Why so-called "Digital Strategists" have failed miserably with Digital Transformation


70% of Digital Transformation projects fail according to studies, that is a lot of wasted time, wasted resources, and wasted attention. The fancy PowerPoint slides that aim to set out the strategic vision and action plan for your organization for the next 5 years does nothing more than making you dream about the opportunities in the Digital World. But the slides never address even your most basic digital problems.

You hear the Airbnb, Uber, Adobe, and Instagram business stories over and over. But do these consultants ever tell you how many of these Digital businesses were created with their advisory?


After the hangover period of the shiny presentations, how often do you find yourself still struggling with your most fundamental day-to-day digital problems and still stuck with the usual “Excel way of working”?

The wrong assumption

It was assumed by the corporate world globally that the same consulting firms that helped them solve operational efficiency, change management, process automation … were equally equipped to solve their Digital Problems. Little was the realization that in Digital World, Doing is more important than Saying.

And these PowerPoint recommendations often become someone else’s problem to solve!

On another side of the spectrum are the self-proclaimed “Digital Strategists” who oversimplify the solutions with an attitude “I’ve Done Nothing, but I Know Everything”. They have written several articles, been invited to many conferences. The only thing they haven’t done is actually build or manage a sustainable company.


Business models and organizations are complex systems, you need to have a deep knowledge of the sector. Knowledge in one sector doesn’t automatically transfer to others. What works for the tourism industry doesn’t work for the energy or food industry. What works for a private sector doesn’t work for an association.


Walking the talk + Talking the walk

Unless an agency has got its own hands dirty and gained the experience of real-world implementation of the digital transformation, its recommendations will be disconnected from reality. More often than not, the recommendations/vision/action plan will create problems that are either :


a) An Engineering challenge


b) Design Challenge


c) Budget Challenge.

You need to find an agency that builds strategy with the feet firmly on the ground. Behind each of the recommendations, the agency understands what it exactly entails for the Engineering Team, what it entails for the Design Team, what it entails for existing tools and technologies already in place in the organization. You need to understand the interdependent changes and interworking of Digital tools and processes.

Thought or Action — What is more important?

According to a Japanese proverb, “....

"Thought without Action is daydreaming. And Action without thought is a Folly”.

We, at Symantra, have learned through our Digital Projects that Action (Implementation of a Vision) is as important as Thought (Strategy) and you can’t separate one from the other.


The results of Digital Transformation should be about creating a Digital Ecosystem that transforms for real. It’s not about a daydreamer’s action plan that you can pin on Instagram.


Let’s get in touch: contact@symantra.com