Digital Transformation – Discovery is Make or Break

The concept of a “digital transformation” has come into vogue over the last few years. Many businesses who lagged behind now realise that they must go digital or go out of business.

Global restrictions and lockdowns have caused many businesses to focus aggressively on digital transformation. As a result, plans have been expedited. All in all, this is good for the long term success of the business. However, a digital transformation cannot be rushed.

Discovery Phase

Show me your discovery and I’ll tell whether you’re protect was a success or not. Time and time again we see it and in some cases have taken over projects with little or no discovery where things have gotten messy really fast.

Believe me when I tell you, the most important part of your digital transformation is the discovery phase.

Think about it like this. If you were building a house, would you just start building the walls on lose soil?

Of course not, you would build solid foundations first. The same applies to digital transformation.

Discovery – Beyond Technical

Businesses often just focus on the technical parts of discovery. If you know what you are doing and have the experience, this part is easy. However, there is another important element at play. The culture of the organisation.

Many companies who have yet to fully embraced technology have underlying cultural issues that need to be addressed. Without these inline, the best technical integration will never work.

Therefore, discovery must include a big picture remit that covers people as well as technology.

Results – Clarity of Your Plan and Quantifiable Targets

It is key that you understand the following and have specific roadmap in place after you finish discovery. If you don’t then you haven’t finished.

  • API integrations
  • Custom software requirements
  • Partnership requirements
  • Support requirements
  • HR requirements
  • Off the shelf platforms and tools
  • Project owners
  • Financial budgets
  • Business  objectives
  • Success criteria

No Two Organisations Are The Same

With over fifteen years of experience working on some of the most complex digital integration projects around we know one thing for certain. No two companies are the same. You just can’t “lift and shift” a successful project from one company to another.

As a result, the unique tech stack and company culture must be addressed during discovery. Ultimately, success here will breed success in the day to day implementation and then the operation of the digital transformation.

From Scala Developer to the HR manager, discovery must cover potential issues and avoid them before they happen. Now, with any digital transformation project, there will be issues even with comprehensive and robust discovery. However,  these are more likely addressable if a proper discover process has taken place.

HIPPO – The Enemy of Digital Transformation

The Highest Paid Person in The Office (HIPPO) can be the worst person to be involved in the discovery. Ok, if they are a data scientist or an expert developer/network engineer then perhaps they should be listened to. What we mean is that senior management particularly if they are from a business background can often get in the way.

Look, the fact is, that their opinions are just that and the reality is they are not qualified. Because they have seniority in the management structure is dangerous because their personal opinion may overrule the right thing to do.

Therefore, you must be objective and defer decisions to people with specific expertise in the area concerned.

This is often the hardest part of digital transformation. The best managers at a senior level always know when to delegate.

The Customer Should be Your Priority

Organisations that focused on their customer and used data to measure customer preferences already have implemented their digital transformation.

Let’s be honest, the organisations that have not yet fully integrated digital into their systems and processes have not had the need to do so until now.

It’s “go digital or go broke” time. In the rush to transform, the customer should never be forgotten.

So, in discovery, the question “how will this impact the customer?” should be asked as every stage.


Look, we know it is hard for many businesses that have not taken the digital leap right now. Firstly, don’t panic and secondly, do not skimp on your discovery phase. Take your time here. Remember, you will more than get that time back later and your results will be much better.

If you have any questions on digital transformation then contact us.