Collaboration 29 April 2019

Digital Transformation: The Enterprise’s Startup Spirit

Digital transformation digitalization new work

A recent report by Futurum Research found that 71% of executives described digital transformation as being at the centre of all business decisions. However, years of research by McKinsey on organizational transformations has shown that the success rate for these efforts is consistently low, at 30%, and even lower 16%, when we’re talking specifically about digital transformations.

Many companies may say that they are dedicated to innovation because it feels like the right thing to do, but when push comes to shove, it gets put in the too hard basket.

Digital Transformation Is a Challenge

To effectively execute a digital transformation, an unwavering determination to overcome the obstacles and barriers that present themselves as they implement those changes will be needed!

Large enterprises have well established workflows, procedures and chains of commands, which are key elements to ensuring they run smoothly and successfully. However, when it comes to implementing changes, these factors may also act as blockers. So while passionate employees and managers often have the best of intentions when it comes to implementing digital transformation, they can often get bogged down in the paperwork or approval process.

We often see enthusiastic employees frustrated by their company’s outdated tech as the one driving demand for digital change. But if it takes him or her a long time to inspire enough people to implement change within a large company with over 10,000 employees, by the end they’ve probably lost the enthusiasm.

The Startup Spirit

That’s why many big companies are turning to external partners for help. Changing a large organization, the way it thinks and behaves, can be hard and slow. So by looking externally and forming partnerships with tech companies, they can get an injection of the startup spirit. The energy, passion, and entrepreneurship that the partnership brings to the equation can help spin the wheels of change faster, while the large company can bring expert knowledge and experience to the partnership. When it comes to innovation, impassioned people and their ability to execute are at the heart of the equation.

“The startup spirit actually boils down to finding and delivering solutions that actually work. It’s about turning that thought ‘but this is the way it’s always been done’ on its head and instead looking at ways that provides a real value to people and then making it happen,” says Daniel Bohn, co-founder of Conceptboard.

Startups Help Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is about just that, transformation. Yes, the changes will be digital (new software, new cloud technologies, mobile-first design, data-driven – you name it), but the transformation will change the way teams work together, and fundamentally the way the business is run.

“What we’re seeing is as digital technology becomes cheaper and more available, it becomes more popular, and then it gradually changes communication patterns. And as the employee becomes more global and independent, any tool which helps us embrace these digital changes will thrive,” states Johannes Ellenberg, the Founder and CEO of The Ellenberg Academy for entrepreneurial training.

The Siemens Transformation

Siemens is one of the world’s biggest corporations that has made digital transformation a key focus.

They recognised that to achieve this they would need to remove the large bureaucratic structures and ladders that can halt progress.

“Siemens is transforming from this old school legacy to a new, agile and smart company. From a responsibility perspective there is also a change which has taken place. It’s the concept of end-to-end responsibility. It’s about being an owner, really taking ownership. Being an intra-preneur, and driving things forward,” says Thorsten Bergmann, Senior IT Strategy & Innovation Manager at Siemens at Siemens.

They also focus on identifying gaps in their digital armoury, and then find partners that can fill that gap. By partnering with external companies that specialise in digital solutions, they can achieve the results faster than they would be able to on their own.

A few years ago, Siemens realised there was a big gap in the way their teams around the globe were able to collaborate with each other. Couple that with a directive to reduce travel costs and they set about finding a solution.

After a lengthy search, they decided that Conceptboard not only provided the solution they were searching for, but also had the right attitude to make the partnership work. Conceptboard was able to pass Siemens robust security and compliance tests, building trust and credibility and paving the way for a mutually beneficial partnership.

“We looked at how engaged and willing to work with us the company was, as this was also one of the main criteria.” recounts Bergmann.

Conceptboard’s fully integrated collaboration software allows teams to collaborate just as effectively online as they would if they were all in the same room, on everything from brainstorming to SCRUM trainings. Since a company-wide roll out in April 2018, over 55,000 Siemens employees now use Conceptboard, and that number is rising daily.

The Future of Work

From reducing emails, more efficient meetings, money and time savings, the tangible benefits of Conceptboard are manifold. But as mentioned earlier, the key part of this digital transformation is actually related to transforming the way teams work together. Encouraging collaboration on every level of an organization, building trust and engaging everyone in a shared vision. And what Conceptboard provides is one big fundamental step towards this level of transformation within Siemens.

By using Conceptboard, teams communication and collaboration will become more streamlined. With Conceptboard there’s no need to send emails, download attachments, review material and send feedback back via email. You can save time by having all content and discussions arranged in one shared place. Work in iterations for a faster project completion rate. By regularly presenting interim results you can get quick feedback from all team members and by using the @-mentions you can allocate tasks to team members instantly. This makes you faster, and ensures that projects are executed in a target-oriented manner.

Digital transformation will continue to change how we do business in pretty much every industry. While it may be hard to see the inroads some of these technologies are making right now, their potential to change how we work, socialise and interact is huge.

What is clear though, that injecting a certain amount of startup spirit into your enterprise will be beneficial for your transformation projects. To do so, start with looking at how your team interact and collaborate – if you start here, the rest will follow naturally.

“Habits are hard to change, so be the one to drive that change. When the management team are 100% behind the change initiative, it will inspire the team to embrace it too, ” says Ellenberg.

To find out how Conceptboard can be part of your company’s digital transformation, read more here.

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