Avoiding Freddy Krueger in your digital transformation dreams

By TAB under Insights 07 November 2019

Our world is filled with exponential change. Digital is never slowing down, yet the pace of change for many businesses has never been so slow. To stay ahead of disruption instead of in its wake, organisations need to position themselves to adapt, transform and grow — continually challenging the status quo. Slow transformation can lead to lost market share to competitors, staff turnover and customer dissatisfaction.

Kin + Carta was invited to join Microsoft partners from across the world for Microsoft Future Decoded last month to share our expertise in a session titled “Avoiding Freddy Krueger in your Digital Transformation Dreams”



Graham Halling, Director of Consulting at Kin + Carta Advisory, took to the stage with Ben Pitman, Head of Engineering at Kin + Carta TAB to a rapt audience for the most attended talk of the day.



“Transformation. Change. Disruption: Scary words, the subjective meanings and operational implications of which have for many come to endow them with the spectral menace of Freddy Krueger,” said Graham while he took the stage. “And why is this? It boils down to the real-world contradictions that so many frustrated business leaders encounter every day. Changes driven by technology have never moved as quickly, yet the pace at which organisations are changing to deploy and operationally harness technology has in many cases, never been so slow.”


Drawing several parallels to Nightmare on Elm Street, both Graham and Ben illustrated some of the conditions and fears inhibiting transformation:

• Sleep, and you die, or in other words a slightly more compelling ‘you snooze, you lose.’

• “We have to do something and fast” often drives irrational decision-making.

• The transformation “nightmares” don’t just occur in traditional IT and platform environments. The classrooms, bathrooms and even prison cells in the film can represent the increasingly diverse digital touchpoints of an organisation.

• Seeking familiar answers to new problems is one of the key inhibitors to digital transformation. Executives often need to truly know what they don’t know in order to become catalysts to lead and inspire change from the top.

• The decisions and mistakes of the previous generation are causing real suffering today. Legacy architecture, processes and even resource allocation are all potentially inhibitive to the transformative process.

• And finally, success and growth will only come by confronting and moving past fear


“In almost every organisation I’ve worked with over the last several years, the blockers are common: Systems that are difficult to update. Slow quarterly releases,” said Ben Pitman. “The great divide between development and operations and managing existing infrastructure. These (and other common legacy pain-points) all slow down the pace of transformation.

Establishing cause-effect, breaking-down silos, deploying microservices and moving to continuous delivery as well as aligning incentives, tools, processes and culture are all catalysts in turning disruptive technologies from threats into core strengths.”



New agile disruptors are entering every business sector. The barriers to entry are lowering and adoption exponentially accelerating at a rate to scare even the most dominant market-shares. It took 19 days for Pokemon Go to gain 50m users vs the oft-quoted, 68 years for the airlines.

Our parent company Kin + Carta is in itself an example of a business that has evolved to capitalise and thrive on disruption. With its origins in the print business as St Ives, which then went on to acquire digital agencies to advance its capability and service offering in an evolving world and eventually removing the print aspect of the business before transforming into Kin + Carta.

“We’re constantly changing as a company, as we always have, and we’re taking our own medicine. We see transformation as a continuous activity, not a discrete one and as a rapidly growing business, we’re keenly aware that our past successes can hold us back as much as our failures.” — Ben Pitman

Our evolution has allowed us to gain unique insight; transforming from a group of disparate consultancies and agencies into a ‘Connective’ of specialists across the entire spectrum of Kin + Carta businesses in order to offer our clients access to the right expertise at the right time, helping the world’s leading organisations build seamless digital experiences that modernise business models, kickstart enterprise innovation and drive serious growth across the entire customer journey; from acquisition to advocacy.

Now we create the products, platforms and experiences that make the world work better.


“The choice you make around disruption… It’s either going to happen to you or because of you.” 



"And that’s what Kin+Carta is really all about….. Inspiring, advising and empowering our clients not to be afraid. To change, to test, to fail and above all to transform and to practically apply that new-found confidence to power innovation and wider transformation to positively impact their organisations, their employees and their customers and to lay the grounds for success in a digital world.

And as we’ve alluded to throughout our talk, it does ultimately come down to the choice you make around disruption…. It’s either going to happen to you or because of you.” — Graham Halling.


If you would like to learn more about overcoming common blockers to digital transformation and strengthening your position in the market, get in touch today!

This article was originally posted on Kin + Carta Medium