Game-Changing Digital Transformation Frameworks

Sandra Petrova

Sandra Petrova

Remote Work Researcher

Everywhere you turn, digital innovators are winning the game of competitiveness. Consumers, channels, and companies have already gone digital. A digital transformation is taking place. Surrounded by a fearless culture of innovation, enterprises have to make a choice. To innovate or to go extinct?

If you think that digital transformation is specifically about technology, you’re wrong. In its essence, digital transformation is about redefining your entire business strategy. It’s a planned, strategic and organizational change. It’s the creation of new business models, backed by technology.

Luckily, there’s a system for this type of organizational change. They’re called digital transformation frameworks that empower leaders, marketers, and technologists to create a winning organization that employees will want to work in and customers will love using.

Why Do Companies Need a Framework for Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation carries a number of opportunities for companies that are willing to embrace it. And what those opportunities might be? The creation of a more flexible, responsive and interconnected company that will be capable of making informed decisions in the future.

Those companies that will embark on a digital transformation journey will experience the following benefits:

  • Pinpoint growth opportunities.
  • Identify innovation opportunities.
  • Discover new sales opportunities.
  • Apply the most effective marketing tactics for their business.
  • Find out how they can get ahead of their digital competitors.
  • Select the most suitable technology to deliver transformation.
  • Data-driven decision-making.
digital transformation frameworks

What Should a Digital Transformation Framework Help You Achieve?

In its essence, the aim of a digital transformation framework is to create a sense of order amid the chaos. Here are some insights into how a digital transformation framework can help your business:

  1. Use a digital transformation framework to analyze your core strategy. What problem are you trying to solve? Where do you want to see your business in 5 years? What is it that you do differently than your competition?
  2. Use a digital transformation framework to analyze your customers. How high is the demand for your product or service? What is your customers’ intent? Understand their intent so that you can meet their needs.
  3. Use a framework for digital transformation to evaluate your competitors. Who are your competitors? What is the size of their business? What is making them unique? How do they rank online? This data will help you find a niche you can own.
  4. Use a framework for digital transformation to examine what resources you have available and how to leverage them to get what you need. Your resources, including time, skills and budget, will determine your digital transformation journey.
digital transformation framework
Source: The Digital Transformation People

What Skills Do You Need to Work in a Digital Transformation Framework?

You might be thinking of a substantial budget and a talented workforce. Surely, those resources are highly appreciated in a digital transformation, however, there’s something even more important. And that’s digital transformation leadership!

A company might possess all the money in the world, but if it lacks a good digital transformation leader, that company might have troubles going through change. Digital transformation leaders are those who are not afraid to ask the right questions, who are giving their best to diagnose the situation and have the courage to drive innovation.

Unlike their peers, they understand how important business growth is and how a digital transformation can drive a company forward. Every company could use their skills, their ambition, and their vision for the future.

Accenture’s research has found that digital transformation leaders, unlike their peers (digital followers), have a better understanding of the importance of a growth focus. They see digital transformation as something profound and crucial. The study also found that:

  • 40% of digital transformation leaders focus their digital investments on digital growth, compared to only 23% of digital followers.
  • Digital transformation leaders’ growth focus is geared toward sales, new sales channel, new products and services, and customer experiences.
  • Digital transformation leaders think that the wide range of digital technologies is highly important.
  • The popularity of digital transformation exists across geographies. Respondents all around the world expect complete or significant transformation from digital technology.

Best Examples of Digital Transformation Frameworks

There’s a number of different digital transformation frameworks and models, some of which are easy to apply and others more complex. Let’s take a closer look at how some of the most mature organizations have transformed their business. Hopefully, these digital transformation examples will help you understand the change your business needs to go through in order to stay competitive.

Digital Transformation at Cisco

In the past three years, Cisco has analyzed all aspects of its business and started its transformation into a digital organization. They have transformed their workplace, services, supply chain, and security with digitization.

  • Workplace: in the workplace, they have created an activity-based environment and empower employees with collaboration technology and IoT applications. This has led to a 17% increase in employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Supply chain: Cisco digitally connected multiple partners and suppliers, enhancing collaboration to improve delivery cycles. This has increased productivity by 35%.
  • Services: They made their support services more connected with virtual spark rooms that let customers collaborate with experts in real time. By doing this, they reduced the time to resolve issues by 90%.
  • Security: With tools that provide threat analytics and traffic network management, they’re blocking nearly 4.5 billion threats per day.

Digital Transformation at McKinsey

According to the McKinsey framework, the 4D's of digital transformation are :

  • Discover: this stage involves developing your business strategy based on insights.
  • Design: this stage includes the creation and prototyping of breakthrough experiences focusing on the customer journey. 
  • Deliver: in the delivery stage, your company should develop a network of partners who can help you scale rapidly. 
  • De-risk: in this stage, you should structure the reinvention process to minimize risk.

When used well, digital improvement in one part of an organization can enhance the whole value chain. For example, improved connectivity with customers can lead to new digital products and services. Or, upgrading a digital channel can drive a significant improvement in customer-data richness and ultimately enhance marketing effectiveness.


McKinsey digital transformation framework

Digital Transformation at Accenture

Accenture has been digitally transforming its organization across all departments. This is their journey toward a more effective, innovative and disruptive enterprise:

  • The company has been digitally enabling its manual processes.
  • Employees have the freedom to choose when, where and how they work.
  • There has been a reinvention of client relationship management.
  • More collaboration tools are used for more efficient collaboration.
  • The company has been using purposeful social engagement to work in a globally connected work.
  • They opened multiple channels for more effective collaboration.
  • Thanks to technology, they have been digitally matching skills supply with HR demand.
  • They’ve introduced carrier-grade global network and scalable cloud usage.
digital transformation framework Accenture

The Power of Reinvention

Did you know that 30 years have passed since Madonna entered the pop scene? Even after all these years, she somehow managed to stay relevant. How is that even possible? Well, the reason for her ongoing popularity is that she is constantly reinventing herself. She has recorded pop music, R&B, even disco, and rock music. Every album is different and so is her image. Apart from singing, she has also tested the waters of being an actress, a record executive, and a designer. Even today, her fans are wondering what she will do next.

Although Madonna has nothing to do with digital transformation, her ability to reinvent herself can be a valuable lesson to organizations that are struggling with their own transformation. Just like with show business, the digital age favors change and dislikes monotony. Instead of million sold records, your company will experience a boost in employee productivity, reduced operating costs, and improved customer satisfaction.

To sum up:

  • Digital transformation is about redefining your entire business strategy.
  • There’s a system for this type of organizational change. They’re called digital transformation frameworks.
  • Digital transformation frameworks can create a more flexible, responsive and interconnected company.
  • In its essence, the aim of a digital transformation framework is to create a sense of order amid the chaos.
  • A company might possess all the money in the world, but if it lacks a good digital transformation leader, that company might have troubles going through change.
  • There’s a number of different digital transformation frameworks and models, some of which are easy to apply and others more complex.
  • Digital transformation frameworks like the ones used by leading companies, including Cisco, McKinsey, and Accenture, can help organizations understand the change their business needs to go through in order to stay competitive.

Sandra Petrova

Remote Work Researcher