For small or medium sized businesses, it can be hard to start your digital transformation journey. It is widely accepted that digital transformation is one of the main drivers of competitiveness but can be daunting to get started.

Before starting your digital transformation journey, it is important to understand where you are starting from. A key part of this self-evaluation is considering your current approach to IT. Do you have a strategy that drives all of your digital decisions?

58% of organisations are only dealing with digital transformation on an ad-hoc project basis with no overarching strategy or approach.


Where are you on your digital transformation journey?

  • Digital Resister – Digital Resisters represent 15% of organisations and are defined as having IT initiatives that are poorly aligned to strategy and not focussed on customer experiences. IT initiatives are seen as a necessary evil, they have low levels of IT capability in-house and the focus is normally on fixing or replacing broken systems rather than driving value. Cultural challenges will be high in these organisations.
  • Digital Explorer – Digital Explorers represent the largest segment, where most organisations find themselves. Where digital transformation is accepted as a required element of business strategy, but the execution is still limited to a project basis. For these organisations it is important to focus on achieving some quick wins to help build the case for a more systematic approach to digital transformation.
  • Digital Player – Digital Players represented the second largest segment, representing 25% of all organisations. Business and IT goals are aligned on their digital products/experiences but not on their disruptive potential.
  • Digital Transformer – Representing just 13% of all businesses, Digital Transformers have integrated business and IT strategy that deliver digitally enabled, continuous experiences.
  • Digital Disruptor – Digital Disruptors are the smallest segment. They are using new digital technology to affect markets and drive business innovation.


The 4 pillars of digital transformation

Now you have worked out your starting point, the next step is to define your digital transformation. In order to do so you need to consider the 4 pillars of digital transformation.

  • Engaging customers – finding new ways to interact with and deliver services and support to customers
    Ask yourself – is your customer data accurate and relevant? Do you understand your customers needs and the best way to serve and engage them?
  • Empowering employees – helping employees achieve more by giving them the technology and scope to do so
    Ask yourself – do your employees have the correct tools and systems to do their jobs well?
  • Optimising operations – accelerating responsiveness and productivity using process automation
    Ask yourself – is your technology driving automation and operational efficiency?
  • Transforming products and services – differentiating offerings through data driven decisions
    Ask yourself – how modern are your products and services? Are they delivered digitally or using technology?


Deciding to start your digital transformation journey is often the most daunting stage of the journey. The key is to identify a clear plan and break this down into manageable projects. To learn more about shaping your digital transformation and the tools available to assist you, download our Digital Transformation with Microsoft guide.