The K2 is one of the hardest mountains to climb. Every year people desire to climb the mountain and train intensively to be able to reach the top. Unfortunately, one of every four climbers never return back. The ultimate challenge. So is a digital business transformation, the K2 of transformations. Why do I call this the K2 of business transformations? And should you want to digitally transform the business if it is that hard?

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Why are digital business transformations so hard?

Digital transformations are in fact real business transformations because they relate directly to the business value the company is offering. A digital transformation effects business functions, processes, activities, assets and business model(s) which are interconnected. This is the essential aspect of digital transformation: the interconnectedness and interdependence of every aspect.

A digital transformation is the ultimate change management challenge. It has an impact on the operational, tactical and strategic level of an organisation[1]. Because of the large extent of these transformations, it is also more difficult to make it successful. McKinsey research shows ‘regular’ transformations have a success rate of one-third, while digital transformations result in even lower success rates. Even the digital savvy industries like high tech, media and telecom are not necessarily hugely successful. Their success rate does not exceed 26%[2].

With the corona crisis still going on, executives report that the pandemic is accelerating the pace of the digital transformation. The pandemic increases the openness to experimentation and improvisation, which is good soil for a digital transformation[3]. Still, this pressure on the digital transformation adds to the complexity, interconnectedness and challenges of digital transformations.

Why a digital business transformation?

If these digital business transformations are that hard, why transform at all? That is important to keep in mind and for leaders to insist on the need for the transformation across the organization. It is necessary to continue to stress the importance and especially the ‘why’ of the transformation. This should always be a business-led strategy, not based on technology (alone).

The key drivers for digital business transformation are profitability, customer satisfaction and increased speed to market[4]. Mainly, it boils down to a survival of the business. McKinsey research shows that the best-performing decile of digitized incumbents earns as much as 80 percent of the digital revenues generated in their industries[5]. A Capgemini and MIT study shows that Digital Masters outperform their competitors in revenue, profitability and market value[6]. A huge driver to make sure your company is executing its digital business transformation right.  

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[2] Source: McKinsey –

[3] Source: McKinsey –

[4] Source: –

[5] Source: McKinsey –

[6] Source: Capgemini –

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