Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Baby Steps and Celebrating Successes

Digital transformation often sounds like it’s all or nothing. The word ‘transformation’ is right there, making it appear like your organization needs to move from legacy infrastructure to a full-on, ultra-modern transformation in one fell swoop. The intimidation of this idea stops many organizations or their stakeholders from taking steps toward greater change. 

The truth is that baby steps are a valid and valuable aspect of digital transformation. Incremental progress towards digital transformation can help ensure your organization’s profitability and success. 

Digital transformation doesn’t have to be all or nothing, as these examples will show. Here’s how every step in digital transformation can be a success to celebrate.

Case Study: Subway’s Digital Group

Fast-food chain Subway launched its digital division in 2016, adding 150 new job openings to support its digital transformation. Of course, 150 jobs is a significant addition, but, at the time, CIO Carman Wenkoff noted that the company was planning to move slowly to fill those openings.

“We’ll be recruiting for all these positions now,” Wenkoff explained. “We literally have 150 positions that are open and what we’re doing is because we’re also realistic about our timeline and relocating people, we’re not going to rush it. So in the interim we’ll fill many of those seats with our partner Accenture as we recruit more.”

Even for a major, multinational chain, recruitment and its associated transformation can move slowly to ensure that the best people fill the right positions. Even if you have big ideas, you don’t need to check off every item on the to-do list right away. Instead, focus on getting things right the first time around, even if it takes longer.

Case Study: Leeds Open Data

Leeds, in the UK, undertook affordable digital transformation through open data in 2016. The government organization’s team members gave out waste management data sets to developers and entrepreneurs. They hoped that someone would use that information to transform services. The result is an app that makes recycling easier and more accessible for residents, streamlining public services. The Leeds Data Mill is a small step, with a significant impact.

Case Study: Scandinavian Airlines

Scandinavian Airlines realized the power behind its data, using an analytics platform to personalize their offerings to airline customers. The airline didn’t have to do much, using the data it already had. By plugging that data into a new analytics platform built for its needs, it was able to centralize that information and use it to gain insight. 

The result was a foundation for better customer experience and a more efficient operation. It’s also a foundation for any future digital transformation Scandinavian Airlines undertakes, showing that baby steps do add up.

Case Study: Best Buy

In the era of Amazon, Best Buy is still alive and well, thanks to digital transformation. The company underwent a lot of change, but one of its digitalization efforts was simple yet remarkably effective. Where the company previously put 80 percent of its media spend toward physical mail, it now spends 90 percent on digital communication. It was a small step in transforming the corporation. And digital communication allows for far more personalization, analytics, and agility as customers and potential clients let go of traditional mail in favor of digitization. 

This is just one small aspect of how Best Buy has adopted digital transformation to succeed. That one small step, together with other transformative approaches, has not only kept the company going but has revived it.

Other Baby Steps in Digital Transformation

Every organization will see digital transformation and the path toward it differently. If you don’t see your goals or plans reflected in these examples, other steps toward digital transformation could work for you.

Small moves toward digital transformation, tackling the most critical priorities first, can be as simple as:

  • installing a chatbot on your website
  • using better analytics tools in high-priority areas to help make better decisions for your organization
  • automating some of the high-leverage aspects of your business operations
  • moving some of your applications or software to a cloud-based model
  • modernizing and updating a few of your processes to take advantage of new technology. 

Whatever your aim, GroupLink is here to help you on your journey to digital transformation. Our team understands that all businesses are different. We want to learn about your business to help you make incremental moves toward greater success and profitability.Get in touch with us using our online form, call us at 801-335-0700, or send an email to And be sure to watch for our next article, Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Game Plan, to put your ideas into practice.

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