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Digital Transformation Office – how to master challenges in digital transformations

Felix Herrmann
21 Oct 2021

Your digital transformation is stalling – the Digital Transformation Office supports you in successfully overcoming challenges that can arise during the implementation of digital transformations

The digital transformation of a company is a success factor to remain successful in the Swiss and international market. However, many companies are not up to the leap into the digital world and often fail already due to internal hurdles. Based on the identified difficulties, we show how the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) helps to successfully overcome them.
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The challenges of digital transformation

Shaping the digital business strategy with appropriate initiatives is one of the most important challenges for top management today, which is why the role of the Head of (Digital) Transformation has been created in companies. Other reasons of failure can be:

  • The implementation of digital transformations often fails due to a lack of engagement and commitment from top management. The Digital Transformation Review of the Capgemini Research Institute cited this as a reason in its 12th edition. One would also think that top and middle management follow the same vision. However, this was only confirmed by 36% of the companies surveyed. Of course, this does not go unpunished, as it primarily offers the workforce the possibility to not support the digital transformation, but rather block it. Reason enough to start with a unified view of the upcoming digital transformations already at the highest corporate level.
  • Without a structured environment, it will not be possible to implement digital initiatives successfully. Accordingly, innovation processes must first start in a protected space in order to provide scope for rapid development of digital business models. However, many companies do not realize that this requires well thought-through coordination.
  • Lack of clarity in top management’s understanding of how digital transformations must be rolled out successfully in the various suborganizations of a company can block successful implementation.
  • Under no circumstances should a digital transformation start without prior buy-in from the company’s own employees. This represents one of the most serious management mistakes. A holistic change management approach can provide the framework here, but convincing the workforce must always come from top management.

How a Digital Transformation Office helps with the solution

The DTO, which is organizationally located under the Head of (Digital) Transformation, addresses these challenges by providing the structures needed to successfully implement the digital strategy. The DTO bundles the core elements of portfolio, program, change and rollout management of a company, whereby the combination of these sub-areas can counteract the difficulties of a digital transformation.

  • Portfolio management ensures that the digital corporate strategy is followed by the right initiatives at the right time. In this context, the DTO acts as a hub between the digital vision and operational implementation. This makes it easier for top management to agree on a uniform set of objectives and to prioritize initiatives correctly.
  • In the course of program management, the operational implementation of the digital initiatives is taken into account with the help of organizational and technical coordination and monitoring. This DTO component not only coordinates existing initiatives, but can also create the necessary structures to develop further innovation processes.
  • Successful market rollout with local adaptation of the various digital initiatives is controlled by the DTO’s rollout management. This involves a continuous exchange between portfolio and program management, which means that the attention of top management is constantly focused on the most important digital transformations.
  • The foundation for the successful implementation of a digital transformation is formed by professional change management. The DTO assists in building an end-to-end structured change approach that is built on participation, consent and empowerment. This gets employees more involved in the digital transformation process, which can significantly increase acceptance.

The Digital Transformation Office contributes holistically to the prevention and reduction of challenges in the management of digital transformations by combining core elements that usually stand alone. Digital initiatives are the building blocks of a digital business strategy, which can be optimally managed, coordinated and realized through the DTO’s expertise. We invite you to check the current maturity level of your organization regarding the realization of digital strategies and initiatives with our Quick Assessment.

Many thanks to the author Sandra Imelmann for the substantial creation of this blog post.


Felix Herrmann

Head of Workforce and Organization
Felix is a transformation expert with a passion for guiding organizations through groundbreaking change. He specializes in creating robust processes and fostering people-centric cultures, envisioning the HR landscape of tomorrow. With a holistic view of transformation, Felix has had the privilege of partnering with international industry and innovation leaders, collectively pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. He also brings his expertise to the intersection of business and AI, steering large deals and shaping the future of work, with a keen eye on HR’s evolving role in this journey.