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What do a successful digital transformation and implementing a workout plan have in common?

Vincent Fokke | Pedro Ludovico Marques
24 November 2022

It may seem like a silly idea to compare a digital transformation with implementing a workout plan and to look at the common factors that will lead to success or failure. But when you consider that the most important determiner of success for both, from either an organizational or individual behavior perspective, is a mindset change – a new way of working or a new way of living, which will be continuously improved and adapted – then perhaps the comparison is not so silly after all.

Working for many years on different digital transformation projects (even when they were not called as such) and being a bootcamp coach, I experienced the struggle of many organizations and individuals going through their transformation journeys and achieving (and sometimes not) their objectives. So, what might be the “silver bullet” for success?

Define realistic objectives:

Organizations should carefully think about what they want to achieve with a digital transformation, defining realistic targets according to their own business and technology context. Don’t try to follow what others are doing if it doesn’t provide benefits. Unbalanced targets can lead to a negative impact on your business and even bankruptcy.

The same principles apply to individuals when they start implementing a workout plan. They need to be realistic about their capabilities and discover their limits step by step. Finding the right pace, setting appropriate goals, and resting whenever needed will help you avoid injuries that can take months to recover from.

The definition of success and failure can be subjective, but giving up and going back to the starting point is not what you are looking for. It’s certain that there will be painful moments but, as soon you achieve the first small victories, you will gain motivation to go on – and that is a process that should never stop.

Digital channels – Become more attractive

Being attractive to your customers is key. Making the interaction simple and effective is equally important. Customer experience is becoming part of the marketing strategy, which can be more relevant than the quality or price of the product/service. Creating digital channels focused on customer satisfaction and trust will increase your market position, prevent churn, and reduce OPEX. New secure solutions for frontend web portals, mobile apps, metaverse, chatbots, identity and access management, APIs and microservices, and end-to-end integration are the building blocks of your digital channels.

“UX look and feel” doesn’t apply only to websites, but also to people. Our social interaction is influenced by the image perceived by others, which can contribute to a successful personal relationship. It is a substantial reason for people’s desire to lose weight and look fit, even when health is the most important. The first impression based on your image can trigger the interaction, but afterwards it’s what’s inside that will make the difference. Exercising improves the health of your mind in addition to that of your body, so it can help on both of these dimensions.

Process automation – Become more efficient

Process automation for internal processes and customer interactions is the only way to answer the client’s expectations quickly and cost efficiently. From light BPM suites (e.g., Camunda) to full low-code BPM solutions (e.g., Pega), it’s important to evaluate which are the best options in your new IT landscape. Create effective continuous integration continuous delivery (CICD) for your applications development to have more time for innovation. Simplify your portfolio, removing the offers that require manual work that cannot be automated within a reasonable cost.

You will need time for training, and you will have to plan your life in a different way, starting with how you work and how you spend time with your family and friends. Optimize your daily routines (process). For example, instead of using your car, try to walk or cycle; start using cooking robots to reduce the time you spend preparing your meals; use TV to guide (automate) your workout instead of laying down on the sofa.

Insights and data – Monitor your health and physical condition

Managing the data generated by ever-increasing interactions is more important than ever. Proper integration of data is essential. If your internal data is not accessible, it’s being wasted. Each data element has potential that needs to be realized, so what’s needed is a platform where each data element is free to be used in its own way, and meaningful insights can be visualized. Leverage the capabilities of data analytics solutions to understand how your business is moving forward during your digital transformation journey. Also, apply HR policies (e.g., additional days off) that take into consideration your employee survey analysis.

Monitor your health and physical performance improvement. Listen to your body. If you push too hard, your body will react in the opposite way from what you desire. For instance, it can lead to your running pace going down, as well as injuries. Some watches for runners will collect your workout data and recommend the next session based on your KPIs and targets, advising rest time whenever needed.

IT modernization and cloud migration – Rejuvenate yourself

Rebuild your IT landscape step by step and start with a proper as-is assessment. Migrate to cloud and leverage the capabilities that are offered. Application rejuvenation, moving from a monolith to microservices, and cloud migrations should follow solid architectural principles, in line with new DevOps ways of working, and taking advantage of tools and migration best practices in a sustainable way. Avoid the big-bang approach and go step by step, moving towards your targets and adjusting accordingly based on results. IT/business transformation teams must have a long-term mandate and be able to align priorities.

You should evaluate how to start with your fitness level and overall health in mind. Do a health checkup, revisit your diet, start walking before running, and adjust your own pace along the way. A typical mistake is to try to follow someone else’s pace that is not yet appropriate for you, which then results in collapse. Never forget proper warm-up and stretching. Diversify the type of sports. For example, you can combine running, swimming, and cycling, which complement each other by using specific functions (microservices) of your body. Discipline and focus are key to following your daily priorities.

Become more resilient, agile, and sustainable

What’s the most important success factor in enterprises today? The capability to quickly adapt to a digital world of change. The pandemic has accelerated a widespread digital transformation that resilient businesses must adapt to. The increased speed and flexibility with which marketing can develop new offers is creating big new players among the traditional incumbents, whose survival depends on governmental protection policies that will not be sustainable in the long term.

Agile should not only apply to your DevOps teams – instead, it should be a cultural change in the entire organization. Capturing and retaining talent in your organization is a major challenge in a digital transformation, so you should promote a sustainable work-life balance. Adoption of new technologies can be used as a talent magnet.

Flexibility (agility) and physical conditioning are essential to your body and mind. After starting your workout plan, you will realize that you are feeling less tired and more focused on your work. And you will feel you are becoming younger.

Doing sports and having fun at the same time is essential. If it’s only pain, it’s not sustainable – sooner or later you will give up. The same applies to your diet – eat all the food that you like, but in a reasonable way, taking into consideration the energy that you spend (and of course any medical conditions). Crash dieting will never work – instead, you must change your eating habits in a sustainable way.

How can we help you?

Capgemini can be your “coach” for your digital transformation journey

We are present around the globe, with clients across different business domains (e.g., financial services, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications, public sector, etc.). Capgemini is technology and cloud agnostic and helps you choose the right solution according to your strategy, vision, and digital transformation plans.

We advise enterprises to adopt proper strategy in choosing the right architecture, technologies, and continuous development and delivery procedures. Being vendor agnostic and at the same time having the support of our partners, we can help find and implement the best solutions within your business/IT context and vision.

Key takeaways

It seems that there is a lot in common between your digital transformation journey and implementing a workout plan. In essence, both are transformation journeys that require a strategy and habit change. Both should improve the interaction you have with others, whether it is your clients or your social ecosystem. Both require optimization of your process or routines. Both require insight of the results. Both require effort and time but should be an enjoyable journey that motivates you to keep the peace. By the end, both will make you resilient, healthy, and successful.

Meet our Experts

Vincent Fokke

Head of Enterprise Architecture Transformation Service & Global Chief Architect, Financial Services Applications Business Line
Vincent runs the Financial Services Benelux Technology Practice. He advices his clients in setting up program architectures and helps them becoming an active player in the digital world.

Pedro Ludovico Marques

Digital Architect Financial Services
Pedro is a Digital Architect in Financial Services with focus on building digital channels in the cloud and envisioning digital transformations.