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Digital Transformation Success

Five Success Stories That Demonstrate the Power of Digital Transformation

by Crinah Jimenez on and last update on July 09, 2020

Digital transformation is one of the biggest boardroom topics today. After all, digital transformation success can deliver enormous benefits – positioning your organisation for the future. However, many will agree that it is not so easily achieved. For example in one McKinsey study, only 16% of respondents said that they believed their transformation efforts both improved performance and put their company on the road to long-term change.

Just because companies struggle with digital transformation does not mean that digital programmes must be avoided, or worse, aborted. In contrast, countless commercial, government, and non-profit organisations have benefited tremendously from the power of technological transformation.

In this article, we present five digital transformation success stories to serve as an inspiration to any boardroom that is on the fence.

[You can also check out our Digital Transformation Cheatsheet]

1. Chipotle – digital transformation in fast food

Thinking about ideal scenarios for digital transformation, a restaurant business wouldn’t necessarily come to mind. Nonetheless, when CEO Brian Niccol took over moribund Chipotle in 2018, he rapidly deployed a digital change programme. It paid off – Chipotle’s stock price rose by 152% in just 17 months.

How did Chipotle achieve rapid digital success? First, Chipotle started to use pickup shelves for online orders so that customers could skip the line and get their orders more quickly. The company also partnered with a delivery service to access a wider range of customers – while linking up its drive-through service with its digital app. It’s a simple yet terrific example of how digital can improve the user experience and how that leads to higher turnover.

2. IKEA – powering retail transformation with digital

Think digital transformation in the restaurant business is far-fetched? How about furniture? While IKEA always offered mail-order, its mainstay business remains large warehouses where customers come in to browse, purchase, and take home furniture for self-assembly. But we all know how bricks and mortar businesses are under increasing pressure.

IKEA recognised that, which is why the Swedish furniture company embraced digital. First, IKEA purchased TaskRabbit. Doing this made it easier for customers who don’t like assembling IKEA furniture. Next, the company dipped into the smart home sector by developing its own products – after all, IKEA is all about the home. It shows how keeping an open mind about digital can help even the most established companies enter brand-new markets.

3. Trelleborg – deploying robots, increasing jobs

Digital transformation is disruptive – but transformation adds up to more than the sum of its parts in the long run. It can be difficult to reassure staff that robotics and automation are not intended to simply cut headcount. One way to do so is to use an example – such as Trelleborg, a manufacturer of precision seals for industry.

The company did not set out to cut staffing when it deployed robots to improve product quality. Yes, the number of human operators required to operate machines were reduced, but the machine density increased. As a result, within two years, the company’s increased agility boosted businesses so much that they hired another 50 employees to keep up with new business.

4. Microsoft – shifting to cloud computing

To emphasise how digital transformation is about business, rather than a lack of technology per se, let’s take a look at how Satya Nadellla transformed the fortunes of Microsoft during the last decade. Yes, we have long known Microsoft as one of the world’s leading tech firms. Nonetheless, the company embarked on a transformation process to stay ahead of the game.

When Nadella took over at Microsoft in 2014 he accelerated a shift to cloud computing, moving the company away from its desktop-driven revenue base. Today, Microsoft is one of the key players in cloud computing – with its Office 365 offering contributing massively to the bottom line. What’s more, its cutting-edge Azure cloud platform well positions the company for the future.

5. Coca-Cola – a lesson in vendor selection

In our article on choosing a digital transformation team, we hinted at the importance of getting technical details right. While Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sales & Services (CCBSS) was an early adopter of automated document scanning and processing, it found that the system in place was unreliable – tripping up the company’s digitization efforts.

The company recently picked a digital leader to help put its document processing efforts back on the track. Using Ripcord’s robotics and ML software, CCBSS can now flawlessly process documents. The new technology  removes staples, accurately reads scans using ML, and automatically sends finished documents to customers – with near-zero error rates. It proves how choosing the right vendor is critical to tapping benefits from digital transformation.

Boardrooms and digital transformation

Boards assume a position of leadership – looking past the nitty-gritty to take the long view. Digital transformation’s day to day hiccups can be cause for concern, but companies that look beyond the challenging aspects of transformation will leap past the competition.

That’s why boards must keep digital transformation success stories in mind. That said, success can take time – and keeping an organisation on board, in the long run, is challenging. Boards should look towards quick wins. In other words, opportunities where digital transformation can deliver quick results. One place to start  – the boardroom itself.

Looking to start building your digital workplace? You may also want to read our Guide to the Digital Workplace. Alternatively, Azeus Convene can help you get started on your digital transformation journey. Contact us to know more about our digital collaboration and meeting solutions.

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