How to undertake a successful digital transformation

Come intraprendere una trasformazione digitale di successo

When digital transformation is done correctly, it's like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when it's done wrong, all you have is a very fast caterpillar."

George Westerman, Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan Initiative on Digital Economy recently spoke on the subject of digital transformation with these very words, which are pretty much spot on.


Many companies remain stuck at the caterpillar stage, meaning that they are using digital technologies but not exploiting their potential at scale and their true benefit on the value they can generate. Those organizations that are using digital strategically and have embarked on a structured and progressive journey are seeing some interesting results, achieving up to a 10% increase in revenue and up to 50% cost savings.

Digital transformation is in fact a process of radical and progressive change in an organization with the ultimate goal of making it more agile, flexible and responsive. Today, more than ever, initiatives for a digital transformation of organizations have become an imperative. The need to undertake this transformation lies in making them more customer-centric, proactive, responsive and data-focused.


... "It's not the destination, it's the journey"...quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

 It is precisely on this line of thought that it is essential to understand that digital transformation is not the final destination, but it is a continuous process, a journey and, precisely because it is a path that requires time and effort, it is extremely important to establish and recognize the achievement of intermediate goals. This makes people aware of their commitment and daily changes and feel part of the process.

Digital is something new, but is transformation really a whole new experience for organizations?

If we look back over 30 years, we can say that organizations had already begun to transform with the advent of the Internet. 

Optimization, planning and supply chain management were at the heart of most of the strategic interests of large companies and beyond. The need was to base daily decisions and choices on data and give internal and external visibility to supplies and shipments. This made organizations more responsive and proactive and increasingly responsive to the needs of the ever-changing market and customers.

So how should a company approach digital transformation to turn it into a butterfly?

The key elements that an organization has to face to transform itself and can never miss are definitely:


  • People
  • Process
  • Technology
  • Data


In a volatile and constantly changing scenario, the key time factor hasalso become an essential and central element to drive successful digital transformations.

Customers expect to receive the products and services they want when they want and with an high quality standard. The challenge facing companies today is therefore to meet the growing and changing demand of customers and to focus on improvement actions to make their competitiveness in the reference markets stronger.

As a fundamental first step, we need to focus on the customer and understand:

  • what does he expects
  • how he behaves
  • why he buys
  • how he likes to interact


To do this it is necessary to have at your disposal a quantity of relevant and sufficient data that can be analyzed, deepened and evaluated over time throughout the customer journey. Because customer needs can change over time, it is also critical to create an environment that guides continuous data analysis and process changes as needed from time to time.

But watch out!

People and technology actually drive change.

People need a culture and leadership that promotes change and innovation continuously. They must be able to understand what has driven organizational change and the benefits that will come with it. This is important to stimulate their predisposition to collaborate and overcome the resistance to change that typically characterizes the human being and therefore the organizations themselves. Normally the initial change is considerable and all the changes that will take place along the way will have to be iterative and profitable for all those involved and the organization in the broadest sense.

The role of enabling technologies in the digital transformation process is also undoubtedly central, indispensable and strategic.


The choice of technology must always bear in mind the "process" and not vice versa, on pain of incurring the danger of incurring the digitization of process waste or even the modification of the process by "fault" of technology.

In the path of choice of technology it is important to evaluate those that:

  • adapt to their own process
  • they don't distort it
  • are easily accessible even by less experienced users ("computerized")
  • have "open" features that can be easily integrated
  • are "Mature"
  • have features of simplicity, scalability and security appropriate to be implemented in the company.

When an organization takes all these steps and reaches a degree of maturity sufficient to carry out the change, then we can say that the caterpillar will turn into a butterfly. The digitalization process  becomes in fact an indispensable opportunity for  process optimization and  growth of the company culture.

 Digibelt has developed an application platform for the manufacturing industry in Lean logic and thanks to Bonfiglioli Consulting's historical experience in the implementation of Lean methodologies,  characterized by:

  1. Process orientation and  continuous improvement
  2. Attention to data  measurement and analysis
  3. Distributed knowledge in the field
  4. Emphasis on people's involvement

it allows to realize the changes necessary to renew the company, conseasing critical success factors combining lean practices and enabling technologies in perfect synergy.

Contact us and we will be happy to tell you about our approach and our intervention model.

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