New technology is a catalyst for business disruption; it can turn an industry on its head in a moment.

Startups are challenging – and overtaking – established organisations, with better products and more flexible operations. By the time the traditional titans can react, market share is in decline.

Investment in business transformation is, therefore, a business necessity rather than something for the wish list.

What are Transformation Services?

Transformation Services, put simply, prepare a business’s infrastructure for its future needs.

Innovation without infrastructure is unworkable; just ask Kodak. A business must have the resources, operations and processes in place to launch new products and services successfully. Efficiently delivered Transformation Services give a business a competitive advantage.

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Multinational organisations can be hesitant to employ Transformation Services, because change is glacial and expensive. The adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ comes to mind when profits are healthy. But healthy profits can breed complacency.

How can Transformation Services help?

Transformation Services benefit businesses in a variety of ways. Changing business and operational models can reduce OpEx, re-align strategic direction or the change corporate culture.

Disruptive technology is a harbinger of new opportunity: Transformation Services can harness new potential by creating structures to embrace it, rather than let it be exploited by a competitor or startup.

Transformation Services can prepare an organisation for migrating to the cloud: liberating servers, software and hardware from the office, and utilising remote maintenace, at a lower cost.

What impacts Transformation Services?

Breakthrough technologies, changing consumer behaviour, shifting market demands, new regulatory requirements, sustainability, economic health and more impact how Transformation Services are applied.

Transformation Services must take all this into account, and allow room for issues that don’t matter or exist now, but will in the future.

What happens without Transformation Services?

Market leaders that want to stay there launch transformation projects even when they dominate a category; evolving to stay ahead.

Without, an organisation’s infrastructure could lag behind the competition: Out of date hardware can render expensively built software useless, causing critical failure and stopping commerce entirely.

Who didn’t transform?

There are a many examples of companies that didn’t upgrade their operations fast enough for the modern world.

Kodak, famously, innovated themselves out of their own market by inventing the digital camera, but not creating the infrastructure to manufacture and market their invention. Others did, while Kodak kept on making film, and they had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012.

Blockbuster dominated the film rental business for decades, but as internet speeds and consumer behaviour changed they were left behind by streaming services, only trying to adopt the technology when the rot had set in. Transformation Services would have identified the changing landscape and built the appropriate infrastructure for Blockbuster to change its business.

In 2018, Toys’R’Us announced all UK stores would be closing. Traditionally a brilliant physical destination for toy-browsing families, the company failed to invest in Transformation Services, and failed to create an e-commerce platform that was as good as their in-store experience.

What to consider when you considering transformation

A successful transformation requires an honest assessment of the enterprise goals, limitations and market conditions, including:

  • Customer journey

  • Economic environment

  • Stakeholder relationships

  • Cybersecurity and cyber resilience

  • Corporate culture

  • C-suite alignment

  • Human resourcing

  • Supply chain efficiency and contingency

  • Sustainability

Creating a Transformation Strategy

Transformation Services partners work from a template or methodology for auditing the organisation’s infrastructure, but the outcome should be flexible, original and tailored to the individual needs of the client.

From this, the Transformation partner can create a road map for change, and develop a strategy to achieve it, which should include:

Tactics – how will the organisation win?
Capabilities – how will the organisation resource and build the infrastructure for change?
Value – how will this increase market share / reduce operational costs / enable expansion?
Sustainability – how will this change be sustained in the long run?
Flexibility – how can the Transformation Strategy flex for unforeseen future demands and evolving business challenges?
Talent – who is best placed to lead and deliver the transformation?

What does a successful transformation look like?

The KPIs of Transformation vary between organisation and project. Success could be measured in lower OpEx, higher margins, bigger market share, faster time-to-market for new products or confidence in the resilience of the underlying infrastructure of the company.

Wary of fake transformers

Companies in a rush to modernise don't always take the time to do due diligence on their partners. While transformation is essential, so is choosing an experienced partner than understand your business and the challenges of your industry.

Again, looking at Kodak: their effort to modernise by partnering with a cryptocurrency mining company has ended in failure, and appears now to be a desperate company looking to capitalise on trendy tech. Transformation must sit coherently with the business' history, expertise and ambitions.

In summary

Transformation Services are integral to the prosperity of any multinational, because it ensures a business is looking to the future.

You can’t put petrol in a Tesla: Transformation Services make sure an organisation has installed an electric engine before fossil fuel combustion has become a thing of the past.

Transformation Services don’t guarantee success, but not using Transformation Services guarantees failure.

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