Digital transformation image

I recently wrote about why we need to define digital transformation and how your organisation needs to own that definition. It had lots of interest so I wanted to follow it up with a piece on key areas of focus in digital transformation. It’s so important to get these right; according to Harvard Business Review, 66-84% of digital transformations fail.

As a starter for ten, I’ve mapped out below 7 ‘big picture’ things it’s critical to get right. I’ve included three questions to help you get going in each area, although bear in mind there are a lot more, which I’ll be sharing on our new course on digital strategy.


  • What are the main opportunities and risks facing our organisation and how can digital help manage them?
  • Do we need a separate digital strategy or do we have the buy-in to incorporate digital into our corporate strategy?
  • How can our organisation differentiate itself and what role will digital play in furthering this?


  • What digital skills do we have on our board?
  • How can our trustees adapt to the pace, change and risk appetite necessary for digital?
  • What do we want to achieve from our governance (e.g. functions, administration and purpose) and how can digital improve this?


  • How do we envisage the digital team at the end of this process- will they decentralise?
  • How is our audience using digital and how does this change our understanding of them?
  • Which internal stakeholders are likely to be the hardest to persuade as we go ‘digital first’ and what would influence them?


  • Have we audited our colleagues, volunteers and other internal stakeholders’ digital skills? What can we learn from this?
  • What digital skills do we need our board and leadership team to develop?
  • What additional skills do our digital team need- e.g. strategy or influencing skills?


  • Do we have the right, values, beliefs and behaviours in our culture for digital to flourish?
  • What would it take for us to get there?
  • How can we work with our leadership team and HR to embed this new culture?

Products and services

  • How do we need to adapt our current products, services and customer service to the digital age?
  • What new digital products and services is there a gap in the market for and could we provide them?
  • How can we develop the right, agile culture for product development?


  • Is our IT infrastructure fit for purpose and where are the areas of risk and opportunity?
  • Do we need to do a systems audit?
  • Have we got the right skills in IT and how can we ensure that our colleagues are getting the most out of their systems?

So there you have it. From strategy to skills to infrastructure, digital transformation will include most areas of your organisation. Which questions would you add to the list?

Book a place on our digital strategy course.