Barry Duncan

Panamoure, and many other consultancies, help companies, partnerships, nonprofit organisations, educational establishments and government agencies digitally transform. But what does “digital transformation” actually mean? Well, it means many different things to all those various parties. For those organisations of a certain scale, the complexity and expense required for a comprehensive transformation programme may be well justified. Some of our work has involved partnering with FTSE100 companies and other large organisations, implementing digital transformation programmes which have lasted more than two years. For most mid-sized and smaller companies, a digital transformation this extensive is rarely warranted, in terms of both expense and operational requirement. Companies operating within the more modest areas of their respective markets, “digital transformation” can mean a far more pragmatic, rapid and consequently more affordable initiative. Though more modest in terms of effort and investment, such programmes can yield disproportionately transformative results and in the right circumstances, the same can hold true for larger organisations too. Scale need not necessarily compel complexity and greater expense.  

There are numerous definitions of “digital transformation”. In this article, you can expect to find:  

  • What Digital Transformation means to Panamoure 
  • What Digital Transformation means to some of Panamoure’s clients, both actual and prospective 
  • What Digital Transformation means to other practitioners and commentators  


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Panamoure’s clients represent a broad cross-section of the economy, with most being considered large-scale SMEs with £50-300m revenue. Firms of this size do not have the budgets to develop dedicated IT teams focused on AI. They frequently compete with larger firms and so need to focus their efforts on areas where they recognise potential for either improvement in their operating cost model or differentiation in what they offer customers.

Generative AI is seductive. The remarkable pace of adoption and the natural language simplicity of its interface has quite rightly grabbed attention. The potential business use cases are wide-ranging and, in many cases, profound but we are still very early in the adoption cycle. Firms looking to use Gen AI or other disruptive technologies to improve products or services need to consider their options before rushing in. Broadly speaking there are three main avenues available:

The questions we hear most from our PE PortCo clients revolve around what steps they can take towards being a more data-driven business. Exec recognise that AI is highly likely to change the way they run their businesses. The trouble is working out exactly what these changes might be and how to avoid falling for the hype that surrounds this fast-moving space.