Planning and Execution Are the Keys to Successful Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is being executed by businesses across all sectors. Done correctly, it’s a massive, dynamic project that rethinks the role of the business. But because digital transformation is unique to each business, there isn’t a clear path to take. The road to success can be rocky.
If you’re struggling with your digital transformation, you are not alone. Many Chief Information Officers (CIO) report digital transformation is amongst their top priorities. Yet, according to McKinsey Digital, only 16% of executives say their company’s digital transformation efforts are succeeding.
It doesn’t need to be this way. While every digital transformation is unique, there are common mistakes made by all businesses. Here we outline the five major pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Digital Transformation Is Not an Option
Digital transformation looks different for a small business than it does for a multinational corporation. But one thing is clear: digital transformation is a necessity. According to Adobe, digital-first companies are 64% more likely than their peers to have exceeded their top business goal. If you don’t take charge in the digital space, then your competitors will.
5 Digital Transformation Mistakes That Could Crucify Your Business
Digital transformation integrates technology into a business and changes how the business operates and the value they bring to their customers. But it’s not as simple as adding simply new software.
Successful digital transformations consider all aspects of the business, from supply chains to sales to human resources. Your company’s journey will be unique, but here are the five most common mistakes to avoid.
1. Ignoring the Data
Data has the power to tell your business information you weren’t expecting. Ignoring unexpected information is a mistake anytime – but especially during a digital transformation. Data can tell your company important information about customer preferences, sales cycles, marketing effectiveness, and more.
Solution: It isn’t enough to collect data; your company must act on it. This analysis will ideally happen early in the process. Using data ensures costly or inefficient processes won’t be cemented into your business during their digital transformation.
2. Underestimating the Power of Digital Transformation
Some companies think adopting a new piece of technology equals a digital transformation. It doesn’t. When a business has such a narrow (and misguided) definition, it doesn’t allow for real change to happen. Even worse, it can allow better-prepared competitors to steal market share.
Solution: Your business should approach digital transformation as a chance to reinvent itself. By fully understanding the scope, your company will justify commitment of appropriate time, money, and focus to the process.
3. Adopting Technology Just Because You Can
It’s great to see your business excited to implement new technology. But it’s a mistake for your company to adopt something because it’s ‘the next big thing’. A narrow focus on technology can mean your organization loses sight of your business goals.
Solution: Rank the most important problems you face and seek out digital solutions for them. Not every new technology has a place in your business. The focus should remain on the specific advantage the new technology will provide. That advantage always revolves around you and your customer.
4. Neglecting to Communicate to Employees
When undertaking such a large project, leaders sometimes fail to communicate to their most important stakeholders: their employees. This can damage employee buy-in. They don’t understand why the digital transformation needs to happen, how the business will be different, or what their role will be. It can be a period of anxiety for your employees as they worry about their new responsibilities and job security.
Solution: Digital transformation affects everyone, and it needs to involve everyone. Communicate early, clearly, and often. Your employees need to understand why the changes are needed, and how they fit into your organization’s new goals. Digital transformation means job roles and responsibilities will change. Ensure your staff is supported with any additional training they will need.
5. Failing to Designate a Team Lead
All your leaders know that digital transformation is important, but no one has the time or expertise to spearhead it. The project gets passed from the board of directors to the CIO to the IT department. Plenty is talked about, but little is done.
Solution: Outsourcing your digital transformation – either in whole or in part – is an option that works for most businesses. Not moving forward will cost your business the most. Outsourcing provides you with benefits of expertise, skills, time, and management capability that you may not currently possess and/or that you cannot commit because of current business restraints.
Getting Digital Transformation Right Is a Necessity
A successful digital transformation is hard to do. It’s even harder to do well. But the companies who thrive in today’s market are those that commit time, money, and resources into the project. Have you got the in-house resources to transform your business digitally?