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Digital Strategy and Architecture

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With profound technological change continuing to disrupt industries, value chains and business models, it is imperative to digitally innovate. Yet, what exactly this means and how it will create value is often not scrutinised enough. 

A common misperception is that the primary value-creation levers of digital transformation are dramatic business model changes caused by technological disruption, disintermediation and new ways to innovate products and serve customers. 

However, while these are all important elements of a digitally-savvy business strategy, they miss what for most companies is the single biggest value creation lever: to become a lean and agile 'Digital Enterprise' that uses data to continually optimise decision-making and processes for efficiency and speed.

We find struggling digital transformation efforts often suffer from one or more of four issues:

Business objectives that lack clarity and a measurable economic benefit

Digital transformations that are unnecessarily costly with slow speed to value

Program complexity and duration that can increase the risk of failure and overruns

Many organisations believe their digital strategy includes a data strategy – most often, it does not

A digital transformation should not be considered a ‘cure-all’ to any ills, but rather a logical next step following a rigorous diagnosis of an organisation’s needs. What is the best way to define your transformation roadmap?

Digital transformation target outcomes and objectives are rarely concrete or sufficiently robust to drive tangible, lasting value creation. It is difficult to define, strive for and track the journey towards a successful outcome without a clear understanding of what really matters.

Be clear on the business outcomes you want to achieve, and how

We address this upfront through clear value-driven prioritisation of specific business outcomes to drive expected impact.

To maximise value, opportunities that can be addressed quickly and require minimal change, (often employing tech ‘shortcuts’ such as middleware), need to be front and centre of the transformation roadmap. 

In parallel, there must be a deep cultural and operational shift to ‘digital first’. Achieving best-in-class outcomes in the medium to longer term, requires efficient digital delivery and continuous data-driven optimisation hardwired into the product, service, and customer experience across the entire operating model. 

Unclear objectives can often lead to unsatisfactory outcomes. How can you ensure that unlocking value is front and centre of your digital transformation?

Ill-defined objectives make it incredibly hard to value-engineer digital transformation programs. This results in them often being far-reaching yet ambiguous in scope, costing multiples of what they should with long implementation timelines and payback periods.

Value-engineer your project portfolio with a healthy bias for straightforward near-term solutions

Rapid optimisation, digitisation and automation of existing processes can often quickly deliver value within the constraints of legacy operating models. Dual-track architecture is a key tactic that can be employed to unlock these opportunities. By separating smaller tactical efforts from longer-term infrastructure projects, companies can prevent smaller, yet collectively high-value projects from being deprioritised in favour of the ‘shiny infrastructure of the future’.

Additionally, rigorous value engineering is an indispensable tool to manage down program cost and ensure maximum ROI. Too many digital initiatives get actioned because they are ‘cool’ or ‘the next big thing’. Validating the link between a particular technology initiative and business value forensically is essential.

Overruns, delays and re-scoping are common aspects of any program failure. How can you create a pipeline for deployment where accountability is key?

Program failure is still extremely common and rarely is as explicit as a program being abandoned. 

Instead, it often manifests in dramatic cost overruns, delays and re-scoping exercises that mask successive redefinitions of what success would look like, how it is going to be achieved and how long that will take. At worst, this means technology is outdated or redundant by the time it is deployed.

Execute at pace, front-load benefit generation, and hold your business leaders accountable

Modularised program design and delivery accountability are critical to mitigating risks of technology projects and maintaining a high-velocity deployment pipeline that delivers incremental early value.

Done the right way, modularisation allows companies to reinstate single-point accountability and ownership of business lines for delivery of individual program components associated with specific value outcomes – accountability that is often lost when implementation is delegated to monolithic technology divisions.

Merely collecting data is of little benefit to organisations unless there is a defined strategy to interpret and harness it to bolster everyday decision-making. The shift to becoming data-driven rather than data-consuming hinges on a single question: ‘What is the value we want to realise from our data strategy?’

Data collection is a cheap commodity for many organisations today, to the point where they are overwhelmed by the volume and lack of quality and consistency. Clear use cases that drive tangible business value and realistic roadmaps of how to get there often do not exist. This results in time and money wasted and escalating (and misplaced) scepticism about the potential benefits of investing in data.

Drive towards using your data, not hoarding it

We help clients define data strategies that start from the value they can generate (now and in the future) and then work backwards to how to get there in stages, recognising that the shift to become a data-driven organisation far transcends the mere collection and processing of data. 

This entails an organisation-wide cultural shift in how decisions are made on a day-to-day basis (and by whom) and requires formalised knowledge of what information is pertinent to a particular decision – decisions may be taken far down the hierarchy based on operators’ experience instead of handed down from above.

Archie Reed

Our approach is rooted in a profound understanding of technology and strategic opportunities and strongly focused on efficiency and effectiveness of our clients’ operations – driving rapid, meaningful and sustained improvements to the bottom line.

Archie Reed

Partner

We help our clients win with technology by being obsessively value-driven, embracing ‘less is more’ and rapid execution. This unleashes potential to create lasting impact in everything we do.

Fewer initiatives pursued relentlessly and at pace generate more value than lofty ambitions mired in gridlock. Fewer features and simplified processes leave customers more satisfied than myriad functionalities and high costs.  Successfully conquering sequences of right-sized opportunities builds substantially greater employee morale and skill than any big-bang approach.

The core of every project we embark on with our client partners is ensuring they become agile digital organisations that are fit for the future.

Our value-centric approach delivers tangible results and world-leading returns on investment

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EBITDA and sales

improving information management to enable real-time performance and operations management across business areas delivers 15-30% increase

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ROI of technology programs

implementing rigorous value engineering, effective program management and accelerated delivery delivers 50-100% increase

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Net promoter score

reducing customer complaints 30-70%, improving customer experience and optimising digital service processes delivers 10-20 point increase

Client success stories

Success

Delivered 30%+ EBITDA margin uplift from end-to-end transformation of customer experience and employee productivity through ‘zero-based design’

Identified US$5.5 billion NPV through the development of a technology roadmap

Implemented a PMO for a government ministry to manage over $20bn in transformation spend and 140+ initiatives

Meet our Digital Strategy and Architecture leadership

Ali-Reza Moschtaghi

Ali-Reza Moschtaghi

Partner

Europe

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