Digital Transformation: What You Should – And Should Not – Do

Sam Varghese

Digital is a buzzword that’s heard everywhere these days, especially in the corporate world, social media, and tech conferences. Whether it’s coming from retailers bracing for an e-commerce onslaught or traditional automakers anticipating a deluge of self-driving smart cars, the drumbeat for digital transformation is louder than ever.

If you are a business leader who has pushed aside digital transformation in order to keep up with the day-to-day operations and quarterly goals, here’s why you need to reevaluate your strategy:

  1. Digital is picking up momentum like a runaway truck, thanks to a confluence of mature technologies. These technologies are disrupting traditional business models in almost every industry.
  1. The cloud, mobility, Internet of Things (IOT), connected devices, and computing power are just a few examples of technologies that are maturing rapidly and finding increasing acceptance within organizations.
  1. Industry leaders from the not-so-distant past (think movie rental companies and physical bookstores) that failed to recognize the significance of technology can teach us lessons about the dangers of ignoring digital transformation.
  1. Recognizing the power of digital transformation and starting a process of threat analysis to your core business is a great starting place. How could these new technologies drive you out of business or shrink your market share?
  1. The question every C-level executive should be asking is when – not if – you should leverage these new digital technologies.
  1. Data is the new gold. Companies, and specifically chief data officers, should be looking for ways to monetize data—whether at the low end or the top of the value chain.
  1. Embracing a digital-first mindset requires a change in thinking beyond simply rolling out new projects using digital technologies.
  1. Companies must start their digital journey at the top. Explore the company culture and ask why and how digital transformation can benefit the company, its customers, and its employees.
  1. If leveraging the cloud, mobility, or other digital technologies can increase your top line or bottom line, that will increase shareholder value, which in turn will boost customer loyalty.
  1. Digitization is inevitable. Evaluate, get started, fail fast, and run with whatever strategy works best for your company.

Let’s look at the digital revolution from a strategic perspective (we’ll cover the tactical aspects later): Product life cycles are shortening dramatically, to the point where consumers start looking toward the next smartphone as soon as they have the latest version. The rate of change has also increased: Startups with enough funding can have nearly as much compute power of a Fortune 500 company right out of the gate. This speeds up their go-to-market strategies and brings products to customers more quickly.

So why should a C-level executive bring digital transformation into their overall company strategy? Digital technologies have the power to improve the customer experience, boost visibility, better manage the supply chain, and create operational efficiencies and incremental revenue. Digital adoption helps organizations sharpen product differentiation from the competition and meet customers’ needs and wants more effectively. Digital technologies such as deep machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and others can help create new markets, new business models, and new revenue streams.

Digital is a wave that is surging and building momentum; business leaders who can ride this wave will take their employees, shareholders, and customers farther than those who are stuck in “wait and watch” mode.

For more insight on digital disruption, see New Research Finds Customer Experience At The Heard Of Digital Transformation.

Sam Varghese

About Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese is a CRM professional with 12 years of SAP experience in working with "Big 4" consulting companies and industries. He has a total of 19 years’ experience across various industries in business and IT. He is currently engaged with cloud CRM projects and digital initiatives with various customers across the United States. Sam is a thought leader, technology speaker, online author, and digital strategist. He can be reached via email at and online at his blog Digital.