Dr. Janne Ohtonen
November 06, 2017

What do Digital Customer Experience Transformation and Obesity Have in Common?

Digital Customer Experience Transformation

94% of companies fail at Digital Transformation.

The New Year is long gone. So, are those promises to lose weight this year, too? We surveyed communication service providers on digital transformation and noticed that there are surprisingly many commonalities between losing weight and digital customer experience transformation. So despite the comparison been somewhat tongue in cheek it deadly serious for all involved.

It looks like there is no good news for those who want to be successful either in losing weight or transforming digital experiences.  According to IBM and Oracle Consulting, 84% of companies fail at Digital Transformation. That is actually pretty decent result, compared to 95% of people failing at their attempts to lose weight and keep it off for five years. And it does not come without a cost. Those with obesity are betting against high odds of getting coronary heart disease, stroke, asthma, and metabolic syndrome. But it is even worse for those businesses who fail at digital customer experience transformation. They are getting terminally ill as the customers will take revenues elsewhere.

Who's Leading your Digital Transformation? Job Titles vs. Characteristics

You need to move fast to solve this! But how long is your digital transformation project expected to last? According to Openet’s study, 2% of companies say one year, while 21% say two years and whopping 60% says 3-5 years! Worst is that they expect to do this while performing open heart surgery on their legacy IT systems. This is pretty much opposite to people who want to lose weight and start with unrealistic expectations. They think they can do it in a couple of weeks while eating what they used to. No wonder so many fails?

Interestingly, 85% of companies say their key aim with digital transformation is to improve customer experiences. At the same time, 21% says it’s the hardest thing to achieve for their business. And why is it so hard? Because 40% of respondents say, the biggest challenge in accomplishing digital transformation is due to project being too big and complex. This applies to losing weight for most of us also. It is very hard to change your diet completely and start doing fitness exercises that you just don’t enjoy.

Both companies conducting huge digital transformation projects and people looking to lose weight are guilty of attempting to boil the ocean and fix everything in one go but ultimately dramatically hamper innovation and speed to market for years.  The key is to break traditional operator ‘lock-in’ to existing technology stacks perpetrated by the monolithic BSS and OSS vendors. For example, my team believe in allowing service providers the flexibility to develop solutions alongside existing technology, focusing on areas which will make a tangible difference.

Robotic Process Automation – Pragmatic Solution or Dangerous Illusion?

No more five years, hundred million transformation programmes with unguaranteed results. No more complete overhauls of diet and unexciting fitness programmes. Say hi to agile approaches that change those little habits that multiplied will yield unprecedented results in much shorter time. By changing small things fast you will see results that huge transformation project won’t be able to deliver. See you at the scale with a smile!

Enabling Digital Business Transformation with Enterprise-Wide Process Modelling

Looking for more Digital Transformation Resources?


Framework Primer: Digital Transformation Strategy

Presentation Deck from Flevy.com

Digital Transformation is being embraced by companies across most industries, as the role of technology shifts from being a business enabler to a business driver.

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About the Author 

Dr Janne Ohtonen serves Openet and its customers as a Director of Customer Experience Management (CEM). Before joining Openet, he has worked with companies such as Apple, Avios, British Airways, British Telecom, and Satmetrix. Dr Ohtonen is a published author of four books and acknowledged thought leader in Customer Experience and Engagement areas.

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