Successful digital transformation

Jule Meyer

In May 2019, McKinsey published a report on the last 25 years of digitization. One of the most important findings was that only a small part of the potential profit was still generated by successful digitisation. However, McKinsey had already set the digital turning point for many companies 5 years earlier. This shows that digitization is an ongoing process that may not be completed in the next decade.

The SDT framework helps with digital transformation

Digital transformation involves much more than just adapting to technological progress, it means creating a technological system that encompasses computer, communications and information technologies. Digital transformation is special because it does not apply only to certain areas of the enterprise. Its main components are the internet of things and automation innovations. The Successful Digital Transformation (SDT) framework serves as a guideline for the often chaotic and complex transformation process. This consists of the following 4 dimensions:

  • Strategy,
  • Integration,
  • Stakeholders,
  • Skills and
  • Goals

(Liere-Netheler & Vogelsang & Packmohr & Hoppe, 2018).

Strategy and Integration

The digital strategy of companies is a key dimension of a successful digital transformation. This includes the change from a decentralized, hierarchically fixed structure to a global network structure. The strategic design must become more flexible, as customers play a more active role through digitization. The strategy from the SDT framework is a combination of operational and functional parts. It enables the bridging of departments and promotes new forms of cooperation. Integration reinforces this effect by branching out entire value networks (Liere-Netheler & Vogelsang & Packmohr & Hoppe, 2018).


Digital transformation frees stakeholders from limited internal perspectives. Communication between customers and companies is strongly supported or even made possible by digital platforms. Employees often also benefit from improved working conditions. Liere-Netheler et al. (2018) report that respondents from management floors see the strongest advantage in increased and simplified communication. Consumers are more deeply integrated into work processes and people regain the courage to think in new ways. Finally, it lowers the costs normally associated with communication and improves the efficiency of data processing.


Nevertheless, a successful digital transformation requires new capabilities due to the largely unknown technologies. In addition to the technical side, new communication skills with and about customers are also required. As the products themselves become more and more complex, more and more highly qualified employees are needed. All in all, there is an immense need for training in all areas of digitization.


One of the goals of digital transformation is the usual increase in the value of the company. In addition, a successful digital transformation leads to higher employee satisfaction through the immense improvement of work processes. Respondents cited improving work processes as the most important outcome, but also included improving process understanding and process error detection. In summary, business performance is better, faster and easier (Liere-Netheler & Vogelsang & Packmohr & Hoppe, 2018).

Walmarts' career at the forefront of digital transformation

While other retailers are increasingly dying out, Walmart has gained more influence in the US than ever before. With a company roadmap for the next 10 years, they have successfully transformed the company. Internal changes such as hiring tens of thousands of employees for technical tasks and promoting collaboration beyond company boundaries are part of the success program. By systematically preparing for digital change, they have successfully reached the status of digital maturity (Kane et al. 2017). The measures include changing the online guidelines. To make shopping easier for customers, no membership is required for online shopping. Second, they also diversified their offering by buying online brands such as Lord&Francis. Scan-and-go technologies improve the shopping experience of customers in their stores by eliminating long checkout lines.

Is Blockchain the future?

In 2017, Walmart reached another milestone in digital transformation. In their pilot project together with IBM they use Blockchain to track pork products from the farm to the Chinese dining table. They have already carried out similar projects in the USA with mangos. This technology enables Walmart to increase tracking accuracy by constantly cross-checking the results. It also expands the accessibility of tracking information, which was previously mostly done on paper and manually. Overall it increases the efficiency of the supply chain, saves costs and leads to more security.

Implement digital transformation with Falcon

In any case, digital transformation remains a highly complex process that encompasses all levels of a company and must be operated with a high level of error sensitivity. In this multi-stage, cross-project task, clear work processes are essential for operations.
The Falcon project management software developed by us was specially developed for the planning and implementation of demanding transformation projects. With intelligent tools and smart functions, the software facilitates planning, progress control and reporting in an intuitive way. This saves all participants valuable time and allows them to concentrate on their tasks. With Falcon, each member gets a simple overview of the overall project, goals and progress. With the introduction of a suitable project management software you go the first step of a successful digital transformation.

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