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Digital Transformation Frameworks from Top Consulting Firms in '24

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Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

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Digital Transformation Frameworks from Top Consulting Firms in '24Digital Transformation Frameworks from Top Consulting Firms in '24

Due to changing conditions of the business world, innovation and adoption are the key drivers to stay ahead of competitors. Digital transformation is an emerging trend as seen in the featured image but some companies may not manage to succeed in the transformation. To achieve success, leveraging a digital transformation framework that assists your organization as a roadmap can help.

We’ll provide you with our digital transformation framework along with five different digital transformation frameworks from different consulting firms such as Mckinsey, Accenture, Cognizant, BCG, and Gartner to guide you to success.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the use of the latest technologies to enhance existing processes and offer new and improved services and products to customers. It aims to create value by changing how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers.

What is a digital transformation framework?

Digital transformation framework is a roadmap of what digital strategies guide your business in a competitive evolving business landscape. It is a reference point and root of digital transformation projects. It aims to improve business’ digitization processes by identifying the goals of digitization.

Why is the digital transformation framework important?

According to McKinsey’s research, 70 percent of large-scale transformation programs fail. Common pitfalls are resistance to changing culture, lack of leadership, poor cross-functional collaboration. A framework can help organizations avoid these pitfalls by demonstrating a roadmap to success. It provides an agreed business-wide approach so that employees and executives don’t stray away from goals during agile evolving business conditions.

Numerous consultancies have formulated digital transformation frameworks for their clients. We see these common patterns in most frameworks:

  • Digitized business model
  • Talent enhancement within the enterprise
  • Customer-centric products and services
  • Innovative culture
  • Collaborative leadership

What is AIMultiple digital transformation framework?

AIMultiple Digital Transformation Framework

Identify digital transformation objectives

Let’s start with your organization’s digital transformation objectives. Digital transformation project objectives mostly focus on improving customer experience and profitability either via improved pricing or operational efficiency.  Different digital transformation objectives can be set or prioritized depending on your business’ industry, size, market share, etc. We will explain each possible objective based on company characteristics: 

  • Digitizing products & services: According to studies, two-thirds of a company’s competitive edge comes from its customer experience. Therefore companies need to provide state-of-art products & services to customers to gain a competitive advantage. Especially in B2C businesses within  retail, insurance, banking industries need to focus on a customer-centric approach since end consumers value both the user experience and the pricing of the product.
  • Optimizing processes: Every business contains a series of repeated processes, for example in manufacturing, insurance, marketing, HR or finance departments. Digital transformation helps enhance these processes with digital tools achieving internal collaboration and improved employee performance, increased automation rate in repetitive processes, improved production output etc. Some business targets as a result of these efforts can be:
    • cost optimization
    • improved compliance
    • revenue improvement via higher quality products or more personalized pricing
    • business agility
  • Creating new business models: Advances in technology can enable your organization to monetize different products & services. Companies can create new revenue channels by entering adjacent markets such as Daimler’s new ride-sharing project Moovel or Apple’s Apple Card.

Formulate a digital transformation strategy

After deciding on your digital transformation objectives, it is time to plan your path to achieve those goals. 

Digital transformation projects should aim end-to-end transformation that’s why the digital maturity of your business decides your next move in the digital transformation journey. 

As seen below, there are three paths you can choose to achieve digital transformation and the best path for your company depends on digital maturity, objectives, industry, and the competitive pressure of the company.

IBM's digital transformation strategy formulation
Source: IBM

Path 1: Create and integrate digital operations first. Then enhance the customer value proposition based on new processes

For industries such as B2B manufacturing, mining, government, where customer expectations are more modest and the product is either a physical asset or well-established services, changing the way your organization operates is the most suitable strategy for digital transformation.

Automating some operations and processes can help you reduce costs along with shifting your workforce’s focus on more value-added tasks.

Path 2: Improve customer value proposition with digital content, insight and engagement. Then focus on integrating digital operations

Industries such as financial services, insurance, and retail, where new revenue-based services can be offered via online and mobile devices, should focus on improving the value they propose to customers. Key questions should be:

  • How can we make the life of customers easier?
    • Digital platforms and omnichannel technology can help create a frictionless conversation between customers and the company.
  • What can your company do to better serve customer needs?
    • Capturing feedback from customers
    • Emotionally engaging with customers
    • Personalized products and services
    • Service speed

Path 3: Build a new set of capabilities around the transformed customer value proposition and operation model in lock-step

If you have enough resources and both objectives are equivalently important, you can handle the transformation of operations and customer value proposition simultaneously.

Decide on the necessary technologies

Since you chose your digital transformation strategy, now you need to decide which technologies will enable you to achieve your objectives. Technology selection depends on your use case. We examined 15 trending technologies in digital transformation you can read the detail explanation of each technology. However, there are some specific technologies that you can use based on the strategic path you chose:

Digital transformation technologies are not limited to this list. If you want to learn more about digital technologies and their vendors, feel free to check our vendor database where we have 8000+ companies in 100+ categories.

Establish a competent technology leadership

Though 87% of businesses believe that digital will disrupt their industry, 87% acknowledged that they don’t have the right leadership. Success in digital transformation depends on leadership as much as on technological capabilities. Transformational leadership eases the integration of digital culture which we will explain in the next step. Some tips for digital transformation leaders are:

  • Agility & continuous improvement mindset: Your Minimum Viable Products (MVP) may succeed or fail. You should continue on change management and apply the lessons learned to your next MVP.
  • Design thinking: You should re-frame problems in human-centric ways which includes five phases:
    • Empathise with your users
    • Define your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights
    • Ideate by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions
    • Prototype to start creating solutions
    • Test solutions
  • Action-oriented: The time for formulating long term plans in armchairs is over. Innovative organizations rely on fast decision making and bias for action to conduct fast, low cost tests and learn quickly.

Amazon’s leadership principles are also a great example for tech leadership even though there is potential to shorten their list.

Train the stuff and integrate a digital culture among the organization

Digital culture is the work environment where every employee is able to communicate and discuss with leaders about innovation while leaders are encouraging employees to take risks, fail fast, and learn. Digital culture includes experimentation, collaboration, employee involvement, and training. While establishing a digital culture is hard and requires internal leadership, training is rather easy and companies have access to various partners and tools for that:

  • Consulting companies: Digital transformation consulting companies formulate digital strategy, implement technologies, build digital products and help you with employee training. This should be complementary to internal efforts, relying purely on consulting for upskilling the workforce would be expensive.
  • Technology vendors: Almost every vendor provides a training of their product so that you get the most of the product and keep purchasing it or renewing the subscription.
  • Online courses: For specific technologies such as RPA and augmented analytics where learning programming is rather easy for business users, tech-specific online courses can be used to train the team. If your next digital transformation initiative is on RPA and seeking an RPA training course, feel free to read our related article.

Other frameworks from different leading consulting companies

Cognizant’s framework

Digital transformation framework includes customers, organization, operations and products&services.
Source: Cognizant

The digital transformation framework has four main components, which are customer relations, processes & systems, products & services, and organization.

Digitizing Customer Experience

In order to maximize customer satisfaction and lifetime revenue from a customer, companies are collecting data of customers and providing personalized products to individuals. Customers expect to engage with the company 24/7 from all available channels; omnichannel interaction and services are important for a successful digital transformation. 

Digitizing Products & Services

Companies need to focus on selling customers a journey rather than the product. This can only happen if companies insert a digital tag that enables them to analyze customer behavior and lets to interact with customers. 

Digitizing Operations

Automating operational processes makes organizations cost-efficient and more agile. Agility is an essential characteristic for a firm because increasing competitiveness in the market obligates organizations to act quicker.

Digitizing Organization

Companies need to achieve a new organizational model which involves humans and machines together. The labor force should transfer into processes that are about designing, auditing, and innovating rather than operating processes. A culture that is open to change and prioritizes improvement is an essential driver to evolve through digital. Organizations should encourage innovations so that new technical capabilities can be implemented to help employees adopt the digital world and gain the skills and knowledge they require to transform.

BCG framework

BCG digital transformation framework
Source: BCG

BCG divides the digital transformation process into three layers: short-term quick wins, medium-term plans, and long-term sustainability and transformation.

Funding the journey

Digital transformation is a time-sinking process and digital investments of an organization may fail to generate returns more than the cost of capital during this process. However, boards and shareholders always expect to see immediate results. Therefore businesses should come up with short-term initiatives that will provide quick cash to fund the upcoming long-term initiatives.

Wining in the medium term

This layer is where the realization of transformation starts across the organization. Businesses focus on redesigning business and operating models. Digital initiatives are mostly about the way the company delivers products and services to its customers. Businesses identify customer segments and products and services they will offer to each segment. Results of these initiatives are expected to be seen in the medium term.

Organizing for sustained performance

Culture change among executives and employees is a key indicator of the success and sustainability of digitization. Without an innovative culture, digital transformation is destined to fail. Executives should enable the people working within them to contribute, grow, innovate, and be more productive. Organizations should design a culture that supports the high performance of people.

Gartner

Gartner digital transformation framework
Source: Gartner

Accenture

Accenture digital transformation framework from strategic to operational
Source: Accenture

Mckinsey

Mckinsey digital transformation framework in 6 steps
Source: Mckinsey

For more on digital transformation, feel free to read our articles on the topic:

If you need consultancy for your digital transformation journey, you can check our comprehensive list of digital transformation consultant companies list. If you still have questions about digital transformation, we would like to help:

Find the Right Vendors

Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Cem's hands-on enterprise software experience contributes to the insights that he generates. He oversees AIMultiple benchmarks in dynamic application security testing (DAST), data loss prevention (DLP), email marketing and web data collection. Other AIMultiple industry analysts and tech team support Cem in designing, running and evaluating benchmarks.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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AIMultiple.com Traffic Analytics, Ranking & Audience, Similarweb.
Why Microsoft, IBM, and Google Are Ramping up Efforts on AI Ethics, Business Insider.
Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are, Washington Post.
Data management barriers to AI success, Deloitte.
Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit, World Economic Forum.
Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU, European Commission.
Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge, McKinsey & Company.
Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing, TechCrunch.
We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million, Business Insider.

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