How To Avoid A Digital Transformation Disaster

As companies try desperately to navigate the complex challenges of the digital transformation, there are few things that they need to keep in mind.

In brief:

  1. Plan ahead and understand the core stages of the digital transformation process. Identify your goals and ambitions, and don't let legacy systems or cultural barriers limit you.
  2. Obtain support from stakeholders, create agile teams with strong soft skills, and communicate the urgency effectively.
  3. Stay up to date with changes in the industry and keep your expectations realistic. Consider the fears and concerns of your employees and approach digital transformation with a clear-eyed perspective.

Digital transformation is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity. Yet, an IBM/Forrester study estimates that 84% of digital transformation efforts fail.

Stop for a moment and think about it…

Companies hire large systems integrators, delegate the job to them and expect the results without putting in much effort. Never take your hands off the wheels. Once you’ve accepted that digital transformation is the way forward, you need to do some homework!

Understand the Process

It is important to understand the core stages of the digital transformation process. Connect your ‘big idea’ with a practical roadmap for implementation.

An integrated and holistic view of your business will help you avoid potential pitfalls and keep the end product on track and on budget.

Identify what you want to transform and why. Be clear on your ambitions. Consider digital disruptors like Amazon, Uber, or Tesla. They are purpose-built.

They have customized their technology infrastructure to align with their digital goals, decision-making processes, and overall approach to business.

When you attempt to adapt by implementing new digital services and refining your operations, do not limit yourself by the constraints of your legacy systems, bureaucratic structure, and cultural barriers between IT and business operations.

Plan Ahead

Before investing in new systems, take a hard look at your existing systems. Do you really need shiny, new tech stacks which don't have solid business implementation?

At UniAspect, we make it a habit to sit with our clients and evaluate their current systems and processes. This enables us to create a client-centric design.

We put so much emphasis on planning because, without a solid plan, digital transformations can take longer and cost more.[Hertz vs Accenture lawsuit]

Set clear goals and objectives at the start of the process. Carefully contemplate the timeline, budget, and overall scope of the project. It may also involve setting benchmarks, targets, and team goals, so all stakeholders understand what is expected.

Obtain Support

Having a plan is one thing, but executing it is another. Obtaining support from stakeholders, such as the C-suite, is vital to having a successful digital transformation.

Without their backing and trust, the project will likely fail or take longer than necessary.

But most executives are not technologists!

The minute you start using technical jargon, you have lost them and siloed your DX team. Instead, translate your efforts into non-technical compelling UX and investment stories to gain stakeholder trust.

Creating agile and competent teams is an absolute must for successful DX efforts. Think 80% soft skills and 20% technical skills.

Soft skills ninjas are more important than efficient engineers.

To lead the change efforts, you need exceptional leaders, and things will fall into place very quickly.

Another thing to remember is when time is of the essence, make sure to effectively communicate the urgency to your executives.

Instead of simply expressing your concerns about technology, present them with delayed cost calculations. That will get them out of the golf course and into the office by your side.

Stay up to date

Digital transformation can take months, if not years, and technology is quickly changing, so it is vital to remain abreast with any changes in the industry.

This could come in the form of software updates, new technology or trends, or even changes to the way customers interact with the company. All of these have the potential to impact the transformation process and could lead to disaster if not taken into consideration.

And Above All… Keep it Realistic!

When it comes to digital transformation, it is easy to get ahead of ourselves and come up with unrealistic expectations.

I have seen executives itching to get change moving. And in their haste, forgetting the most important aspect of any change – Humans!

Human beings are designed to fear the unknown. In this case, it’s the fear of being replaced or losing their jobs.

If you ignore those fears, you’ll have internal saboteurs who will do everything in their power to undermine your change efforts.

Over the years, we have noticed traditional consultancy isn’t cut for it.

That is why UniAspect Digital dismantles the very human barriers most consultants shy away from. In doing so, we unlock invaluable human potential.

We approach digital transformation with a clear-eyed perspective and guide our clients to do the same. We help leaders drive change and avoid the disaster that can come with digital transformation. Get in touch today to find out how we can help make your digital transformation a success.

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