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The author Tim Ferriss tells the story of a man who loses his keys after a night on the town.

His friends find him on his hands and knees looking for them under a streetlight, even though he knows he lost them somewhere else.

“Why are you looking for your keys under the streetlight?” they ask. He responds confidently: “Because there’s more light over here. I can see better.”

In life, and in business, people gravitate towards what they know.

You’ve heard the saying: “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”? You often see a version of this in large-scale organisational change projects.

Digital transformation projects are often driven by a single theme that resonates with leadership. Sometimes it’s growth. Sometimes it’s operational efficiency. It could be customers, employees, information or innovation.

**It’s not uncommon for organisations that desperately need to transform to survive to waste years pivoting between trends**.

 Somebody will say: “Centralising your operations is the best way to drive efficiency”. So they’ll begin a project to centralise their operations. Then – surprise – they decide decentralisation is a better way of staying close to your customer. So another project is begun.

I’ve seen companies swing like a pendulum between opposite directions – only to run out of energy and get stuck somewhere in the middle.

If you’re embarking on a digital transformation, it’s critical to know that you’re working on the right things.

At CGI, we can build you a plan to transform your organisation – and work with you to deliver it.

 Our plans are based on experience. Google’s Eric Schmidt said: “I have no idea what your plan is. But I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that if you have one, it is wrong.”

His point was that MBA-style business plans – no matter how well conceived and thought out – are always flawed in some important way. You have to adjust as you go. Faithfully following them will only result in what he calls “achieving failure.”

 (That’s why venture capitalists will tell you they invest in the team, not the plan. Since the plan is probably wrong, the people have to be right.)

What CGI does is build you a framework that enables you to approach your transformation in an agile way – that can evolve as you move forward – but makes sure that what you’re doing makes a difference for the company.

For example, the reason we see 80% of digital transformation initiatives fail to deliver the value that’s expected of them is because nobody ever linked it to the value in the first place. They just got the go-ahead for a few pieces of technology and ran with it.

But if done successfully – and as a joined-up strategy rather than ad-hoc projects – digital transformation can mean achieving profitable growth and operating efficiencies, and deliver competitiveness in the digital world.

Visit our website to see how CGI can help you evolve your organisation.


About this author

Craig Wallace

Craig Wallace

Head of Digital Strategy and Transformation

As Vice-President and Global Digital Transformation Lead, Craig is responsible for bringing together CGI’s global digital transformation point of view, solutions and services portfolio. With more than three decades of transformation expertise, Craig provides portfolio management, thought leadership, counsel and support for clients’ digital transformation ...

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