Digital Transformation: Tales from the Front Line

By David Ketchin, Paul Morrison, and Hermann Waschefort
March 29, 2022
Season 3, Episode 12

The Hackett Group Principal David Ketchin talks with Principal Paul Morrison and Senior Director Hermann Waschefort about critical success factors for how companies can drive real benefits and improved performance through their digital transformation efforts.


Show Notes

Welcome to the Hackett Group’s Business Excelleration Podcast, where – week after week – we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours, and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. This episode of the podcast is hosted by The Hackett Group’s Managing Director of Europe David Ketchin. His guests today are Paul Morrison, Principal and Lead for Hackett’s Digital Enablement Practice in Europe and Hermann Waschefort, Hackett’s U.K. Lead for Business Transformation team and Global Business Services.

Between the two of them, Paul and Hermann spend their time implementing end to end transformation programs with Hackett’s clients. Today they’ll discuss digital transformation and give tales from the front lines. To begin, Hermann defines digital transformation as the process of change in which new technology is combined with people and processes to create value. Its key components are change, combination and value.

Then, Paul elaborates on the broader themes to be addressed in tackling digital transformation. One overarching theme is what organizations can do to achieve maximum digital impact. He shares a few examples of clients Hackett advised on this front, including one targeting democratization of technology.  As a related trend about maximizing impact, we’re seeing growth of product-centric development and the use of a limited number of platforms. A final challenge is clarifying how IT and other functions are working together amidst tension.

It is clear that technology is not the only driver of digital transformation, but it is a key driver. Hermann touches on the two key components of a successful strategy. It begins with being very clear on your business objectives and what you’re trying to achieve. You must remain agile and evolve as priorities evolve. Then, have an understanding of the broader capabilities which can move you forward.

Each year, Hackett runs their Digital Awards every year, which gives them a fantastic insight into what organizations are achieving. Listen as Paul highlights two companies who are really succeeding in this field. First, ​​Mondelēz, winner of the Order-to-Cash category, has been on a multi-year journey towards world class performance in receivables. They raised the bar further this year by using machine learning to predict customer payments. Reckitt was the winner of the IT Opportunity-To-Deployment with their next gen living labs program. Their goal was to drive automation at scale through IT operations and bring to life user experience. Employees have improved their satisfaction by over 20%.

As the episode draws to a close, Paul and Hermann each share absolute critical success factors for organizations, namely those hoping to secure rapid benefits. First, Hermann stresses the importance of determining whether an organization is clear on the value of what they’re trying to unlock. A second question is what they hope to do with customer experience, which is key in unlocking growth. Lastly, what can they do to really leapfrog the competition? From Paul’s perspective, it’s key that digital should not seem that it is done to you by IT. Rather, digital change is something in which you are an active participant and decision maker. You must be able to ask yourself whether your function is set up for success in ongoing digital change.


  • 0:40 – Welcome to this episode, hosted by David Ketchin.
  • 2:58 – What is digital transformation?
  • 4:33 – Broader themes for tackling digital transformation.
  • 7:58 – Two key components of a successful strategy.
  • 10:25 – Highlighting two winners of Hackett’s Digital Awards.
  • 14:26 – Absolute critical success factors for organizations.