Digital transformation has quickly become the hot topic everyone in the business world is talking about. In the past few years, we have witnessed how the trend has not only impacted the business world, but also the public sector, government initiatives, national expenditures, customer behaviour and even healthcare.
Digital transformation can be defined as a change that takes place in any organisation that is willing to leverage opportunities created by technology
Generally, the process can be defined as a profound change that takes place in any type of organisation that is willing to leverage the new opportunities created by technology. It is referred to as a transformation because it integrates digitalisation in all areas of a business and, in doing so, changes the way it operates. For this reason – and because it also constitutes a cultural adjustment – digital transformation is likely to look different for every company, particularly as there is no one-size-fits-all rule that can be applied worldwide.
Since it has such a large impact on business, it goes without saying that the process carries a multitude of questions when it comes to implementation: is it for businesses of every size? How is it different to innovation more generally? Does my company need to change into something new? How much return will this investment generate?
The doubts are as infinite as the possibilities. As a matter of fact, at this stage, it is now more important than ever to take a step back and understand the difference that digitalisation can make to each individual firm, and how.
The tide of progress
Within the scope of this profound technological change and its impact, companies are predominately interested in understanding how to generate more sales through the use of digital means, while also ensuring they achieve consistent growth. This usually becomes urgent in the event of innovation being caused by a technology push. When an organisation’s system becomes obsolete, for instance, it risks losing decades’ worth of work if it does not consider updating to a new one. The process could also arise when a new ecosystem is encouraged on an industry-wide scale, such as the software that has taken over the fashion world as of late. Customers themselves, who nowadays demand tailored experiences, could even raise the proposition. Personalising Nutella jars is but one recent example.
In light of this urgency, our clients are more inclined to begin evaluating different strategies in order to enter new markets and overcome barriers with their competitors and end users. As a result, marketing, go-to market techniques, channel evaluation and social media management have become important pillars within the scope of digitalisation, leaving CEOs with a lot of work and a bitter truth: digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight (and it’s not all about Instagram).
Over the years, what is becoming clearer is that this transformation does not interest simply one part of the value chain, and it is not solely connected to go-to market techniques and sales channels. Innovation, as well as the integration of automation and digitalisation, is leveraged to serve the whole business, thereby affecting production, logistics, stock management, accounting and all the core processes that characterise a firm.
In the flesh
As clients continue to seek the support of professionals who can guide them through the best solution for their business, Mind the Value – a Milan-based consulting firm with offices in Italy, Australia, the US and Moldova – has developed a signature methodology to assist during this delicate phase. Created in 2011 by like-minded entrepreneurs with years of experience in the field, the company combines the managerial style and skills of big business, with the flexibility and attention to detail that characterises small to medium-sized firms.
In order to respond to the complexity of the topic, Mind the Value has created , a digital transformation methodology that can respond to different needs with dedicated solutions, while also supporting a client’s objectives with experience and the latest technological tools.
“Our methodology has been built upon the business challenges that every firm faces in its lifetime,” said Inga Biondi Ivanov, Co-Founder of Mind the Value. “Starting from the analysis performed on its issues and objectives, we can optimise the processes at the core of the business and propose innovative means that add value and efficiency to the identified solutions. Digital transformation is therefore prescribed to every function of the business: from logistics to marketing techniques, from suppliers to customers – it covers all aspects in order to deliver innovation through an integrated approach.”
A fresh approach
“If we truly want to transform a company, we need to start thinking about the idea of a ‘smart business’,” said Giuseppe Zagami, President of Mind the Value. “So far, we have successfully worked with many clients to transform their firms. We believe that strong results can also be achieved in companies that are not digital in the traditional sense, such as the work we have done with one of our biggest clients: a leader in the electric power transmission and telecommunications systems sector worldwide.”
The firm has set itself the objective of becoming the first smart business in Italy through the review and automation of its internal processes. “To change a business that is already striving for excellence so profoundly has been a real challenge,” Zagami continued. “The results had to be measurable and evident in order to make a real change for this telecommunications client. It was also important to consider the size and complexity of a business that is expanding every day as we speak.”
The new methodology focused on simplifying operations for workers on the industrial side of the company in order to make their jobs faster and more efficient. This would also allow the company to improve its customer experience without undermining the quality of its final product. Leveraging the new technology available on SAPUI5, Mind the Value has built a solution that can work both online and offline in order to adapt to the situation under which workers perform maintenance, namely by connecting mobile platforms to their SAP ECC platform.
Precision, ease of usage and multimedia content production are just some of the additional features of this one-of-a-kind solution, which was developed on the SAP Hana Cloud Platform to assist the business from installation all the way through to the reporting process. The app is currently used to train workers, guide them through installation phases, list materials and instruments, and support operators with images and videos, thereby making the whole process trackable and measurable.
As the telecommunications client is undergoing a radical transformation, Mind the Value has also focused on the last part of its value chain by creating a tool that could empower the sales team during its contracting phase with customers. “The new app can support the sales team in checking product availability, simulating pricings, verifying state of orders and more,” said Massimo Sorrenti, Co-Founder of Mind the Value. “The tool has dramatically improved the life of the sales team and its customers, making complex applications such as SAP usable, with an e-commerce-like experience.”
Does transformation change businesses in the same way, regardless of their size and industry? As discussed, there is no golden rule when it comes to this process – neither is there just one unique type of business that can be impacted. “When we started our latest project, the objective of our client was to internationalise its brand and to make it available on online platforms throughout Europe,” said Lilian Biondi Ivanov, Co-Founder of Mind the Value Tech Labs. “After careful analysis, we decided to implement a standard Magento platform that would fit perfectly with the needs of our client. The goal was to open a new market for a company that was already a national leader in sport nutrition, and to offer it new possibilities in unexplored sectors with a solution that is intuitive, structured and flexible.”
It is clear that digital transformation is not limited to innovative technology alone, nor is disruptive technology a standalone concept – it is not even about being ready at the same level as others in the digital era. In recent years, it has become more evident that digital transformation is a means through which a firm can grow according to its own path and time frame, and that those who can assist the firm in identifying the best solutions based on its individual needs play a crucial role. Zagami concluded: “We need to think about what our customers value the most, and start from there to create a sustainable, long-term solution, while also helping them to understand how far and how efficiently they can go down this path.”