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Davos 2019: Misconceptions of Digital Transformation

Bain Partner Guy Brusselmans explains why a digital transformation isn’t just about technical solutions.


Davos 2019: Misconceptions of Digital Transformation

Guy Brusselmans, a partner with Bain's Consumer Products practice, discusses digital transformation and why companies should start with revisiting their customers' raw needs.

Read the transcript below:

GUY BRUSSELMANS: One thing I will definitely remember and take home—it's a good reminder, actually—when we talk about digital transformation, many people immediately think it's about IT and about data and it's something technical that the IT guys can do. But it really is about business transformation. It's not just about digital transformation.

And one thought I really find very powerful is the idea of the raw needs. Why does a company actually exist? What [are] the needs you're actually trying to solve? And digital transformation starts by re-asking that question. Why is it that we exist? What need is our product or service actually fulfilling? And re-questioning that, and restating that for the company, whether it's still valid, whether it has to evolve.

That's really the beginning of a digital transformation. And from there, it goes to what are the right products and services we need for the future? And the next layer, how do we develop these products? How do we bring them to market?
I think a very good way to kind of bring those learnings here back to client work is to make sure that every discussion around digital transformation gets elevated. And we start by posing the right business questions.

And I think we're uniquely positioned to kind of bring that to the right level, and force people to start with the right question and don't jump immediately into the technical solutions.


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