People, or the prerequisite for a successful digital transformation. Dariusz Kwieciński, CEO at Fujitsu Poland

People, or the prerequisite for a successful digital transformation. Dariusz Kwieciński, CEO at Fujitsu Poland

Looking at the digital transformation of enterprises, what stage do we currently find ourselves at? And what is the Fujitsu perspective on that very matter, basing on those many years of experience working on projects involving digital transformation?

In the rush of the everyday life, digital transformation for some managers and business leaders is still a rather general notion. Though they often deal with it, they seldom have the time to stop what they’re doing and focus their attention on it, or simply reflect on its long-term perspective. Meanwhile, should we get a broader picture, we’ll see that time will soon be upon us to make bold decisions regarding digitization and basing business processes to an even higher degree on data. According to recent IDC estimates, by 2022, more than 60% of the global GDP will be digitized. On the other hand, data gathered by the McKinsey Global Institute show that by 2030, owing to digitization, up to USD 13 trillion will have been added to the global GDP. Then again, the World Economic Forum assumes that 60-70% of the new value created will be based on data, networks, and digital platforms. Digitization therefore consists not only of investments, but – above all – digitization translates into a real impact on businesses. We see that the digital transformation is progressing, and thus an increasing number of companies decide to launch projects in this field, as they are aware that these projects will bring about tangible results.

Are companies more and more often declaring that digital transformation is in fact one of their main priorities and see opportunities arising from it?

There can be no doubt that businesses around the world are more aware than ever that transforming into a data-driven digital business is of key importance in order to succeed. We see this in numerous studies on priorities that digital transformation is definitely the number one factor, outrunning both cybersecurity and automation. It turns out, however, that those companies that do best economically invest in digitization primarily with the intention to build new business tools based on digital foundations. Companies that are not market leaders place emphasis primarily on the digitization of already existing key areas of their operations. It is essential that we contemplate how to undertake new business initiatives, basing on digital platforms and opportunities unlocked by data, instead of focusing solely on digitizing the existing resources. This is obviously highly necessary, but investments in new areas are even more profitable.

Can you give us some specific examples of implementations carried out by Fujitsu that are testament to this diagnosis and illustrate digital transformation in practice?

Naturally, there are examples aplenty. However, there is no formula for digital transformation, nor does an approach exist that would always work. A good example is the project carried out for the regional government of Andalusia. Fujitsu centralized and standardized aid and subsidy management systems for the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, optimizing a large number of processes. As part of this challenge, a modern modus operandi was put in place, allowing for quick integrated development of new solutions. A centralized Aid Management System for EU funds was designed and implemented in the form of a new application based on a modular architecture of reusable microservices, managed through an integration bus. Development time and costs were optimized too thanks to the use of the DevOps methodology for continuous application development. The uninterrupted availability of Fujitsu experts was also crucial for this project.

A project custom-fit to the needs of CITB, the Construction Industry Training Board, would be a great example from a completely different area. Here we aimed to reduce expenditure on third party service contracts and product license fees, and to enable customers to integrate with CITB through an intuitive and modern client portal. To meet this challenge, we introduced eco-friendly cloud-based stack technologies from Microsoft, designing the system to make the best of investments and ensure scalability, reliable performance, and adaptability. The project also included a new Gateway web application for 160,000 companies and 6 million CITB end users.

Another digital transformation project that is worth mentioning is the implementation for the Ford Motor Company, which aimed to digitally revolutionize the speed of launching products onto the market. It was related to the plans for investments in autonomous vehicles and innovative software. The project involved the modernization of 2,400 systems of enterprise applications, data center consolidation, and the development of a hybrid cloud. Business processes and the services landscape were transformed and optimized. We took care of the migration of industrial applications, set up a cost-effective management, and provided guidelines for cloud-native Agile and DevOps architecture.

These are all very different projects. What they may have in common is their scale, but it’s hard to find any more similarities. Is there by any chance anything at all that connects all these implementations in the field of digital transformation? Is there some sort of common denominator?

You’re right, digital transformation is incredibly diverse. It is a process tailored to the client’s needs, every time it takes an individual course, and impacts internal systems in a different way. However, we always put the needs and expectations at the core of the process, adjusting solutions to them.

In view of Fujitsu, digital transformation is primarily about reducing the complexity of systems and relying to a larger degree on data. With these foundations in place, new business models can be built. Otherwise, it will rather be a variant of standard optimization that we have known for years. And if we fail to take into account these boundary assumptions, we’ll end up with investments in solutions that will not translate into results. Therefore, a conversation and the people participating in it are the bedrock of any implementation – open-minded managers, aware of the business needs of an organization, and experts who know how to translate identified objectives into specific solutions.

If that’s the case, can we at all talk of a successful digital transformation?

Successful projects come to life as a result of a 360-degree approach. In fact, the key to success consists in a thorough analysis of the situation in the company, identifying the resources available on the market, and starting a conversation about the client’s business goal. Only then are we able to wisely choose tools and methodologies, which will allow us to develop an effective plan followed by implementation. The common denominator in this approach is diligence applied in four areas. They are as follows: co-creation, use of data and increasing their business value, application of an appropriate strategy, and constant optimization. And one should keep in mind that transformation is a continuous process. Having designed a strategy and modernized the existing elements, it is high time we asked ourselves what our next business objective is, and thus this cycle starts anew. This approach shows just how critical in successful implementation are the human and technological dimensions. Without conversation, questions and answers, or clearly defined business goals – there can be no successful transformation.

It appears that we should approach the initial phase of any project with extreme care. And how should we apply this care to the entire transformation process so that it brings the best results possible?

In the case of Fujitsu, our proprietary methodology of working with our clients, which puts people at the heart of any project, enables a friendly project implementation. First, we organize a Co-Creation workshop, either on-site on the client’s premises or remotely. This meeting, rooted in modified design thinking, allows for a joint development of the key assumptions based on an analysis of the situation at the company. Having laid this groundwork, our experts develop an individualized digital transformation project, focusing precisely on those areas that the client deems most important. Co-Creation is a workshop involving all parties, which is in fact a challenging discussion. On the part of the client, we try to include representatives from all areas of the company’s operations in order to broaden the perspective and gain knowledge as best as we can. As a result, we find out, among many other things, what might become a “quick win” and which processes may be worth adjusting in the long run. During such a discussion, new concepts and ideas are born, which then fuel the entire transformation process. And that is why we emphasize ever so strongly the human dimension of any digital transformation.

Dariusz Kwieciński, CEO at Fujitsu Poland – Business leader and digital transformation expert.

Since joining Fujitsu in 2006, he has held various managerial positions, including: Service Director, Head of Services and Country Head of Sales in Poland. In 2017, he became Head of Eastern Europe, managing the Fujitsu business in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. He is a graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology.

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Anastazja Lach