 employees that offer end-to-end digital transformation services:
- A.T. Kearney
- Atkins Global
- DXC Technology
- Leeway Hertz
- McKinsey&Quantum Black
- NTT Data
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
Specialized digital transformation companies
AI consulting is especially valuable in solving problems that can be solved with clear rules.
Machine learning is different than typical software projects. While most software relies on rules programmed by humans, machine learning/AI software rely on rules identified within data sets. Therefore, AI consulting services require working with consultants experienced in the topic.
bitgrit is an AI consulting firm that helps companies identify how they can use AI to solve their business challenges and works with their community of data scientists to develop competitive solutions at low cost for enterprises.
HR transformation consulting
HR, with its role in shaping a company’s culture and talent, needs to be at the core of an enterprise digital transformation strategy. HR transformation companies mostly focus on implementing digital tools to ease the recruiting and onboarding processes while training existing employees with digital HR best practices. Some consultants are
- Flexso for People
- HR Path
Financial service transformation consulting
The processes and products of the financial services industry are different than those in other industries. Therefore specialization is necessary to support the transformation of financial services companies.
Digital Disruptions is a strategy and design innovation consulting firm, with a focus on fintech and digital financial services (DFS) in emerging markets. They bring digital tools and methodologies such as lean startup, design thinking, behavioral design, agile, open innovation, and design of experiments, to design, build and launch client solutions. They conduct research based on their client’s requests and build innovative products that increase business ROI.
Amarante Consulting is a digital transformation consulting firm that specializes in financial services. They provide technology implementation assistance, product evolution, service expansion, training services, regulatory advice, digital technology expertise services.
Applexus Technologies offers business consulting in retail, fashion and consumer products. They provide digital transformational services such as retail planning, POS systems, retail analytics, omnichannel enablement, application development and maintenance to their customers. Applexus has been in the retail industry for more than 15 years and they offer their expertise to help businesses make data-driven decisions while delivering enhanced customer experience.
M.X. Data provide retail and IT consulting services to help businesses identify the bottlenecks of their processes. They bring retail IT technologies such as point-of-sale systems and retailers together and help them implement solutions with their 20 years of experience in the retail industry.
Marketing transformation consulting
Demand Spring is a marketing consulting company that helps marketing teams optimize their demand generation strategies, processes, and technologies. Their services vary from marketing content audit to creating buyer personas. Demand spring is a partner of Marketo services, a marketing automation software. They help businesses during the process of automation tech implementation.
Alpha Efficiency helps businesses build their digital marketing strategies. They focus on technology, content and digital transformation roadmap. Their expertise and technology offerings include search engine marketing, email marketing, web development and social media marketing solutions.
Scyllogis Consulting offers a digital transformation service that specifically focuses on data management and analytics to improve the customer experience insurance companies deliver.
Ninety is an insurance-specialist innovation consultancy firm. They build Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) for insurance companies. Their framework, called 123 Framework, aims to test and learn, iterate MVPs, fail fast on weak ideas, but move to pilot quickly for strong ones. They claim that they can take a new idea to market in 60 days.
If you are interested in AI transformation, which is the next step of digital transformation, feel free to check our article about it.
If you want to learn more about how business decision-makers view digital transformation today, please participate in our digital transformation survey and get its results as soon as we publish them.
If you have questions about how digital transformation consultants can help your business, we can help:
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