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Designing and Executing a Digital Strategy Is No Longer Optional

Introducing The Protium.Digital Strategy and Maturity Model

On the Left the Inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 and on the right the inauguration of Pope Francis in 2013.

Top 3 reasons why Digital Transformations fail

Wikipedia rules. When I was doing research for this blog I found this article on the challenges in implementing a digital (or industry 4.0) strategy and the list goes as follows:

  • IT security issues, which are greatly aggravated by the inherent need to open up those previously closed production shops
  • Reliability and stability needed for critical machine-to-machine communication (M2M), including very short and stable latency times
  • Need to maintain the integrity of production processes
  • Need to avoid any IT snags, as those would cause expensive production outages
  • Need to protect industrial know how (contained also in the control files for the industrial automation gear)
  • Lack of adequate skill-sets to expedite the march towards fourth industrial revolution
  • Threat of redundancy of the corporate IT department
  • General reluctance to change by stakeholders
  • Loss of many jobs to automatic processes and IT-controlled processes, especially for lower educated parts of society
  • Low top management commitment
  • Unclear legal issues and data security
  • Unclear economic benefits/ Excessive investment
  • Lack of regulation, standard and forms of certifications
  • Insufficient qualification of employees

Reason 1: Failing to adopt a strategy that transforms the system rather then the individual functions

An Organisation is a complex system of many functions that should all be working as one. In a way an Organisation is like an Organism. The etymology of the word Organisation says as much. The word is derived from the latin word Organum which means organ or organic structure (It’s surprising how many business terms are derived from Biology). Now imagine replacing a human heart with that of a whale. The two are not compatible. Yet this is what we see happening a lot. The organisation has an amazing digital marketing strategy, but has not told sales. Sales get’s so many leads that they struggle to keep up, and when they do, manufacturing fails to deliver. The result, leads are lost, customers are unhappy and so on. I hope you get the point.

Reason 2: Digital transformation is not about technology and not about transformation (confusing right)

Lets start with Technology. Technology changes the conditions under which business is done, in ways that change the expectations of customers, partners, and employees. Technology enables digital strategy but it is not the goal. Think about the example of the elevator I gave earlier. The elevator enabled the construction of skyscrapers. We did not design skyscrapers to house the elevator. In a lot of ways we have not idea yet what the skyscrapers of the digital revolution will be. Blockchain for example enabled Cryptocurrency but what else will it enable? What’s important about a digital strategy is that it allows you to better understand and create value for your customers, partners and employees. Technology allows you to learn and adapt faster. The goal should always be to deliver value.

Reason 3: Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, (Or any other digital powerhouse) has already won

No….. just no. You have no idea how often I hear this. From the students that I teach to the CEO’s of some amazing organisations. There is a sense of fear that they get from their digital competitors that is unhealthy.

Introducing The Protium.Digital Strategy and Maturity model

When we started developing our Digital Strategy and Maturity model we took these 3 problems and used our entrepreneurial mindset to solve them.

  1. Create a model that breaks through organisational silo’s and that gives a holistic view of the entire organisation and how it can add value through going digital
  2. Be a tool to communicate and share results of continues improvement (not a beginning and end)
  3. Encourage a belief in the ability of the organisation to create change in the world around the it and the conviction that it can achieve what it set out to do

Digital Principles

Before any digital strategy can be successful there needs to be a mindset shift throughout the foundations of the organisation. By making these shifts any organisation can implement and execute an effective digital strategy. We have captured these mindset shifts in what we call the Digital Principles. These principles touch subjects like Strategy, Organisational structure, People, Process and technology.

Operational excellence (OX)

Operational Excellence is an ongoing effort for organisations. With each new technological horizon come new ways to make your operations run more efficiently and effectively. Every organisation needs to continuously look for ways to augment the capabilities of it’s employees and improve it’s and automate its processes. Core to this continues improvement is data. That is why operational insights are the starting point for the effort to achieve operational excellence.

Customer Experience (CX)

Digitally improving your customer experience allows you to gain better insights into what your customers like and want via analytics-based segmentation and interactions. ‍And subsequently design and build digitally-enhanced products, sales processes, self-service tools, and digital touchpoints to serve your customers more effectively and increase your top line growth.

Digital Business Model

And finally digital organisations are able to find creative ways to modify their existing offerings and develop digital products and services to keep the interest of even the most demanding customer. It also allows you to scale and repeat your new value propositions with ease and grow your business.



Protium is a digital agency. We assist organisations in achieving a successful digital transformation and securing their sustainable digital future.

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