Experts predict 40% of companies will not survive past 2030 if they fail to navigate the challenges of digital transformation. Kamales Lardi, CEO and Founder of Lardi & Partner Consulting, explains the importance of a cross functional, customer-centred approach
COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption globally. However, in such times there is opportunity for innovative brands to gain significant market share. Successful digital transformation is the key. Lardi & Partner Consulting work with companies to help them succeed where many are struggling.
“Digital Transformation” – leveraging digital and technology solutions to transform business models, processes and operations to meet the needs of the digital economy and customer experience – has advanced rapidly as companies seek to address the complexities associated with providing a seamless service to clients. Despite this, there are still a worrying number of companies who do not appreciate just how vital digital transformation is for their future.
Former Executive Chairman of Cisco, John Chambers, helps quantify the potential disaster ahead for many when he predicts “At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies”.
With so much written about the topic and its importance, it is surprising that only a third of companies around the world have gone through a digital transformation. One of the reasons behind this reality is that an effective digital transformation is an extremely challenging task, and one is difficult to complete. The number of moving parts can be overwhelming for many executives and the fear of failure or lack of expertise available in house can leave many leadership teams floundering.
For those that have gone through the journey, success is sadly not guaranteed. In a recent Everest Group study, over 70% of companies reported that they had failed to obtain any value from their digital transformation efforts. These points highlight the importance of starting your own digital transformation as soon as possible and ensuring you have relevant and appropriate expertise at hand to help you plan and navigate transformation successfully.
Award winning Lardi & Partner Consulting have been partnering with organisations around the world to help them realise the incredible potential to be gained from digital transformation. Here, we speak to Kamales Lardi, CEO and Founder, to learn more about their unique approach.
It’s been an unprecedented last year or so in the world of business. How have things changed for you during this period?
It’s interesting because the need for companies to evolve and transform to leverage the potential from digital has been around for a number of years, well before COVID. However, we have definitely seen a growing level of urgency from executive teams in the past year as the pandemic has forced many to move quicker than they may have originally intended.
As you say, the topic of digital transformation has been around for a while. In your opinion, how does Lardi & Partner Consulting stand out in its approach?
It’s a combination of things that we blend together to help our clients achieve lasting success.
We appreciate how complex a transformation can be as many of the organisations we work for tend to have operations, customers and staff based in several different locations with years of legacy culture, technology and processes embedded in everything they do.
We know how to unpick those complexities and to find the opportunities for creating new and sustainable value. We specialise in these journeys and have spent years understanding what works and what doesn’t, and I’d say that our experience and objectivity is something that others struggle to provide.
Additionally, many of our clients are surprised by our insistence on focusing on the experience of their own customers. Recent research shows that 41% of companies making investments in digital transformation do not carry out thorough customer research. To our mind, there’s little advantage in creating something innovative, if you fail to consult with end users on what they want, need, or would regard as good value for money?
Our end-to- end approach has the customer experience is fully immersed into it, meaning that any recommendations we make are focused on delivering improvement for the company AND the customer. That’s how we help our clients find genuinely exciting new business models that balance both an inspiring, long term vision with an effective and pragmatic roadmap to make things happen.
We also believe in empowering our clients and their people – we don’t want them to become dependent upon us – and have created a series of tools and templates to help with various different aspects of the transformation process. Not only does this help us to be more efficient than others, but it also means our clients can learn new skills and approaches that they can continue to use once we’ve completed our work with them.
It’s such a complex challenge isn’t it?
Well, when you think about it, you’re trying to untangle and realign an incredibly complex web of technology, processes and people. And that’s never easy. Companies simply are not set up to tackle such a complex challenge in an objective manner. Even if they have talented executives at the helm, these people tend to be experts in a specific discipline or two. When you’re trying to transform an entire organisation, you need to be able to take that objective, holistic view and that’s incredibly difficult to do from inside.
We’ve also found that when tackling a digital transformation, too many companies focus on the technological and operational aspects believing that these are the areas where the real value will be found. That makes sense, but the reality is their people are an equally important part of the journey, if not the most important.
So there’s a dedicated focus on the people?
Absolutely and especially the leadership. It’s crucial that the leaders of a business are aligned and excited about the transformational journey, but again that’s often problematical. It’s not uncommon for leaders to be confused about the transformation process, or even fearful of having to let go of previous ways of doing things. Unfortunately, any misalignment can be deadly to the whole programme.
Over 55% of companies report that there is confusion in their organisation about what they are trying to achieve through their digital transformation. That confusion can be the difference between success and failure and the leaders of the business are crucial in ensuring communication is consistent and clear for everyone. We spend a lot of time working with executive teams, using data driven tools to help identify the key gaps in understanding. We’ve developed a proprietary Digital Maturity Assessment tool that not only helps identify the gaps in the organisation but also assesses how ready the business is for digital transformation.
How do you see the future panning out for Lardi & Partner?
Well, it is going to be busy for sure. Every day more and more companies are wanting to start their own digital transformation and we’re excited about supporting them. From our side, we’re doing a lot of work to help refine our own approach. The cross functional nature of our service means it’s essential we keep ahead of the game on a broad range of topics – that’s one of the things we love most about what we do. There’s always an opportunity to evolve our own thinking to help our clients innovate.
Zurich based Lardi & Partners Consulting are passionate about solving issues caused by digital disruption, providing tailor made pragmatic approaches for their customers. Further information on digital transformation initiatives, leadership training programmes, and strategic vision workshops can be found at the company website – https://www.lardipartner.com/