Successful Digital Transformation: A Practice Makes Perfect

Business transformation is often synonymous with the phrase digital transformation. The goals are the same: improve the business, create a change-ready org. There’s a slight difference between the two, however. Digital transformation implies that business is transformed by using technology and/or updating your own.

Yes, it’s a small nuance, but this way of thinking can be a very big inhibitor. Only 16% of organizations say that their digital transformations have equipped them to be change-ready. Relying solely on technology as the primary driver for an organization’s digital transformation clearly isn’t working.

Where does successful digital transformation start? With a practice.

More specifically, successful digital transformations start with software delivery and transforming your software delivery methods, which requires two things. One is a low-code platform that accelerates the building and deployment of applications. The second is a digital transformation practice by which to use low-code and also inspire change in the way your business operates.

Why low-code and digital transformation?

I recall a project I worked on at an e-commerce company I used to work for. I was tasked with trying to understand the correlation between page speed and sales. What research showed was that when pages would load one second slower than usual or than your competitor, there was a 15% drop in conversion. Users just expected the pages to work. This finding made us rethink our entire development approach so that it would not negatively impact the company.

But technology doesn’t work that way, and digital transformation certainly doesn’t either.

Low-code software development is becoming pervasive. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use low- or no-code technologies. You want your business to pivot? Create a new channel of revenue, perhaps? You need software to do that. The slower the development process, the more costly it is and the more limiting it can be to your application portfolio. The more innovation-hampering it can be. What low-code development offers is a way for organizations to deliver enterprise-grade software at an accelerated rate, which helps lower the entry to digital transformation initiatives.

When platforms like that are so pervasive and inextricably tied to high-stake initiatives like digital transformation, that means that developers using low-code platforms and users using the applications built on those platforms will, like my users at the e-commerce company, just simply expect low-code to work.

But technology doesn’t work that way, and digital transformation certainly doesn’t either. You need to know how to use it and your organization needs to be ready for change. In short, you need to rethink your entire development approach too!

Digital transformation practice

The primary reason for failure of new growth initiatives like digital transformation, as Gartner suggests, is not technology but rather the “inability to bridge enterprise execution gaps for change.

To meet people’s expectations requires more than just technology. This is why Mendix supplies you with not only the best platform, but also the best practices to start implementing it.

I’ll explain. With the Mendix low-code development platform, you can deliver an app that nets you a certain amount of revenue, or cost savings, or optimizations. And you can deliver that application more quickly than traditional development methods. The value you can wring out of the Mendix platform is worth the price of admission alone. Forrester’s TEI report suggests that with Mendix, you can yield $20M in net benefits over three years, across value channels like enhanced customer experience, operational efficiencies, accelerated app development time, and gross profit from faster time-to-market.

But there’s always more juice to squeeze. As one VP of software development interviewed for the report suggests, “The ability to develop new products quickly with Mendix has changed our business.” We understand that this isn’t about one-off success, no matter how successful it is. You need to know how to do deliver repeatedly.

To propel your business transformation forward, you need to consistently create a number of value-driving apps. To do that, you need to change the way you deliver, not just build, software.

Our Digital Execution Practice is just that: a method for executing on your digital transformation initiatives.

The Mendix Digital Execution Practice shows you how to organize the right people into the right teams, armed with the right technologies and processes, and working on the right software projects that are directly tied to your digital transformation vision. We’ve created this practice by codifying years and years of experience with thousands of customers as they’ve scaled up their low-code journey.

Of course, everyone’s digital transformation and business transformation goals are different. But much like our platform plays well with most technologies, our practice plays well with most organizations’ infrastructure and personnel. We do this via our 5Ps.


You need to create a list of high-value initiatives to work on, but also decide which initiatives (or apps) you pick up first. Growing from quick, first wins to continued success, and capturing the value that your low-code portfolio has brought your organization.


Once you know what you’re going to build, you’ll also need to know which people you need to achieve your goals. It’s also important to take people from across your organization with you on that change journey. Mendix Chief People Officer, Lara Pyko, recently did a talk about on the importance of people in digital transformation.


From a rapid ideation process to expanding that Portfolio with valuable initiatives, to well established and agile development and governance processes. Process ensures continued success and the ability to do app development at scale, which means you need to change the way you work.


This focuses on how Mendix fits into your larger IT landscape, and how you can harness the power of low-code the right way. As I said before, our platform plays well with most technologies, but it’s up to you to set the guidelines on how you let them play together!

You also want to set out your strategy for reusable components and composability. In their 2022 predictions piece, “Composable Applications Accelerate Digital Business” Gartner posits that “by 2024, 80% of CIOs surveyed will list modular business redesign—through composability–as a top-five reason for accelerated business performance.”


Being successful is one thing, having it known that you are being successful is another thing entirely. It is absolutely crucial to communicate your vision and successes to your organization, this is how you get people on board with your change program and how you ensure continued support to execute on your vision.

It’s always more than technology

Much like expectations around page response time for an online retail store, people diving into a low-code development platform for the first time are going to have expectations, mostly around speed and agility. But that’s just thinking with your technology. Low-code adopters (or soon-to-be low-code adopters) should have even higher expectations from a platform. They need to start thinking about how it can be used to help them change how their business operates and delivers software (which, you know, can deliver all sorts of value).

That’s the beauty of the marriage of practice and platform.