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How to succede at digital transformation

2 May

While some industries have already undergone a radical digital transformation, there are still many that cling to their analog way of doing business. Marie Andervin, digital adviser at Digjourney and one of the authors of the recently released book “Leading Digital Transformation”, knows everything you need to know when your industry is next in line.

Digital transformation is a bit like death ‒ sooner or later it knocks at every man’s door. But according to a recent survey by global market research company Ipsos, as much as four out of ten Swedish companies don’t even have a digital strategy. More than half of the companies in the survey, 53 percent, were even doubtful as to whether or not they need such a strategy at all.

However, among companies that have actually realized the need, but not yet dared to take the plunge, there’s often insecurity about what it means to undergo a digital transformation. In a new book targeting board members and senior managers, the digital consulting duo Marie Andervin and Joakim Jansson explains how to proceed.

If you want to know more about digital transformation, Screen Interaction will be hosting a seminar on the topic, with Marie and Joakim as keynote speakers, in Stockholm on September 30th (grab a free spot today). In this interview, you’ll hear what Marie Andervin has to say about the fear of undergoing digital transformation, which companies will inspire you, and what industries she believes are next in line.

Are there any common characteristics of companies that do not believe in digitalization?

‒ Well, not really. What we know is that different industries have been affected to varying degrees. Media, music, IT and telecommunications are the sectors that are most advanced in their digitalization processes. Depending on what industry you work in, there’s a greater or lesser understanding of how digitalization affects the company. What we encounter almost every day is that the knowledge of how to approach this challenge is missing. Not knowing how to relate to digitalization often means that the process completely stops instead.

In many industries, digitalization has already changed the playing field completely; you mention the media industry and the telecommunications industry as examples. Other sectors have not yet been digitalized but have still managed to survive so far. What industries that are not completely digitalized will undergo a digital revolution in the coming years?

‒ According to a survey by Bain & Co, a few of the industries that are next in line are retail banking, the aviation industry, the car industry and the education industry. However, this survey was conducted in 2014, before the Internet of Things had its major breakthrough, which has changed the playing field even more. What we’re also seeing right now in Sweden is great interest from the public sector, which feels really exciting and important!

If someone needs any inspiration for undergoing this transformation, who do you recommend as the most inspiring and avant-garde companies when it comes to digitalization?

‒ We have interviewed some twenty companies, eight of whom you can read about in the book and the rest via the book’s website. We think they have all made courageous journeys. For example, Schibstedt, a company that for over twenty years has been working on its transformation, or the Swedish encyclopedia “Nationalencyklopedin”, who after losing its market to Wikipedia, turned to a new target audience with a new offering and new revenue models. The travel agency Ving is also a brave company that went from 54 live travel agents to online commerce with dynamic pricing. Or MTG, who started MTGx to jumpstart its transformation. Last but not least, I want to mention the online gaming company King ‒ which is proof that even online companies are not immune to the impact of digitalization. Even a company like King has to work constantly to understand its customers’ changing behavior, and also to have the courage to invest in new models that do not provide an immediate, positive return on investment.

Let’s say I’ve realized that I need to digitalize my business, but I feel perplexed and uncertain. Why should I buy your book?

‒ The book is a guide to how you can lead a digital transformation. It explains digitalization and digital transformation and describes the work methodology, the digital maturity matrix, in detail. Readers are guided through the transformation process and how they can organize and structure their own company’s digital transformation. With the help of the work methodology, they can pinpoint their positions today, understand the industry’s digital maturity, better know what changes they should make, and decide what should be done and when. In other words, everything they need to be at least as successful tomorrow as they are today.

Will there be an English version of the book as well?

‒ Yes, we are currently working on it.

By Christian Dahlström