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How Not To Fail Your Digital Transformation Efforts

How Not To Fail Your Digital Transformation Efforts

Friday July 12, 2019,

5 min Read

How Not To Fail Your Digital Transformation Efforts

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of business, fundamentally changing the way it operates. Furthermore, it’s a cultural change which requires organizations to constantly challenge the status quo and get comfortable with failure. 

According to research made by IDG 44% of companies have already moved to a digital-first approach. However only half of CEOs claimed that digital improvements have led to revenue growth. Even less - 25% of companies will succeed in creating better ways of working.

There’s definitely a lot of hype around Digital Transformation. Looking at the technological progress of our age, we can certainly say that for some industries digital transformation is no longer an option but a necessity.

Nevertheless, digital transformation can turn into a complete nightmare for your business. Some strategies fail to reflect how digital is changing economic fundamentals or what it means to compete. There are some pitfalls that any company wanting to undergo the process must be aware of. 

This transformation could be a big investment for your company. That’s why in the list below we are going to discuss some of these pitfalls that you need to watch out for and avoid in order not to fail at your digital transformation efforts.

Unclear Definitions

Many business owners see digital as an upgraded term of their IT function, others think of digital market and sales. What actually stands behind it is the nearly instant ability to connect devices, people or physical objects. Now, these devices churn out most of the data ever produced.

Technology gives birth to brand new business models. The insurance industry for example now benefits from connected cars, that are able to collect real-time information about drivers behavior.  This allows insurers to price any risks associated with the customer way to come accurately. 

The unclear definition of digital makes it hard for companies to connect a working digital strategy to their business model. There has to be a clearly-defined strategy in order not to fail at your efforts. Actually understanding the process is key to its success. 

Lack of communication

Communication is crucial for whatever you want to do within an organization. It’s the core of successful digital transformation as well. Overwhelming teams with too many initiatives can harm communication and work towards developing projects. 

Employees often get comfortable with a system they’ve worked with for years. A further look into this usually shows insecurities around digital skills. Consulting with employees is an essential step in your digital strategy. Every single question needs to be cleared out in order to prepare the organization for the change.

A key part of digital transformation is the well-crafted pivot in the way people work, eliminating all the manual and time-consuming tasks, so they can actually focus on adding value. Presenting your strategy this way to all the departments in an organization can win over any of the employees and make him willing to work with the change. Lack of communication can be the fastest way to fail at digital transformation.

Getting all the newest, brightest technology

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Let’s start with how cost-consuming that is. Why would you do it to yourself? 

Maybe because one of the most common misconceptions is that digital transformation is all about the implementation of the latest innovative technologies. Innovation may be a key feature of the transformation, but it’s not all that you need.

Some of the most successful digital transformation projects consist of moving away from a legacy system, that is hard to manage and integrate with other solutions. Businesses often hold on to old technologies, because it holds sensitive data. However, this sets them away as other, improved business systems are implemented. Also, the older tech is, the more likely it possesses higher security risks.

On the other hand, implementing technologies just because they are the flashiest, without evaluating their functionality can easily lead to failure. Augmented reality technologies, for example, won’t bring you many advantages if you run a service business, but for retail, it can be a massive game-changer. 

Examine the needs of your business and don’t get the trendiest technology, but the one that will work for you.

Customers aren’t at the center of your strategy

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The aim of digital transformation is to provide users with a unique experience. It completely loses it’s the point if it doesn’t impact your customers. Most of your digital transformation efforts should be focused on improving users’ experience. 

You know that customer service can make or break any business relationship. Statista shows that ineffective customer the number one reason for frustration for almost 30% of Americans.

Digital transformation can provide many different changes to your business. In order not to fail to remove your focus from redundant technologies and emphasize on improving your product or services through technological changes or use data for improving your insights. If you don't take customer experience in account, you are set up for failure.

Final Thoughts

Having a look at the statistics and all of the challenges that you may face within the process of digital transformation, you might feel discouraged to implement it in your business. However, a wise digital strategy can help you overcome the challenges and actually succeed. 

Jumping into digital transformation without a strategic goal will surely lead to failure. Understanding the process and having a clear vision of how it will help you, can save you from wasting time and resources on the wrong solutions.