Digital for all now

Digital transformation: the main drivers and obstacles

Econocom 2 Nov 2015

Optimising productivity, creating new offerings, boosting growth: what prompts large organisations to deploy their digital transformation?


This was one of the questions Econocom, SIA Partners and Ifop asked in their 2015 Digital Practices Survey. The survey, one of the most extensive of its kind ever conducted in France, was conducted by interviewing over 400 decision-makers from 330 companies with over 500 employees.  The findings enabled the three organisations to draw up a map of digital transformation practices in France which revealed that French companies are at a crossroads: motivated, and yet faced with a number of obstacles that are often difficult to overcome.


>>> Are you an observer, facilitator, planner or conqueror? Find out about the four digital profiles identified by our Survey of Digital Practices. <<<



USING digital TO Optimise processES AND innovATE!


Whist increasing revenue and cutting costs are often cited as the main drivers for making the digital transition, a need to update the company’s image is also a common factor.


Innovation and a way of devising new offerings and purchasing modes are often mentioned by “conqueror” profiles, i.e. companies with a mature digital transformation. One such company is banking group BPCE. As Pierre-Philippe Cormeraie, the group’s Innovation Director, explained in September, they focused on open innovation and collaborative innovation:


 “The key to our strategy? Innovation isn’t the preserve of just a few people, it’s everyone’s business: every business line and every company must innovate! The point is to facilitate innovation everywhere.”


Other digitally-advanced companies often apply the test & learn philosophy. Nicolai Gérard, Digital Acceleration Officer at Group SEB, is a firm believer in this approach:


“The challenge is adapting to our culture, our processes, to the implications of digital and in particular, the need for speed and agility. The term “Test & Learn” has become a bit hackneyed in discussions about digital. And yet it’s a real challenge: not many companies have in their DNA this idea of testing pilots, over several months or even weeks, then scrapping the idea if it doesn’t succeed. The key is not being afraid to try and fail!”


Only 26% of companies with more than 500 employees say that HR is a real digital transformation driver – which is surprising considering the potential human resources benefits of digital. Some companies, however, such as SNCF, the French national railways, have grasped this and decided to replace its old, complex tool with a more flexible cloud-based solution. The aim of this deployment was to improve the company’s agility and focus more on the end-user experience (UX design).


Companies making their first foray into the digital transformation have inevitably come up against various stumbling blocks: security issues and resistance to change are common problems, whilst HR-related issues such as lack of skills or organisational problems are also frequently cited.


But at the top of the list of obstacles are a lack of financial resources and low ROI – which prove that digital is still seen as a source of additional costs rather than an investment.


Bruno Grossi, Executive Director of Econocom Group, observed:


“Digital is revolutionising our everyday lives and radically changing our habits, and yet there’s still too big a gap between digital practices in organisations and in our private lives. Our survey confirms that there are a number of improvements companies need to make in order to meet their employees’ and clients’ expectations and demands.”


Digital offers infinite possibilities to boost companies’ growth and breathe new life into the economy. The sooner companies realise this and embark on their digital revolution, the better, so that “Digital for All, Now” can become a reality.



Further reading:

#Digitaltransfo: employees are better-equipped but there’s still a long way to go

#digitaltransformation: what kind of digital player is your company?

Digital transformation: what governance have companies put in place?


Talk to us and share your Digital Maker’s lesson with us!