ABeam Consulting reveals three critical success factors for successful digital transformation

ABeam Consulting (Thailand), a global consulting firm with specialized digital transformation capabilities, has revealed three areas critical to the success for any digital transformation (DX) as a result of its survey on Aggressive DX conducted among 1,000 leaders who have been involved in DX decision-making at companies with annual sales of 1 billion USD or more.


ABeam Consulting compared the points of success and failure among the survey group to determine where the largest gaps and pain points existed. According to an ABeam Consulting survey of aggressive DX, there are ten critical functions which are the most common reasons for companies do not meet their digital transformation objective or target plan. These can be divided into four categories: human resource and people related issues, data and seamless IT, DX governance and organizational culture. From these, ABeam Consulting determined three key areas that are critical to the success of digital transformation.

Establish value creation organizations and functions that utilize “Deep Digital”

Deep digital means going beyond transformation of just digital assets and taking a holistic view of how your business works, taking varied elements including culture, human resources, organisation and even your business model into consideration as well as your IT infrastructure. 

While it possible to improve business processes such as stand-alone Robotics Process Automation (RPA), and data coordination platform can achieve DX through Deep Digital - or advanced technology - utilisation. But to realise Aggressive DX and achieve real value, a more comprehensive assessment of business models, organisation and culture is required. 


Refine your future oriented management

Committing to investing in DX can be a block for many companies, especially as success can be uncertain. Key decision makers making short-term decisions based on quick wins, a scattergun approach to Proof of Concept (PoC)’s using agile which lack an integrated vision, and redundant and isolated systems making it difficult to integrate across business units can all contribute to hesitation to invest further in DX.

Businesses need to take a digital view of the world, as this is more likely to result in increasing returns – exponential growth, compared to the current operating environment which is more likely to offer diminishing returns – linear growth. An exponential growth pattern has an emphasis on market capitalization, backcasting and scale points, and while it may be uncertain remaining where you are is unlikely to be an option.

Figure 1: The difference of management between linear function and exponential function

Figure 1: The difference of management between linear function and exponential function

Leading global companies have already began trying out a variety of management methods to succeed in this exponential world. 

Scale management is an on-going process that identifies which business events or processes can be scaled, according to their success in terms of generating network effects and increasing returns. This helps you monitor performance more accurately and be ready to pivot more readily. 

Portfolio management is another approach. This requires understanding all investment situations across all business units. Portfolio management monitors whether investments are executed in line with the vision, from a short-term view as well as from the mid- and long-term perspectives. In practice, that might mean viewing each business unit separately to understand which perform best, and which are under-performing, then readjusting strategy.

Update roles for top and middle management for a culture of challenge

Despite the often-spoken desire of companies to meet challenges and accept failures, the latter are, in fact, rarely tolerated, according to three in five survey respondents (59.7%) among groups where failure occurs, and just a quarter (24.3%) believe challenges and learning from failure are encouraged. A different culture was apparent in successful groups and who were more tolerant of failure and error, as over two-thirds of these respondents (68.2%) said that in every part of the organization, from management to rank and file, challenges and learning from failure is encouraged. In the same group just over a quarter (28.2%) believed the desire to meet challenges and accept failures was superficial. This means it’s essential to rethink your company culture to make it more accepting of challenge. 

There are a number of ways to do this, and it requires strong leadership by top management, while middle management need to excel in frontline execution. 

To enable success, senior management need to take on a future-oriented mindset to look at long-term goals and investment needs. Additionally, transforming the HR systems to take on a more membership-like format is essential, as is identifying existing personnel who have the thinking style and skills to succeed in the digital world. Also, it’s important that senior management are reflective, and identify their own areas of digital literacy that need refining.

Middle management need to put a concrete roadmap in place that helps teams understand how the future will look, and to ensure team members join the journey, they must conduct high frequency 1-on-1 coaching. Communication is key, as is giving people autonomy, and assigning high performers to take on challenging opportunities will reap rewards. 

While this may seem daunting, ABeam Consulting believes it is achievable by focusing on early adopters and innovators within teams. By achieving a culture of challenge among just 16% of the organization, change will begin to occur naturally.

Figure 2: The key to changing an organization's culture is whether it exceeds the Chasm of 16%

Figure 2: The key to changing an organization's culture is whether it exceeds the Chasm of 16%

“Digital transformation can help businesses gain a competitive advantage while also bringing increased efficiency to operations, but most importantly, the right digital transformation delivers the right value to the business. This is essential in today’s rapidly changing business environment, where customers are re-evaluating priorities and changing their own habits post-COVID. No business will be immune to these changes and it’s vital that they are prepared to make necessary changes,” said Mr. Ichiro Hara, Managing Director of ABeam Consulting (Thailand) Ltd and SEA Leader. 

ABeam Consulting is calling on companies and organizations in Thailand to transform and ‘Build Beyond As One’ in the face of new challenges and an uncertain post-pandemic future. To meet the increasing challenges, develop successful partnerships and create value for companies, ABeam Consulting has committed to creating meaningful opportunities and experiences through its ‘Build Beyond As One’ approach to creating a new future.

About ABeam Consulting (Thailand) Ltd.

ABeam Consulting (Thailand) Ltd. is a subsidiary of ABeam Consulting Ltd. –headquartered in Tokyo having 6,600 people serve more than 1,100 clients throughout Asia, the Americas and Europe providing consulting services in Thailand since 2005, ABeam Consulting (Thailand) has 400 professionals serving more than 200 clients in Thailand with expertise in digital transformation services that create strategic advantage, improve business processes, leverage technology innovation and enhance organizational performance with ERP and all other solutions including Management Consulting, Digital BPI, Data Analysis, IT project management and outsourcing for leading companies in Thailand.  Moreover, ABeam has been in a strong partnership with SAP and provided services by SAP-certified consultants to achieve clients’ transformation. ABeam partners with clients to diagnose and solve their real challenges with solutions that combine industry and operational best practices with technical expertise. Pragmatic approaches ensure that clients gain measurable value more quickly. With the management philosophy to be "Real Partner", ABeam provides real people, real solutions, and real results to ensure clients' success. For more information, please visit https://www.abeam.com/th/en.

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