Company cultures must change for digital transformation

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Call for cultures to change

For companies whose aim is to develop into modern digital companies, the biggest challenge they face is to reform company cultures, an independent report has found.

Altimeter, a research and consulting firm focused on digital disruption, provided participating companies with a survey which was then used to build the report.

Between January and April 2014, 95 digital strategists from a variety of companies deemed to be market influencers completed the survey including: Lego, General Motors, Harvard University, Motorola, and Starbucks.

The report states that 63 per cent of respondents believe "changing company culture" is a very important issue.

The aim for the report is to gain an understanding of how far along the line companies are in a modernising process which has become known as the digital transformation.

However, the term is mired in ambiguity.

Digital transformation misunderstood

Altimeter defines the digital transformation as:

"The realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touch point in the customer experience lifecycle."

Altimeter's research has found that 88 per cent of companies believe they are undergoing some kind of digital transformation at the moment.

The report states that businesses are trying to "become more customer-centric, more human, and renewing their culture for a new generation of customers and employees."

But while 88 per cent of the strategists said that they were undergoing a digital transformation, only 25 per cent had mapped the "customer's journey", which Altimeter deems to be a central part of the digital transformation process.

The report states:

"This leads us to the conclusion that even when explicitly defined, the term 'digital transformation' is still misunderstood".

"Company culture is the basis of digital transformation, a fact supported by both our qualitative and quantitative research from 2013-2014".

"Culture is a derivative of leadership and represents the company's personality, value system, purpose, and people. What's clear in every Altimeter Group research program is that the need to change is constant and pervasive".

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword said: "This report shows that as companies continue to think about their digital future, we're moving from an old way of thinking to something new. From offering brilliant content, to other means of engagement, all the biggest and most influential companies are thinking about and redefining how to be successful in a more connected world."