4 Signs Your Digital Transformation is Failing
Digital transformation is an ongoing process that requires investment in time, skills, projects, and infrastructure. It requires excellent management of people, processes, and technology. Organizations that fail to find the fine balance between the three are bound for failed in digital transformation.
- Conflicting views among top-level executives cause difficulty in work processes and progress evaluation.
- Lack of employee adoption due to untrained usage and distrust in new systems.
- Poor communication leads to delays and a lack of progress in digital transformation initiatives. Regular check-ins are necessary for departmental alignment.
Digital transformation appeared on TrustRadius’ 2021 most annoying business buzzwords list. Why?
Because the word is tossed around frequently in boardroom meetings and casual business discussions, one might think every organization on the planet is up to speed on the process! While the reality is quite the opposite.
Behnam Tabrizi and colleagues write in Harvard Business Review, “Companies are pouring millions into ‘digital transformation’ initiatives — but a high percentage of those fail to pay off.”
Lego, P&G, Burberry, and even Ford are prime examples of organizations that spent millions in digital investments, yet their DX efforts failed miserably.
Why do organizations fail in their digital transformation initiatives?
Here are 4 signs that your digital transformation may be failing and why it is essential to address these issues before it's too late.
Sign #1 – Disunity Among Top Management
A digital transformation is a top-down approach because leading by example is the best way to get things done.
When top-level executives have conflicting views, it becomes a challenge for the rest of the employees to comprehend work processes and evaluate progress.
To solve this issue, the C-suit needs to clearly outline the problem they want to solve through digital efforts and how it will benefit the company before investing in DX.
Sign #2 – Lack of buy-in from employees
One of the indicators of a failing digital transformation is a lack of buy-in from employees.
Employees often trust the systems they've gotten the hang of compared to new software. Likewise, if they don't get proper training, they may not be able to use new digital tools and systems effectively, leading to decreased efficiency and even higher costs.
Sign #3 – Gap Between Digital Capabilities and Scaling Efforts
When the digital support for a pilot project differs from the support available for scaling it, your DX efforts will go down the drain.
It leaves companies grappling with either slow production ramp-ups or hasty changes imposed by leadership.
Sign #4 – Poor communication and collaboration
I can never put enough emphasis on the importance of communication, especially from the top leadership. Effective communication and collaboration are essential to any successful digital transformation.
In my career, I have observed that the speed of transformation between different departments varies. They don’t change at the same rate.
When one department changes faster than the other, it causes fractures in delivery between the different departments. And because it wasn't anticipated, managers are taken by surprise.
Their lack of preparedness stems from a mismatch in communication, leaving them without effective solutions.
Working in silos can lead to delays, increased costs, and a lack of progress.
It's important to have regular meetings and check-ins to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
In conclusion, digital transformation is the journey to change and evolve. More than 51% of organizations find themselves in a “stalled” position, with some abandoning their transformation initiatives altogether.
Digital initiatives require a proper change management strategy – one that incorporates both technological and human factors.