Digital transformation is one of the biggest buzzwords in enterprise tech today. But while digital transformation is necessary for business survival, many transformation initiatives fail. In extremely rare instances, the cause of transformation failure is beyond the organization’s control.
However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, it comes down to avoidable mistakes. Companies can steer clear of these mistakes by not only contracting a digital transformation consultancy like WGroup IT consultants but also circumventing the pitfalls that could curtail their ability to execute a transformation project. Here’s a look at the most common pitfalls.
Excessive Focus on Digital
It goes without saying that a big part of digital transformation revolves around technology. Nevertheless, there’s a danger of getting so engrossed in getting the digital aspect right that one could ignore some critical non-tech components that ensure transformation success. Companies that focus on simply acquiring the latest tech, jumping on the hottest bandwagon, and following what they see everyone else doing are at greatest risk of hitting a brick wall in their attempt at digital transformation.
Rather, there must be a clear and well-thought-out sense of purpose that drives the search for and selection of technology that’s going to deliver the most value to the organization. Enterprises should avoid running multiple transformation projects at the same time. This can stretch resources, introduce conflict, complicate project control, unnecessarily increase technology costs, and ultimately doom the digital transformation effort to failure.
Of non-tech ingredients for digital transformation success, few are as important as communication. Transformation is inherently a company-wide undertaking. That means it comes down to the ability to marshal teams and individuals toward the achievement of this shared objective. This cannot happen without good communication.
Organizations must pull everyone to the same page as far as what the goals of each project are. Projects must be perceived as organized, purposeful, and needed in order to fire up the morale of all employees. In the absence of good, consistent, and coherent communication, the transformation project will run into numerous hurdles and eventually collapse.
Digital transformation is about change management. It’s about adjusting the mindset of employees into accepting new ways of doing things. It’s about getting them out of their comfort zone. If the communication around the digital transformation project isn’t clear and persuasive, you are going to run into far more resistance than is necessary.
Working in Silos
There’s hardly any organization that sets out to create the silos that often form barriers between departments. Silos develop over time and are the result of departments getting too absorbed in the realization of their own goals to see the bigger picture. But silos do not just affect departments — they can also impair digital transformation.
Whether it’s a single enterprise-wide project or multiple projects running in parallel, companies must always think about each transformation project in the context of the entire company. The transformation that is solely focused on a single process or department will be hamstrung as the organization won’t be as invested in the project’s success as it should.
For example, if a transformation project takes place solely within the marketing department, then the project could fail because the IT department wasn’t informed in order to ensure the systems that the marketing unit depends on are aligned with the transformation.
Absence of Re-Skilling
Digital transformation is a medium to long term undertaking that may run for two to three years. And it makes sense because if transformation is executed too fast, the resulting disruption of processes may be counterproductive. But even more important in this 2 to 3-year timeframe is that it takes time to re-skill employees.
New systems may be required, certain job roles may be merged, and some positions could be rendered redundant. The skills your employees currently have that are a perfect fit for the digital ecosystem today may be woefully inadequate in the new work environment. If staff aren’t re-skilled in the months and years leading up to the transition, it’s going to be pretty difficult to make the transformation to yield the desired results.
The pace of technological innovation has made it hard for many companies to keep up with customer demands and competitor action. That’s why digital transformation is something every business must be prepared to do.