Digital Technology
Aug 25, 2015

Putting digital to work—the Lean Digital way

Digital changes everything. Digital technologies are radically altering the way enterprises run, with arguably greater and deeper impact than what we have seen in previous waves of IT evolution. Many industries, and the competitive dynamics that characterize them today, are in the process of being transformed forever.

Most companies, constrained by legacy technologies, are not fully ready to harness this power. For these companies, the surge of digital transformation is all too likely to inspire misguided efforts. Genpact's own research shows that, by not adopting the right strategies, companies risk squandering nearly $400 billion in annual spend on wrongheaded initiatives that can only yield inadequate ROI. More dangerously, mistakes such as these encourage companies to delay adopting digital business and operating models, with the result that significant opportunities are missed. But the root causes of the current challenge, for established companies, are threefold: first, they are unable to align initiatives to deliver measurable impact; second, they are slow in embracing digital for the value chain beyond the front office; and third, they house complexity—in the form of legacy technologies, processes, and sometimes people—that often seems insurmountable.

Yet solutions exist.

Agile and Lean startups taught us something—it's a lesson worth re-learning. Our experience indicates that a combination of “classic" and “cutting edge" is both powerful and practical. Specifically, Lean management practices, used alongside advanced digital technologies and a discovery process that involves Design Thinking, may prove effective for large enterprises, and help them do what the Lean startup movement has done already for fast-growing challengers: harness digital's revolutionary power. This combination helps prevent the digitization of broken processes while also simplifying interventions and holding in check the tendency towards small, tactical improvements favored by some Lean management practitioners. Importantly, these methods will harness digital's power in the middle and back office, thereby unlocking disproportionate value for clients.

Ultimately, the emergence of “Lean Digital" practices can help many organizations generate material impact through the latest technology, faster.

Learn how Genpact is helping large enterprises harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT).

About the author

Gianni Giacomelli

Gianni Giacomelli

Chief Innovation Leader

Gianni serves as Chief Innovation Leader where he drives and sponsors Genpact’s strategic initiatives aimed at sustaining clients’ transformation into digitally-enabled companies. He also co-leads the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) efforts to set up a Collective Intelligence Design Lab.