Wavestone US
Wavestone US

Six Steps to a Successful Digital Transformation

This is Part 3 of a multi-part series on an innovative new way of looking at digital transformation and how information technology becomes ingrained into business processes and business outcomes.

1. People and organizational assessment

Digital transformation isn’t just about new technology; it’s about re-envisioning the organization as a whole. That means ensuring that the workforce is up to the task of making digital an integral part of their work life and using it to improve the business on a day-to-day basis. This doesn’t just include the IT department, but every single worker in the company. Business leaders must engage with their team and help them build the skill set necessary to succeed in the digital enterprise.

Identify deficiencies – Does the team have a product mindset and are they exceptional at collaboration, communication, problem solving, learning and troubleshooting? The most effective digital workers understand technology, how it can be used to improve the business, and are comfortable working and learning with it every day. Attempt to find areas in which team members may be lacking, and use that information to build a strategy going forward.

Train and hire – If there are areas in which the workforce is lacking, it may be necessary to make adjustments. This might include investing the necessary resources to equip staff with the skills required to harness the digital transformation. It may also require hiring new professionals to implement and execute the digital-transformation strategy.

2. Develop a digital-transformation strategy and roadmap

Undergoing digital transformation requires careful planning and deliberate execution. It is important for business leaders to be aware of both the potential opportunities and risks of implementing the strategy. This involves working with key stakeholders in the company, both on the IT and business sides, to develop a plan that meets the needs of the entire organization and end users.

An effective digital-transformation strategy:

  • Considers the business opportunities and aligns to the business strategic plan
  • Educates and communicates the changes required of all stakeholders
  • Pilots automation and cognitive solutions with clear success metrics
  • Aligns ITSM processes to account for multi-speed IT

3. Data management and governance

Data is the fabric that binds the components of digital DNA together, and good data governance is one of the core tenets of an effective digital enterprise. This should include the specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the valuation, creation, storage, use, archiving, and deletion of data and information. It should also include the processes, roles, standards, and metrics that ensure the effective and efficient use of data and information in enabling an organization to achieve its goals. This provides a solid foundation on which to build a digital enterprise that uses data to make it more efficient, profitable, and competitive.

4. Relationship management

As third-party services rapidly become more important and zero-footprint IT becomes a reality, relationships become increasingly important to the digital enterprise. Relationship management spans IT, vendors, and customers; it forms the foundation of effective long-lasting partnerships. It’s critical that business leaders set clear expectations for those they work with and maintain complete transparency. That means holding vendors accountable to their SLAs and ensuring that they are actually meeting the real needs of the business and the end users.

5. Engagement model with the business

Digital DNA must be an integral part of the business and should be fully engaged with it. The digital enterprise must have technology embedded in the lines of business with a reporting structure both to the business head and the CIO. This ensures accountability and that the core focus is always on driving business goals.

Establish product owners – Each piece of the Digital DNA – including systems of insight, intelligence, engagement, protection, and record – must have a designated product owner. These product owners are accountable for both the outcomes and capabilities of their respective components. This is a very different way of thinking about traditional IT. Outcomes and capabilities foster a mindset of value – value to the business, customers, partners and shareholders.

6. Quality management

The digital enterprise is complicated and multifaceted. It is extremely important that the business leaders take steps to ensure every component is working properly and delivering the expected business results. This means conducting end-to-end testing as part of doing business. Each digital DNA component will be moving at a different velocity, and ensuring all the components work properly needs to become a core part of the company’s mission.


Disruptive trends are besetting the traditional IT organization across corporate America: Shift of IT decisions to business units, convergence of IT and business process outsourcing, cloud, social and mobile computing, and the consumerization of technology all conspire to demand a rethinking of the role of IT and of the CIO itself. There is urgency to act.

To learn more about what Wavestone US can do for your company, visit https://www.wavestone.us/capabilities/

Wavestone US

Our team is a blend of former C-suite executives and industry leaders, and high-quality talent at all levels who can tackle your most complex issues with a fresh approach. With a globally connected network of 3,000 employees, Wavestone US is designed to help you get results. All our consultants thrive on complex challenges, enjoy blazing new trails, and are committed to your organization’s success.

Cloud Rationalization for a Successful Migration

Sep 22, 2020

Here’s how to streamline your digital estate as you make your move to the cloud

Top Six Transition Risks in the Time of COVID-19 (and How to Overcome Them)

Sep 15, 2020

Get actionable insights based on our outsourcing advisory engagements in the first half of 2020

Have a Question? Just Ask


Whether you're looking for practical advice or just plain curious, our experienced principals are here to help. Check back weekly as we publish the most interesting questions and answers right here.

Ask Wavestone