Digital transformation, Innovation

3 Examples of Successful Digital Transformations

3 Examples of Successful Digital Transformations

To be successful, companies must constantly adapt to changing consumer demand, sharpen their strategy to differentiate themselves from competitors and keep pace with market developments.

In the 21st century, digital transformation has become an essential step in stimulating growth in an increasingly competitive market, improving their turnover and enabling them to remain competitive in the face of ever more demanding consumers.

Here are 3 examples of companies that have perfectly succeeded in their digital transformation to inspire you.

1. Société Générale

As a forerunner in digital transformation, Société Générale is committed to the digital world by favouring the collaborative aspect and relying on its employees to drive change. Its digital strategy aims to “develop everyone’s digital skills and experience, reinvent the banking relationship and build the bank of tomorrow”. 

To do this, it has set up a major programme to equip itself with collaborative tools and is betting on the development of digital skills internally, the attraction of IT talent, new working methods and human resources.

To achieve this, it has set up several initiatives:

SC Communities: created in 2013, this is the company’s social network that connects employees and allows the sharing of knowledge and best practices. It includes forums, surveys, wikis, questions/answers and the organization of events. In short, it is a place for exchange and sharing where innovative ideas are born.

Participatory and stimulating experimental project (Peps): at the beginning of 2013, all employees will be asked to imagine the bank of tomorrow. It has been a success and several ideas have already been deployed in the field.

The “Digital for all” programme: launched in 2014, this programme enables all the group’s employees to take part in the digital transition, notably by equipping all workstations with collaborative solutions, providing touch-sensitive tablets and reinforcing network infrastructures. The aim is for employees to develop new uses and new services for customers.

Tomorrow’s HR: in 2015, Société Générale took part in the first HRackathon, the aim of which was to invent a mobile application capable of transforming the relationship between recruiters and candidates. The Group is also working to improve its working environment by promoting mobility within the Group and remote working. Finally, the bank is innovating in the field of training by launching new tools such as e-learning, MOOC and a coaching application.

2. Air France

To successfully complete its digital transformation in less than five years, Air France did not skimp on resources when creating the Digital Factory in December 2017. This 700 m2 space, located at the company’s headquarters at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, is presented as a place to accelerate and incubate digital projects serving Air France’s business lines.

Employees are supported in their digital transformation with the help of tools, methods and expertise, such as a creativity room where employees can do design thinking and ideation workshops, or a prototyping room where new technologies are tested.

The Digital Factory has two missions:

to accelerate business projects thanks to a centre of expertise,

encourage the acculturation of employees by offering a place for exchange and sharing open to all.

With the Digital Factory, Air France aims to become a more digital and innovative company. Projects are tested in real conditions before being delivered. In the first year, twelve projects were delivered. They have improved the customer travel experience and the airline’s operational performance.

3. La Redoute

Almost every household has been familiar with the La Redoute catalogue, the reference for mail order sales. In the early 2010’s, this former wool mill founded in 1837 was on the verge of bankruptcy, competing both with ready-to-wear players such as Zara, Mango and H&M, and with the meteoric growth of e-commerce start-ups, such as vente-privée, Zalando or Amazon, which are breaking prices and offering irreproachable service to consumers.

The company then embarked on an incredible digital transformation based on four main axes:

The offer: La Redoute had to completely rethink its offer by refocusing on clothing and the home (furniture and decoration). It has thus developed its own identity, a “French style” sold at affordable prices and regularly renewed.

The customer: in order to adapt to new consumer behaviour, La Redoute abandoned its catalogue in 2015. It thusly developed its website and mobile site to attract a younger, more trendy clientele. It has also opened physical stores, real connected showrooms where sales staff are equipped with tablets.

Service: improving the customer experience has become a priority for La Redoute. The company first redesigned its delivery service to deliver orders within 24 hours. It has also embarked on customizing the shopping experience by offering its customers a personalized offer and content. A team is working on the development of tools to anticipate new uses such as Artificial Intelligence, a personal assistant, voice commands, etc.

Corporate culture: employees have had to switch from mail order to e-commerce, which has required numerous adaptations. Training, recruitment of new skills, collaborative working methods, change of premises, organization and management. It was also necessary to restore their confidence in the company and re-motivate them. In short, the digital transformation was a real cultural and human transformation of the company.


To succeed in your digital transformation, you must allocate the necessary funds and not neglect the cultural and human aspect.

These three French companies are fine examples of successful digital transformations. There are many others. Don’t hesitate to draw inspiration from them to make yours a success.

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