"a successful digital transformation is 20% technology, 80% culture, 100% human"
Who could argue today that digital transformation is only a fashion?
On the one hand, we constantly hear about “digital” in our daily life as a consumer: GAFAM are everywhere, Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) became in 2017 the world’s richest man, the new Apple Iphone X was released in November 2017, only 10 years after the first Iphone device when we feel that it has been existing forever, Music industry has completely changed already, Platforms became the best way to generate revenue thanks to Facebook, Amazon is transforming not only retailing, but also IT industry thanks to its Cloud Services, Google is everywhere, and other actors are emerging and creating connected devices for any type of use, such as your car, home, health, entertainment.
On the other hand, businesses are also evolving toward this new digital age: as an example we hear every day about technologies such as Cloud computing, Big Data, Data analytics, Internet of Things, Robots and Cobots (collaborative robots who interact with humans), industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence.
In October 2017, Accenture even released a whitepaper inventing the concept of Manufacturing X.0 : the combination of digital technologies will be the success factor “key to new levels of efficiency, new sources of growth, and new customer experiences” (Oct. 2017, Accenture, unlocking the power of digital – Industry X.0)
“As the world becomes increasingly digital, organizations need not just digitalize, or even transform, but rather digitally reinvent themselves”, Saul BERMAN said (2016, Vice President and Chief Strategist, IBM Global Business Services).
Indeed, it is now fully understood that digital transformation is not a fashion at all, but it is the only way to survive and grow for any business. “The question isn’t whether your organization needs to change, but when and how much” (2016, Libert – The Network Imperative pp3).
In this context, the purpose of our paper in 2017/2018 was to identify the main key success factors in defining and deploying the right digital strategies, for a large international and industrial company. Because digital transformation is concerned with any business, any actor, any process or activity within a company, we more specifically focussed on the role of the Information Technologies to answer the following question: IT to be a leader in this transformation or simple provider of services to the business?
We aimed at identifying the right place for IT or Information Management: considering that “a successful digital transformation is 20% technology, but 80% culture, and 100% human”, according to Nicolas Petit, Chief Digital Officer of Microsoft France. Then, what is the right place for IT? And how can we help the IT department to transform itself? New management styles are required with new leadership, more agility, flexibility, customer-oriented solutions and new behaviors. How can employees of “old dinosaurs”, manufacturers, understand that the business model of the past can no longer be reproduced in the near future? How can people in the aerospace industry accept to hear about MVP (Minimum Viable Product) when you deliver an aircraft, with a 50-year lifecycle and when security and quality cannot accept any compromise?
Our purpose was to help identifying if any weak point in the current deployment of those defined strategies for the IT/IM department, and provide recommendations on how to address it.
After an overview on existing digital strategies for what is becoming “standards” to industrial and international companies, our paper was focussing on the aerospace industry and more specifically on the AIRBUS Company, and roles of its Information Management when, as stated by Marc Fontaine, Airbus Chief Technical Officer, “The world is changing and Airbus is embracing its Digital transformation” (December 2016 –Airbus publication).
First chapter of our thesis described what the key components are for a digital transformation strategy; it provides some initial guidelines on important criteria that need to be taken into consideration, through academic research.
Our second chapter highlighted the trend for aerospace industry with a strong focus on Airbus. Thanks to the interviews outside and inside this company ecosystem, we were able to provide an overview on digital strategies chosen by Airbus and compare them with standards, but also make an in-depth analysis regarding stakes, current status, and how Information Management contributes to the company’s vision, agility and support the business (engineering, manufacturing, customer services).
Based on these research and analysis, we eventually explored remaining challenges for any large manufacturing company to succeed in its either incremental or disruptive transformation. In this last chapter, we provided some recommendations including our value proposition, This lead to the creation of Omnidash…. want to know more ? contact us !