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Digital Transformation

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Digital Transformation is embraced as a key plank of strategy by nearly every organisation. With profound technological change continuing to disrupt industries, value chains and business models, it is imperative to digitally innovate. Yet, what exactly this means and how it will create value is often not scrutinised enough.

A common misperception is that the primary value‑creation levers of digital transformation are dramatic business model changes caused by technological disruption, disintermediation and new ways to innovate products and serve customers.

However, while these are all important elements of a digitally‑savvy business strategy, they miss what for most companies is the single biggest value creation lever: to become a lean and agile “Digital Enterprise” that uses data to continually optimise decision‑making and processes for efficiency and speed.

We find struggling digital transformation efforts often suffer from one or more of four issues:

Business objectives lack clarity often leading to unnecessarily costly digital transformations with slow speed to value

Leveraging automation effectively to de-risk and optimise people intensive processes

Program complexity and duration that can increase the risk of failure and overruns

Many organisations believe their digital strategy includes a data strategy – most often, it does not

Unclear objectives can often lead to unsatisfactory outcomes. A digital transformation should not be considered a ‘cure‑all’ to any ills, but rather a logical next step following a rigorous diagnosis of an organisation’s needs. How can you ensure that unlocking value is front and centre of your digital transformation?

Ill‑defined objectives make it incredibly hard to value‑engineer digital transformation programs. It is difficult to define, strive for and track the journey towards a successful outcome without a clear understanding of what really matters. Further, digital transformation target outcomes and objectives are rarely concrete or sufficiently robust to drive tangible, lasting value creation.

This results in them often being far‑reaching yet ambiguous in scope, costing multiples of what they should with long implementation timelines and payback periods.

Rigorous value engineering is an indispensable tool to manage down program cost and ensure maximum ROI. Too many digital initiatives get actioned because they are ‘cool’ or ‘the next big thing’. Validating the link between a particular technology initiative and business value forensically is essential.

Be clear on the business outcomes you want to achieve, and how

We address this upfront through clear value‑driven prioritisation of specific business outcomes to drive expected impact. Putting opportunities that can be addressed quickly and require minimal change (often employing tech ‘shortcuts’ such as middleware) front and centre of the transformation roadmap maximises value. While rapid optimisation, digitisation and automation of existing processes quickly deliver value – even within the constraints of legacy operating models.

Dual‑track architecture is another key tactic that can be employed to unlock these opportunities. By separating smaller tactical efforts from longer‑term infrastructure projects, companies can prevent smaller, yet collectively high‑value projects from being deprioritised in favour of the ‘shiny infrastructure of the future’.

In parallel, there must be a deep cultural and operational shift to ‘digital first’. Achieving best‑in‑class outcomes in the medium to longer term, requires efficient digital delivery and continuous data‑driven optimisation hardwired into product, service, and customer experience across the entire operating model.

When deployed with care, automation leads to greater customer service from an empowered workforce and an elevated, customer‑centric experience. Has your organisation considered how automation can drive higher performance from your workforce?

In recent years, the nature of customer service has evolved to favour approaches that were once formed in response to crises but have become second nature. With unknown disruption looming around the globe, organisations must be at the ready to manage sharp increases in customer demand.

Their options to do so include either undergoing a reactive hiring spree to boost back‑office capacity or moving to automate ’low value’ processes. The latter option provides a fluid, cost‑effective result; however, is not without its challenges.

Technology in place of human labour often creates employee distrust. This is understandable, but generally due to initial misunderstanding, lack of explanation or poor previous execution. From the customer side, automation can be viewed as cold and impersonal.

Both require careful management – deploying an automation process and walking away does not build trust in the solution, accountability or long‑term success.

Automation is a precision tool, not to be crudely implemented

Our approach to digital office transformation considers not just capacity release and cost reduction but includes some often‑overlooked but significant benefits of automation. This includes improvements to service quality for the customers and workforce satisfaction.

The benefits of reduced transaction times and higher quality service should be at the forefront when assessing opportunities, as they can substantially improve return on investment. Further, automation removes risk of human error inherent in labour‑intensive, manual tasks – replacing them with processes that are predictable, consistent and timely.

Focused implementation frees up employee time and energy for high value, satisfying work that makes a tangible difference to organisational performance (i.e., complex problem‑solving and customer‑tailored service over routine tasks). However, organisations often do not focus on redeploying the released capacity and leveraging the staff experience for continuous improvement.

In terms of driving down costs, lifting productivity in repetitive processes is where automation often delivers the greatest impact; however, the blending of automation and behavioural change is required to drive enhanced productivity and build the ‘workforce of tomorrow’ – a workplace that is both digitally powered and human‑centric.

Overruns, delays and re‑scoping are common aspects of any program failure. How can you create a pipeline for deployment where accountability is key?

Program failure is still extremely common and rarely is as explicit as a program being abandoned.

Instead, it often manifests in dramatic cost overruns, delays and re‑scoping exercises that mask successive redefinitions of what success would look like, how it is going to be achieved and how long that will take. At worst this means technology is outdated or redundant by the time it is deployed.

Execute at pace, front‑load benefit generation, and hold your business leaders accountable

Modularised program design and delivery accountability are critical to mitigating risks of technology projects and maintaining a high‑velocity deployment pipeline that delivers incremental early value.

Done the right way, modularisation allows companies to reinstate single‑point accountability and ownership of business lines for delivery of individual program components associated with specific value outcomes – accountability that is often lost when implementation is delegated to monolithic technology divisions.

Merely collecting data is of little benefit to organisations unless there is a defined strategy to interpret and harness it to bolster everyday decision‑making. The shift to becoming data‑driven rather than data‑consuming hinges on a single question: ‘What is the value we want to realise from our data strategy?'

Data collection is a cheap commodity for many organisations today, to the point where they are overwhelmed by the volume and lack of quality and consistency. Clear use cases that drive tangible business value and realistic roadmaps of how to get there often do not exist. This results in time and money wasted and escalating (and misplaced) scepticism about the potential benefits of investing in data.

Drive towards using your data, not hoarding it

We help clients define data strategies that start from the value they can generate (now and in the future) and then work backwards to how to get there in stages, recognising that the shift to become a data‑driven organisation far transcends the mere collection and processing of data.

This entails an organisation‑wide cultural shift in how decisions are made on a day‑to‑day basis (and by whom) and requires formalised knowledge of what information is pertinent to a particular decision – decisions may be taken far down the hierarchy based on operators’ experience instead of handed down from above.

Patrick Mueller-Hermann

Our approach is rooted in a profound understanding of technology and strategic opportunities and strongly focused on efficiency and effectiveness of our clients’ operations - driving rapid, meaningful and sustained improvements to the bottom-line.

Patrick Mueller-Hermann


We help our clients win with technology by being obsessively value‑driven, embracing ‘less is more’ and rapid execution. This unleashes potential to create lasting impact in everything we do.

Fewer initiatives pursued relentlessly and at pace generate more value than lofty ambitions mired in gridlock. Fewer features and simplified processes leave customers more satisfied than myriad functionalities and high costs. Successfully conquering sequences of right‑sized opportunities builds substantially greater employee morale and skill than any big‑bang approach.

Digital transformation efforts should complement each other and work in concert. Taking an end‑to‑end approach that integrates all layers of the organisation, we deliver Digital Office Transformation – using low‑code platforms to augment the larger ICT transformation programs. This enables rapid automation and process improvement of people‑intensive functions and also provides an efficient micro‑systems transformation layer to larger programs. Overall, it accelerates the digital journey by addressing technical complexities in system integration and unblocking resourcing and skills constraints.

The core of every project we embark on with our client partners is ensuring they become agile digital organisations that are fit for the future.

Our value-centric approach delivers tangible results and world-leading returns on investment:


EBITDA and sales

15-30% increase in EBITDA and sales by improving information management to enable real-time performance and operations management across business areas


ROI of technology programs

50-100% increase in ROI of technology programs through rigorous value engineering, effective program management and accelerated delivery

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Net promoter score

10-20 point increase to Net Promoter Scores by reducing customer complaints 30-70%, improving customer experience and optimising digital service processes


A collection of analysis, research and stories about our capabilities from our Digital Transformation experts.

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Client success stories

digital transformation, digital transformation consulting, digital transformation strategy

Delivered 30%+ EBITDA margin uplift from end-to-end transformation of customer experience and employee productivity through ‘zero-based design’

Identified US$5.5 billion NPV through the development of a technology roadmap

Government agency team increased productivity by 100%

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