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Is digital transformation now old school?



Although the internet has been around for so many years, it’s surprising how many businesses are still trying to form an identity in this rapidly changing digital age. Digital Transformation has become a buzz word within many companies, with millions being spent, yet many organisations are miles behind where they need to be.


Take artificial intelligence for example - any talk of AI being a normal part of life today, only 5-10 years ago, would have been crazy talk! Yet now we have biometrics (voice, eye, fingerprint) incorporated into our household appliances – things have moved rapidly and there’s no sign of slowing down. Yet how many companies are embracing this technology? Many have the aspiration but are still trying to define their basic foundations.

So why are we still stuck in this in cycle of ‘transformation’? Why haven’t we transformed and why isn’t digital just the norm?

If you’re part of business start-up in the digital age, the chances are that you already have a strong online and virtual capability, which is great. But many legacy companies are still trying to move away from old fashioned ways of serving their customers and are not seeing the type of ROI they expected. I believe this is due to a number of factors:


  • Their digital transformation is focused on technology and not enough on people, processes and culture;

  • They neglect to focus on who their customers are and what they want;

  • They’re too commercial and solution focused - stifling their ability to think outside the box and disrupt the market;

  • They don’t invest in digital skills within their organisation;

  • They’re too risk overt and unwilling to work in a dynamic nimble way.

In summary, companies need to move away from programmes of transformation and start treating their digital services as just the normal way of doing things. Sure, a programme or project will help you deliver a solution, but it’s a means to an end.


Here are some things for you to think about:

  • Put your customer and employees first – if they’re both having a poor experience of your products and services, neither will champion them.

  • Set yourself a series of goals, based around satisfaction, behaviour and emotion. Make them orientated around your customer and employees, rather than ROI and P&L. A good starting point could be:

  1. What do you want your customers to say about your business in 5 years time?

  2. What will your employees say about working at your company?

The way you get to those goals and the solutions you need to reach them will follow.


  • Whether you’re a commercial business or not for profit, of course you’ll need some form of cost model to understand your investment, but particularly these days when most people are focused on experience over price, it’s important you don’t allow your costs to drive the quality and output.

  • Take a leap of faith, or if you work in a heavily regulated industry, create a safe space for you to test ideas with your customers and employees, before you make the commitment. You’ll get far more respect from both audiences if you allow them to ability to create and test their ideas.

  • Think about external factors which can help and compliment your plans. As an example, some businesses still operate in an old fashioned, 9-5, restrictive way. As more millennial and generation X, Y & Z talent enters your workforce, they expect flexible, vibrant and diverse ways of working. There are many ways you can achieve this and they’ll help you deliver at pace and drive the right culture.

  • Put someone in your leadership team who specialises in digital strategy and management. These senior leaders are crucial to helping you make the right decisions, as you navigate a fast paced digital industry.

The above is pretty basic, but it’s amazing how many businesses are still stuck on the starting block and wasting eye watering amounts of money.

If you stop thinking of digital transformation as a programme and start to see digital as a default way of doing business, you’ll start to generate the right behaviours, energy, focus and results you’re craving.

At OmniGeek, we can help you build the tools, skills and ways of thinking you need to reach your goals.


Why not get in touch – we'd love to share some of the tricks we’ve learned along the way.

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