How to become digitally ripened

What makes a difference to succeed with a Digital Transformation (DT) program? We believe there are three interconnected pillars for DT success. All three components are vital, and they go beyond technology, platforms, and tooling. Find out more below!


Executive summary

  • The 4th worldwide revolution is happening now — a digital revolution
  • Engage and get buy-in for the changes from your colleagues
  • Be honest and make the transformation objectives, scope, and speed clear
  • Understand how fast and how far you need to shift your business
  • Pivot regularly to get the greatest value 

Industry 4.0

Our times are sometimes called Industry 4.0 to emphasize the fact it’s the fourth global revolution — the digital revolution. The computing power is less expensive than ever before and made available to a wide audience. Our devices became smaller. The measurement methods are more accurate. We observe a decreasing reliance on user-owned hardware. Some jobs transform, requiring new skills. On the other hand, interactions between people are more global than ever before, opening a space towards shared economics. Some people are also trapped in a digital space — preferring virtual games and environments over activity in the physical world — which is dangerous for societies. Many companies blur industry boundaries. Digital disruption enables new opportunities (and threats) for both companies and communities. These are the facts.

As mentioned in our DT means end-to-end business change article, the transformation is on thin ice unless it’s a results-driven journey. On the other hand, the digital upheaval is not a white elephant: if you do it the right way, you can get the ROI much earlier than you think. 

A digital transformation is also not about removing entirely your legacy code, if present. It’s about making the necessary, thoughtful amendments across many touchpoints to achieve the expected outcomes.

What makes a difference to succeed with a Digital Transformation (DT) program? We believe there are three interconnected pillars for DT success. All three components are vital, and they go beyond technology, platforms, and tooling:

  • The right organizational culture
  • Fit-for-purpose technologies
  • Continual pivoting and improvements

Organizational culture

People are naturally afraid of the unknown. Modern technologies may even introduce more fear to some groups, especially to older generations and people who don’t use technology often. A digital strategy must present a holistic view, including and engaging everybody. Employees want to be inspired by authentic leaders. This is a true challenge to make the transformation objectives, scope, and speed clear, and get the buy-in.

At some stages of digital transformation, you may welcome people’s resistance, frustration, or even depression: it’s the nature of every change curve. As a way to make the change process easier for all involved, try presenting the strategic purpose as a step-by-step journey. Be transparent and heartily open to questions to get an alignment at the end. Rigid cultures impede advances. Quite often a panacea is to provide wider autonomy to your teams. For example, sate them with a chance to play with new digital tools in a secure environment as early as possible, and accept the pivot recommendations they bring. Invite them to offer constructive criticism. Let them be creative and make decisions without having to ask for approval.

As you see, in regards to culture, digital transformation is also associated with the development of soft competencies like being agile, people-oriented, customer-centric, efficient, and able to induce opportunities.

At VirtusLab we trust in people — our team is our foundation. The structure rejects any strong hierarchy, empowering us to deliver excellent results. We know that innovative ideas come not only into the heads of senior engineers, but from anyone working on a project, so everyone at VirtusLab has a chance to affect the development of a project. We value honesty, empathy, accountability, and delivering on our promise. These are the values we bring to help our clients succeed. We simply care about making a very positive and long-lasting impact on our clients, going beyond the job descriptions whenever needed. On the other hand, we do not believe in projects detached from end-users with the only goals of a complete rewrite of existing, working software. We value great plans if followed by gradual change, with a continuous feedback loop. With VirtusLab, our customers can also introduce a data-driven approach to their projects or products, achieving tangible results. 

Fit-for-purpose technologies

You can find easily a potentially-useful, cutting-edge technology for your enterprise. But the question becomes, will it be worth the cost or your energy? Will it address the right business pains? Will it help to digitalize the whole organization, or just a particular product?  The use of appropriate technologies in the right way and at the right time creates the backbone of digital transformation. 

The digital world continues to change, faster and faster. As a result, we deal with problems we may have not observed earlier. Cybersecurity challenges are a great example of this. When creating value, think globally about your enterprise. Adopt one new technology at a time. Always keep an eye on the costs, customer satisfaction, and economies of scale. Scalability can mean not just how many transactions you can handle now, but also launching platforms to set up foundations for further growth. Finally, make sure your employees will like the new digital tools and they become skilled in them.

Software Development is Virtuslab’s domain — we work hard in this brisk world to push the frontiers of software technology and improve efficiency. We are technically savvy, invest in R&D, keep track of recent trends, and look around us for inspirational new solutions. We apply fit-for-purpose technologies in our day-to-day work.

Continual pivoting and improvements 

Unexpected business and technical challenges show up more often than anticipated. Being able to apply the adjustments quickly is key. We’ve learned that it helps to pivot regularly in shorter cycles to get the greatest value from your transformation. Let your courage and hunger for experiments lead you to a recurring new start with every shift.

In these efforts, VirtusLab can be your trusted advisor. Our company promotes a culture of data-driven, iterative inspections to form a lasting habit of continual improvement. We evaluate our successes and failures, and recommend that others do the same. Such evaluations help you to consciously understand how fast to move with introducing the changes. For digital transformations, we sometimes even guide our clients to slow down for a moment, or even take one step back. The pivoting is a continual — not continuous — process. Endless, ongoing learning sounds great, but we believe it’s crucial to understand if additional refinements are indeed worth the effort.

We value close collaboration with our clients. Deep rapport facilitates seeing the broader business context, and providing quicker feedback.  Successful pivots require transparency among all parties.

Neither management nor technical consultants from outside your organization will improve your business by themselves. What they can do is help you identify the problems, share good practices, and explain how to avoid pitfalls or bottlenecks they’ve seen before. They can reveal hidden opportunities, and help you adjust towards new approaches with customers, technologies, and platforms, or to compete in new markets. In the end, it’s your job to distil the recommendations and support the adoption.

Are you ready to begin a positive transformation?

Contact us to see how we can help!

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Written by

Piotr Przygoda Product Manager Apr 2, 2021