Accelerating digital transformation at scale

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digital transformation

Accelerating digital transformation at scale

In the face of advancing climate change and growing global challenges, companies need to fast-track their digital transformation. To succeed in this highly complex task, small and large businesses alike need to rethink competition and partnerships.

Most business leaders agree that digitalization is a company priority, but in reality the transformation of their businesses is often stalling. Only 40% of businesses succeed in bringing their digital transformation to scale. How do we change that?

An essential but often underestimated key for success is collaboration. After all, no single company alone is capable of meeting the huge challenges faced today by industry, transport and infrastructure. To create and implement the cohesive solutions and transformative technologies that will accelerate change, business leaders need to form broad, expertise-savvy partnerships along the value chain – it’s about joining an ecosystem to enable digital transformation at scale.

But what would such collaboration entail? 

1. The demand for accelerated digital transformation at scale

Businesses today face enormous challenges: decarbonizing operations and supply chains, new disruptive business models and talent shortages already pose significant challenges. In addition, short- and medium-term shocks are becoming ever more frequent. Supply chain disruption, shortages of goods or raw materials are among the factors putting unprecedented pressure on companies trying to meet customer commitments and contracts.

These challenges require flexibility and innovation more than ever. And digital transformation is the key for businesses to quickly, flexibly and sustainably manage and adapt to changing markets.

However, innovative solutions can only unfold their true potential when they scale: when an innovation that has worked for one place or one situation is applied across an organization, to other scenarios or even other industries or markets.

Take, for example, digital twin technology, which was first used in manufacturing – and is now applied for modelling cars and trains, buildings and entire city districts. Or think of predictive maintenance technologies, which can be used just as much to ensure the smooth operation of train doors as of machines on a factory floor.

Scaling provides significant business opportunities for organizations, including enhanced growth, greater flexibility, higher profits and reduced time to market for products or services.

2. Digital transformation at scale needs strong ecosystems

The greatest challenge to scaling digital transformation is the vastness and complexity of businesses, organizations, and technologies. To successfully scale innovations, it is crucial to identify further areas of application and to apply them successfully to different organizational or technical environments. No one can do this alone. It requires openness and cooperation in one’s own business and beyond.

The most effective digital ecosystem will be a convergence of the most talented and experienced people and companies who share the drive to see how solutions to one problem might be applied to others. Success depends on breaking down silos in your own organization – and opening doors to the outside world for new partnerships.

Another way leaders can help accelerate digital transformation at scale is to adopt open technology. In the same vein as seeking cooperation and co-creation among multiple partners, open technology can become more interoperable and flexible, and comes without vendor lock-in. This allows companies to build new solutions on top of existing technology without being tied to just one provider’s services.

Sustainable innovation is most likely to come from partnerships in which businesses combine technology and share expertise. That would allow them to pursue growth and develop new business models while decarbonizing their operations, minimizing their waste, and maximizing their resources, all of which are pressing challenges for business leaders.

3. Unlocking ecosystems to accelerate digital transformation at scale

Many companies, especially smaller and mid-sized enterprises, often have limited capacities and networks to build ecosystems on their own. It’s also hard to develop or diversify these networks quickly.

Today, most businesses need at least a strong partner to take them along – but imagine if there was an open, easy and flexible partner ecosystem where manufacturers, suppliers and solutions providers could find one another and form mutually beneficial relationships.

Imagine a place, a central platform of discoverability where customers from all over the world could find tailored and comprehensive digital solutions to master the challenges they face. And where developers and software providers, no matter how large or small, can make sure their solutions find the people who need them.

Imagine an open collaboration model that offers the opportunity for the various players to reach the full potential of their own digital transformations.

Originally this article was published here.