Gap between strategy and execution hinders true digital transformation

Transformation is intense and can be overwhelming if not well thought out and implemented. WWT’s ability to advise and execute helps develop, drive and quickly bring to market strategies that accelerate digital transformation.

January 15, 2020 6 minute read

Fueled by a desire to become more agile and innovative, business leaders across all sectors of the economy are fundamentally changing the way they think about technology and its role in growing their top and bottom lines.

Executives are embracing digital transformation and seeking to use technology investments to drive strategic initiatives, not the other way around.

But that’s easier said than done.

Many organizations understand the dire need to evolve but lack ideas about how to do so. On the other hand, a good number of decision makers have ideas on how to transform but need help getting started.

The two sides of this paradigm too often speak different languages, have different priorities or don’t communicate whatsoever. This has created a void between strategy and execution that has caused many digital transformation efforts to stall or fail completely.

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ATC Lab Services: A mechanism for change

About a decade ago, our own disruptive market conditions spurred us to reevaluate how we delivered value to customers, and so we opened our Advanced Technology Center (ATC). At the time, it was more of a concept — a place for smart people to come and get their hands-on cutting-edge technology.

The ATC quickly proved to be valuable for customers, which caught the attention of our partners, who before long had invested hundreds of millions of dollars to fill the ATC with the latest and greatest technology.

Along the way, we gained an incredible appreciation and understanding of how technology works, how it interoperates and integrates with a broad range of network architectures, and how it can work in different ways to create unique business outcomes.

When we opened the ATC, we were investing ahead of demand. Today, that demand is palpable.

The ATC has grown into a next-generation lab environment to design, build, educate, demonstrate and deploy innovative technology products and multi-vendor solutions, while providing our technologists and strategists a knowledge-sharing platform unlike any other.

Nearly every company that embarks on a digital transformation plan experiences significant headwind. The list of challenges is long — organizational buy-in, an overcrowded marketplace, budget restrictions and lack of know-how, just to name a few, all stand in the way of digital progress.

The experience and capabilities we gained in building the ATC has equipped us not only with the technical expertise to mitigate those obstacles, but also the business acumen to help develop, drive and execute strategies that accelerate digital transformation. It’s also helped us recruit, retain and develop elite talent that can speak authoritatively and act as thought leaders in a variety of complex technological areas that are advancing industries across the board.

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Key principles of a transformation strategy

Start with the end in mind

We define transformation as purposeful change over a short period of time to obtain or maintain a competitive advantage. Transformation is intense and fast paced and can be overwhelming if not well thought out and implemented.

Every transformation project is different and, therefore, every transformation project requires a customized approach.

Our outcome-based approach brings order to complexity and a thoughtful process to decision-making. Our digital and business consultants work collaboratively with our customers to develop a clear set of business outcomes to work toward.

Our portfolio of customizable workshops and assessments can identify organizational gaps in terms of readiness for such projects, so they don’t begin sprinting down a path only to later find it overwhelming.

Once we’ve level set, we bring in subject matter experts across a variety of fields — digital strategy, multicloud architecture, security and infrastructure modernization — to help establish a pragmatic path forward.

These engagements deliver success early on, which can help build organizational momentum toward justifying true digital transformative investment to the board.

Build a team of teams

Transformational projects require not just the right people, but the right mix of people.

We align our team with the culture and values of our customers, selecting the right combination of personalities to make sure the collaboration that happens between our teams is both productive and enjoyable.

Alignment is critical. These projects run on trust, and our approach aims to build and maintain trust to de-risk and expedite transformation.

Agile delivery

Our outcome-based approach, in which we establish final business objectives — but not the way in which we get there — enables flexibility and agility in how we deliver value.

We work collaboratively to enhance communication with customers. By constantly delivering value to customers and incorporating customer feedback, we create a unified approach that solves for real business challenges. This builds credibility and momentum to continue along the transformative path.

Digitizing the ATC

We recently created our new next-generation ATC platform, focused on improving the customer experience while building communities of accelerated learning. Some communities are specific to new areas of technology — machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), software-defined networking (SD-WAN), automation, cloud and security — while others are focused on industry solutions.

These new communities and new digital experiences for our customers are truly one of a kind and we believe will usher in a new wave of digitally mature, agile companies poised to disrupt markets for years to come.

The platform helps de-risk transformative initiatives and affords our customers an opportunity to continuously learn from and alongside our experts through ongoing training and enablement. Plus, we’re adding new labs, sandboxes and workshops every month that incorporate technology from the biggest OEM vendors all the way down to emerging startups.

The ATC is a place for you to be curious and ask, ‘What if...’ and ‘Can we...’ questions. The ATC is a place to better optimize processes and establish quick wins so you can move on to tackle bigger issues.

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Transformation is the destination

Innovation is a team sport.

We work hand-in-hand with customers to create unique partnerships that establish business outcomes to drive strategy and technology investment. We immerse ourselves in every aspect of our customers’ organization to best meet their unique challenges.

Transformation is the destination. By combining strategy and execution, customers can more quickly move along their journey to becoming a more digitally savvy organization that can swiftly maneuver to meet constantly evolving market forces.

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