Dariya Lopukhina

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Struggling With Digital Transformation: How to Get Back on Track

Despite widespread acknowledgement that businesses need to embrace digital transformation, 59% of companies find themselves at a “digital impasse” and are struggling to fully embrace digital change. Fear of failure and taking risks is holding businesses back, preventing digital innovation.

Struggling With Digital Transformation: How to Get Back on TrackCA! The keys to digital
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Cultural buy-in Upskilling Defined LEFT
MCE LEE REIT [IETOE LL]
stakeholders and roadmap timelines

International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that spending on digital transformation will approach $7.4 trillion by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 17.5%. A big question is how much of digital transformation investments will pay off. One of the main challenges, for organizations wanting to put these investments to good use, is making the cultural shifts necessary to transition into a digital future.

Failure is all too common for those who've attempted a digital transformation. McKinsey estimates that the success rate for digital transformation initiatives is fewer than 30%.

“Technology can be truly transformative, but making the most of digital requires more than the latest tools.”
Duncan Tait, EMEIA CEO at Fujitsu
To enable successful digital transformation, business leaders need to understand that it doesn’t start with the technology. Figuring out the technology required to implement a project is part of the solution, but not all. Businesses need to go through a transformational process, which is something you can do if you’ve attempted this and it hasn't gone well, or if you want to go ahead with digital transformation.

How to get Digital Transformation on track


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Cultural buy-in from all stakeholders

Starting with a digital transformation project isn’t just about turning an analogue process into a digital one.

Start with breaking down a series of internal processes. Review them. Ask: Is there a way we can make these more efficient? How do they fit in with other processes and systems?

Some aspects of these might already be digital. Others will still be analogue. Look at the big picture reasons why you need to replace and improve systems and processes? What will happen if you don't make changes? Can you reduce costs? Make the customer journey smoother? Maintain your compliance with legislative demands, such as GDPR in Europe?

Whatever the reasons, you need to clearly explain those internally - not only so that stakeholders and budget holders understand them - but your staff. Cultural buy-in needs to happen at the team and individual level, because ultimately, once a project is implemented, this is going to change how people work, the systems they use and how they interact with customers.

Without buy-in, it can be difficult to make a success of a transformation. No matter how much is invested and how much senior managers want to make it work.

Upskilling employees

Skills gaps are one of the main reasons organizations struggle to implement new processes and systems. Staff may need to be retrained. Some may go elsewhere. Some are going to struggle, especially if they're not very tech savvy, or if you are introducing digital systems to a previously analogue role.

Make sure the training and support exists to guide staff more easily into using new systems and applications. Working with user-friendly systems will help make this transition easier for everyone. Especially if staff are expected to use new apps on their phone - the design and user-experience will play an important role in how easy, or not, team members get used to new apps.

Defined strategy and roadmap

Without a roadmap, managers and staff won’t clearly understand the role they will play, or how what they are doing is part of the bigger picture.

Ideally, a roadmap should start with your teams and managers.

Find out how new processes and systems could make their jobs easier? How managers can make team members more productive by transforming and improving aspects of their work that are inefficient and take up too much time?

Buy-in that starts with team members taking an initiative, asking for changes that can be implemented will travel further and faster through an organization than buy-in that is forced on the team from senior managers who don't know enough of the difficulties frontline staff encounter.

Roadmaps should include SMART objectives. Giving your teams a clear sense of direction, a reason behind what is being done and a timescale, so that everyone knows the aims and when you expect to reach the destination, is an effective way to overcome objections and increase the chances of success.

Realistic budget and timelines

Has enough been set aside? Does it include training and support?

Are we working with the right IT partners?

Unrealistic budgets and timelines have derailed many a digital transformation project.

Make sure you are asking the right questions at the outset, and that budgets include specific SMART objectives and outcomes aligned with the amounts set aside along the journey. Know to watch out for mission creep and potential overspends, to avoid a project stagnating along the way, and set milestones that include visible outcomes and wins to keep the momentum going.

Undertaking any significant internal project can and does include challenges. Organizations are afraid if they don't do something they will be left behind. And yet, when many try and start, fear, a vague strategy, cultural roadblocks, insufficient training and budget hold them back. An awareness of these challenges and working with the right IT partner are some of the most effective ways to ensure your digital transformation can get back on track. 
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Dariya Lopukhina

Dariya Lopukhina

1 year ago #1

#1
Thank you!

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