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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 pain points.


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” /"Digital Expert" 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 digital company.


Business models and organisations 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 FMCG industry doesn’t work for the non-profit organisations. What works for private sector doesn’t work for a membership-based international 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) a Design Challenge


c) a 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 organisation.


You need to understand the interdependent changes, the inter-working of digital tools, technologies, 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.

Digital transformation (in the context of Business associations) is first and foremost about creating a unified digital ecosystem. In a few weeks, not months, not years.


It’s not about a daydreamer’s Post-it action plan that you can pin on Instagram.


Digital transformation is not just about having a shiny website, Zoom-Zooming, or sending a couple of tweets. Neither it is about AI, Big Data, and other buzzwords.


Digital transformation is not about tools, fixes and patches.



Want to learn more about our 360° Digital Transformation solutions?


Let’s talk: contact@symantra.com


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