Business publications around the world are peppered with clichéd advice such as 'stagnation is decline'. There is a reason for this. As clichéd as these slogans may be, they are true. Digital transformation is therefore exactly what you have been hearing: necessary to survive. But contrary to what tech providers often say, digital transformation is not a one-off, major costume change. It is the building and filling of a dressing-up box that will enable hundreds of future cosplays.

This is because a digital transformation is not just about one big change, but more importantly about continuity. Transformation is not an end, but a means. After a successful transformation, an organisation is able to undergo constant small changes, thus adapting to changes in the market. Such an organisation is what we at KPMG call a 'Powered Enterprise': a company that knows which levers stakeholders need to pull to quickly meet demand in an ever-changing world.

One cloud version

Transformed (Powered) organisations run on cloud applications that are themselves constantly changing: in the background, software vendors are continuously updating and bringing new solutions to market. Digital transformation ensures that these solutions automatically find their way into the organisation, so that the organisation does not have to worry about its various systems (and how they interact).

The alternative to digital transformation is simply to become obsolete, irrelevant and ultimately extinct. That sounds harsh, but imagine it from the perspective of the biggest and most successful enterprise software providers such as SAP, Oracle or Microsoft. Their latest packages are, without exception, cloud solutions. For them, there are no longer huge new releases every six or eight years, but constant maintenance and renewal in the cloud. In other words, sooner or later they will only maintain that one cloud version. Will you still depend on version 6.0 of their software in two or three years, while they only maintain the cloud version? If so, your software will quickly become obsolete and eventually unusable in which case your entire ERP and CRM systems will need to be binned.

KPMG supports organisations in their digital transformation. With the Target Operating Model, we identify where the transformation will have the greatest impact in the organisation. The Powered Execution Suite provides guidance to determine the extent to which the transformation can be achieved. To guarantee the continuity of the transformation, KPMG offers Powered Evolution with consultants who are always on top of the latest trends and developments and regularly sit down with organisations and ask the simple question: "Is this something for you?".

We do so because if keeping up with developments in IT is not your main job, you simply cannot keep up with the pace of change. Innovations are moving too fast for that. KPMG is able to look at the best examples of organisations worldwide, learn from them, and envision their application at similar (but different!) companies. As an organisation, you are always limited by the framework of your own company, your own industry, even though looking outwards often inspires the best ideas. By accepting third-party advice where you can, you can choose to be unique where you want to be. Accepting expert advice and making positive choices can save you time and money and help you to win the approval of the people who ultimately have to work with your systems.

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Time for a new vantage point

Instead of making transformation a goal make it a way of business.

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