Future Mind’s Approach to Digital Transformation

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Emil Waszkowski
Future Mind’s Approach to Digital Transformation

We believe that combining the industry know-how with our knowledge of digital business and new technologies can bring new value to all enterprises that choose to undergo a digital transformation. We’re convinced that people are fully capable of shaping the future, and they can do so with the use of technology that meets their needs and make them work better. To explain our approach to change implementation, we came up with a sort of digital transformation manifesto. And here it is.    

1. We cherish value over innovation theatre.

Indeed - creating new value should always be the main reason behind every transformation. Preparing beautiful slide decks that don’t show anything relevant, granting the titles such as “innovation sherpa” and anything alike, or creating the incubators for startups that have absolutely nothing to do with our business, won’t change much (not for the better anyway).

As a part of our job, we concentrate on the main issue - improving the existing digital products, or developing entirely new ones to meet the needs of today’s customers. We divide the product portfolio based on the value they provide and their uniqueness, as well as their influence on business - and then we find a way to set them apart from the competition with the right tech solutions.

There’s a saying among those who deal with analytics on a daily basis: if you repeat a given task more than twice, it should be automated. I partly feel like an analyst myself, which might be why I agree with this sentence to some extent. Actually, when working on improving the internal processes, we’re looking for tasks that can be digitised and automated, so that your employees have more time for focusing on what’s more important and valuable - and your financial results will soon reflect that.

2. To create new value, we use a combination of methodologies instead of sticking to just one.

Every case is different, that’s why we adjust our methods and tools to the current state of your business and the goals for the future. Working with both large companies and startups from different industries and at different stages of growth enabled us to gain experience with many different idea generation techniques and product development methodologies.

We start each project with analysing the market and the processes within your business (if the goal is to streamline them), in order to better understand your industry and challenges you face, as well as have a concept of the proper solution from the very beginning. When looking for more inspiration and additional value, we always try to go beyond a given industry, in which following the principles of Blue Ocean Strategy helps us immensely.

During the innovation workshops, we take advantage of Design Thinking or carry out a Google Design Sprint (which can be shortened to three days). Our approach to product design revolves around user’s needs and being pragmatic. That’s precisely why we use proper UX tools, such as user journey mapping, fast prototyping, testing the prototypes with users and iterating, which originates from the Lean Startup approach. Read more about our product design process.

3. We take advantage of the mass adoption of technology.

We’re not going to recommend any investments in technologies that are used only by a small number of innovators. The aim here is not to give your PR department a reason to brag about being the first one to apply a certain technology but to scale your business effectively. We focus on using the features of mass-adopted technologies to improve your offer and increase its value.

Since we constantly monitor the digital market, we are also able to advise on taking advantage of technologies that shall soon become more profitable. At the moment, Voice Assistants serve as a good example of such innovation (see our analysis of the voice assistant market here).

Basically, the digital economy has its own rules. We will help you understand how technology affects client relations, helps to build certain ecosystems, blurs market boundaries, and alters the principles of competition.

4. We help manage product cannibalisation.

When introducing new products to the organisation, we don’t want to turn everything upside down - but rather diversify the product portfolio. Our goal is to keep the balance between mature products or services that are profitable right now (cash cows), and innovative ones, that will provide benefits in the future.

We are capable of predicting how a suggested product can be implemented in the organisation and how it will affect your current offer. Whenever possible, we will recommend a new business model that can help you change the status quo in your industry to your advantage.

5. We implement new solutions effectively.

We have our roots in the software development industry - that’s why don’t only create brand new solutions for your business, but also outline a development roadmap, estimate the resources and budget needed, and implement the product properly.

Over the years, we’ve gained experience in coping with technological debt. Thanks to a careful analysis of your systems and technologies, we’re able to integrate the new product with the legacy systems in order to speed up the development process and involve your IT team to a minimum.

We also act as an integrator - we find and combine available solutions, be it APIs, SDKs, SaaS solutions, or payments, which makes the development process faster and more cost-effective. Plus, our tech stack includes modern technologies, that enable us to create reliable software with the shortest amount of time possible.

6. We believe that changing the approach and organisational culture is necessary to transform.

We know that transforming the whole organisation at once is impossible. That’s why we introduce changes step by step - starting from choosing the leaders who will facilitate the changes, and gradually “transfer” their approach to other team members and departments. Those who are not afraid of changes, are constantly learning and looking for new ways to streamline the workflow, and are capable of looking at the organisation from a certain perspective - are the best candidates for leading the transformation. Such employees will quickly adapt to agile methods and constant experiments, which we eagerly recommend since they’re one of the key factors that enable maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage.

Such an approach is well-described by Jeff Bezos in his latest letter to shareholders:

As a company grows, everything needs to scale, including the size of your failed experiments. If the size of your failures isn't growing, you're not going to be inventing at a size that can actually move the needle. Amazon will be experimenting at the right scale for a company of our size if we occasionally have multibillion-dollar failures. [...] The good news for shareowners is that a single big winning bet can more than cover the cost of many losers.

7. We support you during the whole process, and beyond.  

We’re fully aware that you might not have enough expertise in digital business, design, technology or product management to implement the changes within your organisation. Luckily, our team does - and is here to help your business scale every step of the way.

We won’t leave you alone after the main phase of the transformation is done. We’ll help you monitor the market, recommend new solutions that are worthwhile, as well as further develop and iterate the implemented products. In fact, without constant improvement and testing, you won’t be able to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage.

8. We support a vision.

I mention it at a very end, but actually, having a vision and courage to implement changes is necessary to succeed with digital transformation. If your efforts are cautious and you don’t really believe in them, even the best team of experts won’t help much, and your organisation won’t even notice the attempts. That’s precisely why having the right support and giving the priority to digital transformation initiatives by the leadership team is crucial. It’s our job to help the executives understand the value that technology can bring to the organisation and convince them that digital transformation is definitely worth the effort.

Digital transformation is a broad and complex concept, which makes it impossible to cover everything in just one article. I tried to share the essence of our approach, in which we aim to provide tangible results in the shape of valuable digital products that will help your business grow.

We’re not going to promise you a 180-degree change of your business in just a few months - digital transformation is a long and gradual process, but it’s definitely worthwhile. Let’s discuss how we can help your organisation change.

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Emil Waszkowski

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