What is Digital Transformation by Dr. Rainford Knight

Author: gatelesis

We’re all familiar with the term Digital Transformation (DT). It’s tossed around as much as AI. Yet most don’t exactly know what DT is. And according to McKinsey research (2021), 70% of DT projects fail. The good news, though, is that the 70% failure rate implies a 30% potential success rate. When we started our DT journey at GA Telesis we were going to be part of the smaller sub-set that succeeded in what we know will be an ambitious endeavor.

What exactly is DT? A bunch of brainiacs get together and talk code? Sure, we need that step; it’s critical! But to transform an organization takes a lot more than just the tech. So, exactly what does it mean to digitally transform a business?

Let’s pick apart this concept of DT to have a better idea:

  1. Digital: The digital side is about gathering and understanding data to help make better decisions moving forward. We have to look at customer behavior and forecast trends to help optimize operations.
  2. Transformation: So, at GA Telesis we get the data. Okay. Now what? This is where the transformation piece comes in. We can gather and analyze data all day. But unless we do something with it, it’s useless. We want to use this data to create a significant change in how the business operates and delivers value to its customers. It’s about creating an environment where mindsets change, company culture changes, innovation is encouraged, and a digital first-approach to solving problems become the norm.

Combining Digital & Transformation

Put together, the digital and transformation pieces allow a company like GA Telesis to create a strategic and operational overhaul that touches every part of our organization. How many times have we heard the mantra, “Let’s keep it status quo?” At GA Telesis we know that at the rate of advancement across all industries, status quo won’t cut it. Implementing DT can create fundamental changes across an organization: we’ll see improvement in how the business operates and delivers value to customers, reimagination of value creation, mindset shift, and encouragement of a continuously innovative and dynamic culture.


What are the Key Ingredients of a DT Strategy?

  • Leadership Commitment: Number-one right here. Our DT was led by our CEO, but typically, leadership are the ones who stifle change and potential costs that come with it, and we can’t blame them for that. So getting your C-suite on board from the get-go is a must. Top management support and leadership are critical to have a successful DT effort. Not only will they be useful in promoting your DT goals, but management support is also needed in terms of investments, for both financial and human capital.
  • Talent Development: Easier said than done. But yes. You need great talent. Having the right talent in the organization to help support and sustain the transformation will help drive the effort. At GA Telesis we knew that the talent needed to be more than book smart, though, and should have a curious and inquisitive mentality to interpret the data.
  • Innovation Mindset Development: Two words: Self. Learner. Continual innovation within the GA Telesis organization would not be possible without those involved staying current with the latest developments in technology, including collaborating with technology partners at the forefront of the innovation, as well as developing in-house digital talent.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: We have the data, so why wouldn’t we use it? At GA Telesis we use data analytics to guide and inform strategy, drive decision-making as well as a tool for continuous improvement.
  • Agile Implementation: Agility is key. Even in this discussion of DT, we knew GA Telesis could fall into a pattern of, say, evaluating the same data the same way, or classifying data the same way. Being agile allows us to step back and potentially view the data with a different lens.  Adopting an iterative approach to digital projects allows for flexibility and adaptation.

We Knew the Barriers to Digital Transformation Would be tough to Swallow

  • Cultural Resistance: Let’s face it. Nobody likes change, especially at work. Employees and management within some businesses are quite resistant to change, so a rigid culture will find it challenging to adapt to rapid changes and the agile environment that a DT journey requires.
  • Lack of Digital Talent: In the DT process, a skill set gap often exists. As technology rapidly evolves, finding and retaining talent with the requisite expertise becomes necessary. Upskilling is the current workforce, and adding new digital talent is a critical success factor.
  • Inadequate Technological Infrastructure: Many businesses start their DT journey with outdated technological infrastructures that are not comparable with new digital solutions. The adoption of a technological modernization scheme and use of cloud technologies is essential to drive progress.
  • Lack of Leadership Commitment: Leadership needs to see the DT vision. Otherwise, the organization could see a fragmented approach and a misalignment of goals when trying to implement a plan. Management support is critical to steer the business through the transformation process.
  • Difficulty Quantifying ROI: Businesses find it challenging at times to justify a budget allocation for their DT efforts. As a result, some businesses become reluctant to provide the resources needed for transformation initiatives. To overcome this roadblock, the key is to set realistic expectations and performance KPIs while adopting a long-term perspective.


GA Telesis & Digital Transformation(DT)

Leadership Commitment: Without leadership buy-in, any change initiative wouldn’t be possible. At GA Telesis, our CEO Abdol Moabery, along with senior management, foster a culture that embraces change and tech. The leadership role and dedication are a must for a successful DT effort.

Talent Development: GA Telesis strives to be the best, so naturally, we need the best talent to make it happen. Our employees are adaptable and digitally enabled so we can continually support and sustain the DT journey, and we nurture and help develop their talent.

Innovation Mindset Development: Driven by our CEO, the GA Telesis environment cultivates an environment that encourages continuous learning and innovation, staying on top of the latest technological developments. The GA Telesis mindset in practice is consistent with our mantra: “Intelligently defining the future of aviation™.”

Data-Driven Decision Making: Data tells the story. So by leveraging data analytics, GA Telesis makes strategic decisions to enhance operational efficiencies and deliver the best customer value. Using this data-centric approach shows how much the data can inform strategy and drive continuous improvement.

Agile Implementation: Throughout the whole DT process, recognizing how and when to pivot can be the difference between success and failure. GA Telesis’s agility in adapting to new information and technologies is a key ingredient. The company’s ability to iterate and refine digital projects rapidly allows it to stay ahead of the competition.


Digital Transformation: Key Take-Aways

DT is not merely a trend but a fundamental shift that’s reshaping the landscape of business operations and strategy. And it’s not going anywhere. To really embrace DT, the organizational processes, culture, and mindset all need a holistic overhaul. DT’s not an end goal but an ongoing process of becoming more agile, innovative, and customer-centric. We can always discover new ways to use technology, innovation, and agility to make our organizations better. GA Telesis is a great example of a company on a transformation journey, truly transforming the way it operates and delivers value while overhauling processes, culture, and mindset.