The ICG model for digital transformation

Digitization has long been high on the priority list of many organizations. As of March 2020, there has been a real boost.

In our projects, we have come across many different approaches and paths to digitization, all of which have their validity from the respective situation. However, it always seems to be a huge challenge to maintain an overview when it comes to “digitization”. Where to start? Which projects to push forward? How to further develop strategies? What meaningful next steps to plan? In addition, there is still no uniform understanding in most companies on how they define “digital transformation”. Existing models also tend to focus on only one particular aspect of digitization (e.g., business models, digitized processes, IT architectures, technology) and do not face the actual complexity of the topic.

The definition

Based on the experience of recent years, we have developed a definition and a model (see graphic) to provide orientation about Digital Transformation. The model intends to help classify existing initiatives and identify dependencies so that the topic becomes tangible. The definition is primarily intended to dispel the widespread misconception that digitization is primarily about the introduction of new technologies. Technology is certainly an important part, but the real challenge usually lies in bringing along people ,  changing behavior, challenging existing patterns of success in the business, and ultimately aligning the organization to meet the demands of the digital future.

The model

For a holistic view of digitization, it seems useful to distinguish between three dimensions:

  • The first dimension is about the products and services and the business model. This is about the opportunities offered by digitization to further develop one’s own service offering.
  • The second dimension draws attention to new forms of collaboration and cooperation within and outside the organization that result from digitization.
  • The third dimension deals with the design and adaptation of the organization, it’s infrastructure and  the necessary skills and the processes to enable digitization.

The table at the end of the article is intended to provide a quick overview in this regard. Each of these elements can be a starting point or field of development for tackling or further developing digital transformation. However, you will quickly see that the elements interact with each other and overlap, as the following example from our own experience with digitalization in ICG shows.

Case study: ICG Digital Enablement

ICG’s Innovation team is currently supporting a German technology company to strengthen its own innovation capabilities. The company has brilliant engineers and technicians with a great love for technology. Understanding the market and customers, on the other hand, receives somewhat less attention. In addition to supporting innovation teams, we would introduce new methods and tools such as design thinking, lean start-up and agile working methods in workshops and seminar formats. These are precisely the services we are digitizing for this project. On the one hand, this allows participants to access the content at any time and view it repeatedly. On the other hand, valuable consulting time for the client can be focused where the most added value is created for the teams: In the direct application of the methods to the project with the support of an experienced innovation consultant. So, the digitization of (ICG) services is the starting point in the model here.

We provide a combination of videos, tool descriptions and templates. This enables the customer teams to familiarize themselves with the new approaches on their own and independently of consultants in terms of time. If you follow further dependencies in the model, you can very quickly see other implications of this initiative. For example, this project means that we are further deepening the digital capabilities in the organization. For example, this relates to video nugget design, video production, editing, graphics and animation. But next, it also leads us to broaden and deepen our “network” and expand our offerings with a strategic partner.

The next interdependency we see with the  “interaction with the customer”. How is the content made available to the customer’s employees in a way that is as user-friendly and clear as possible? Currently, we are testing various platforms to also meet the customer’s security and  governance requirments. If this prototype sets a precedent, we will soon have to align our own ICG organization more closely with the requirements. This concern, for example, the necessary infrastructure for video production (camera, lighting, sound), for post-production (editing), processes and workflows, and efficient data exchange. Subsequently, such a step in digitization can result in implications for new business models that create completely new opportunities and added value for our customers (e.g. videos, templates replacing method workshops; new offers emerge; platforms for access to content emerge; new partners for production, workflows, data exchange, editing PC, lighting, micro, camera as well as concepts for video production, editing, graphics and animation are developed).

Whether it’s to categorize existing projects, identify dependencies or next steps, or simply find the right starting point for your Digital Transformation, the ICG digitization model can be a source of inspiration and a map for orientation in the process. We would be happy if you find the model as helpful as we do in self-applying it at ICG to navigate the Digital Transformation.

Image source: Chan2545, Quelle: Shutterstock