Digital Transformation - Ceyhun Yakup Özkardes-Cheung

Q: How do you define digital transformation strategy?

The right digital foundation magnifies the opportunities ahead for SMEs. A conservative and evolutionary or a disruptive and innovative Digital Strategy? Nowadays the world is digital, a good Digital Transformation Strategy, more than ever before, involves the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by a company, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organization competes. The convergence of two or more Emerging Technologies can really create wonders in the future. Stay with us, together we are going to consider the different dimensions of the digital strategy and its digital transformation. We hope to help you to make the best digital transformation strategy decision.

Beginning the Digital Transformation

In many cases, management leads the way on digital transformation. If so, the board should be prepared to ask questions about it. If management doesn’t broach the topic, the board should consider asking whether management has considered a transformation and, if so, ask about conclusions and the underlying reasons. And since no two companies are alike, each board should evaluate digital transformation on the basis of the company’s business, industry, history, culture, and other factors. It’s up to the board to oversee leaders of companies that have chosen to transform onto the healthiest path toward the future. By identifying a company’s stage of digital maturity and asking the right questions to accelerate up the maturity curve, boards can help organizations successfully complete valuable transformations — transformations that reap the greatest value with the least amount of risk.

Digital transformation, mistakes, digital

Q: What are the biggest mistakes that  small-, medium enterprises make when it comes to digital transformation?

Avoiding Random Acts of Digital

For a business to successfully undergo a digital transformation, it may be critical that all digital efforts connect back to core business operations, and that a company evaluate its strategy for these efforts before diving in. It can also be important to note that there are many ways to approach this kind of change based on each organization’s culture, market position, and current challenges.

But what many successful businesses have in common is that companies arrive at “being” digital by moving iteratively through a clear set of cascading choices. Management should consider:

  • Ambitions and value:Evaluate the organization’s foundations and be very clear about its business objectives — not only for digital, but the business as a whole. This can include organizational purpose, financial and non-financial objectives.
  • Link to existing operations:Evaluate the organization’s value proposition, test its sources of defensible competitive advantage, and probe its profit models. Understand how the organization can provide a differentiated experience to customers, employees, and partners—both digitally and non-digitally.
  • Human Capital connection in the organization:The approach to digital transformation should include a focus on human capital, including the changing nature of the enterprise’s work and workforce.
  • Business Model needs to change:With a differentiated strategy in place, it may be time to ask about which talent models and systems will be needed to execute.
  • Right Communication is the key:It may seem obvious, but many companies can trip at the finish line — by forgetting to tell the market that they are a new organization.

Common digital transformation mistakes to avoid:

  • Not setting priorities right
  • Setting only short-term goals.
  • Letting technology overshadow customer experience.
  • Digital transformation must be customer-centric
  • Avoid being in silos

Q: There are a lot of things going like AI, Blockchain. How can companies find out if new technologies are really interesting for their daily work?

2018 was the year where the world embraced open innovation with open arms & so is the trend going to continue in 2019 as well. From medium-sized corporates to Fortune 50 incumbents, everyone seemed to be launching a challenge, accelerator or incubator — to the point where we now have too much of a good thing. This has led to a certain An experienced in the startup and VC ecosystem. Every startup, the good, the bad and the ugly, seems to have been part of one or more programs. It is hardly surprising that new programs are greeted with a collective shrug. In such a context, how can you create a compelling and differentiated strategy ?

Simply put, a compelling program creates immediate business value for both the program sponsor and the program participant. The keyword is “immediate” — which means the program focus should be on core business processes and customer experience. In other words, ROI should mean return on investment, not reservoir of ideas!

Programs to scout for new business models (like accelerators and incubators) have their place in an innovation portfolio but do not add immediate value — certainly not to the sponsor (and rarely to the participant). In general, it is better to have a narrower focus on digitization and differentiation, before trying to tackle disruption.

To decide the companies need to undertake several programs & understand their real need & applications. It should fulfill the following conditions:

  1. The program should tackle well-defined, real business problems.As a rule of thumb, the problem should be costing the incumbent north of $1 million per year. This size of problem ensures that there is scope for a long-term relationship and a significant opportunity for the startup partner. The problem should also be well-defined — the improvement metric should be clear. The Netflix prize, which required a 10% improvement to Netflix’s own recommendation engine, is a good example.
  2. The pilot should be with real data and real customers.The end stage of the program has to be more than a demo day, with abstract promises of next steps. A differentiated program will guarantee a pilot that interfaces with the business and is implemented in a live environment. By definition, this will require certain maturity on the startup partner side, which is a good thing.
  3. The pilot should have a real budget.No more “toy prizes” of $20,000 to $50,000. A pilot should have a budget of at least $100,000 to create meaningful skin in the game, so that both sides are serious about making the pilot a success.

Finally, we need a new brand for programs that meet these conditions. I suggest “implementation challenges” to make clear that the program is about creating value in the here and now.

 Q: What would you suggest which skills are becoming more and more important for the future?  

All the global workforce needs to upgrade any 1 or more of these technologies to stay relevant to the market. Powerful and rapidly maturing new technologies like Cybersecurity, 5G, big data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial intelligence (AI, DL & ML), RPA, Power BI, Conversational User Interface, Quantum Computing, Augmented Reality and blockchain, to name just some of the most significant all offer the potential to create game changing competitive advantage for organizations.

Brief Bio:

“Madhur is the Co-founder  & CEO of Outwit Outplay Group, a Global Award-Winning group into Technology & Innovation Research, Advisory & Consulting. Experienced Investment banker with over 12 years working with multiple Fortune 500 companies & traveled across the globe to over 16 countries. In his other avatar, Madhur is an Investor, Advisor, Mentor, Board Observer & Chief Strategist to the Board (for Digital Transformation Strategies) of multiple US, Canada and India based various Industries for solutions in & around the latest technologies like Cloud Computing, Cloud security, RPA,  AI, IoT, Blockchain, AR, VR, MR, XR and 3D Printing. Madhur is a regular speaker & loves to interact with the students, young entrepreneurs & startups. He also speaks at leading tech & management institutes and forums at national & international level. “

A brief about Outwit Outplay Group companies :


  • Yakup Özkardes-Cheung

    Content Manager, Author

    Content Manager

    ? WHAT I DO: I help small and medium enterprises with their content strategy and create revenue with their knowledge and use AI content tools to save time and money! ✍️ Download my FREE Whitepaper: 5 steps on how to create a lot of content and earn money with your knowledge!   ? WHY IT MATTERS: Many entrepreneurs and business owners know that they have to create more content and deliver strategic value on their website and social media channels - but they don’t do it. Common sense is not common practice, so they lose money and potential clients. I help you to create social media postings, video snippets, podcasts, and much more.