June 11, 2022
10 Reasons Why Digital Transformation Fails
Since digital transformation efforts span across the company, it requires a significant investment of money, time and commitment. The last thing companies want to do is embark on an enterprise initiative, only to have it fail. Failure negatively impacts the credibility of executives, business leaders and IT.
#1 - Focusing On The Wrong Initiatives
Focusing on initiatives that don’t drive value or transformation are A waste of time and resources. Leaders need to ensure each initiative will result in transformation or is A component to support transformation. The focus should be on transforming customer experience, business efficiency, employee experience or IT efficiency.
#2 - Taking on Too Many Projects at a Time
With teams challenged to keep up with current projects and support, you can easily over extend them. This will result in project delays, frustration and ultimately more time and money.
#3 - Thinking It Can Be Done Internally
It is rare that companies have the internal talent and leadership to understand the latest business trends and emerging technologies. Not only that, internal resources are typically bogged down with day to day support and project initiatives. You can save time and money by bringing in A partner.
#4 - Insufficient Strategy & Roadmap
Digital transformation spans the enterprise and requires alignment across the organization. Initiatives need to be laser focused on driving transformation. If they are not, resources will be wasted and transformation will fail. Technology strategy is a key component. The future state platform, technologies and enterprise architecture need to be well defined to ensure support of the digital transformation.
#5 - Insuffient or Missing Objectives
If you don’t know what your end goals are, how can you achieve success? Clear goals and objectives are required to provide the guardrails and scope of the digital transformation effort.
#6 - Lack of Executive Committment or Alignment
Enterprise initiatives require executive sponsorship, commitment and accountability. Executive leaders will be required to make the final decisions on new business processes and provide their guidance on how to best address issues. In addition, executives also need to make sure their teams are committed, focused and understand priorities, otherwise delays will occur impacting the entire effort.
#7 - Lack of Change Management
Digital transformation is more that technology, its about people transformation as well. Business processes, technologies and staffing models may be drastically changed. This means that peoples jobs will change, therefore, it is imperative to develop a sound change management strategy and plan. If employees don’t see the value in the transformation, they will reject it, causing friction and making transformation more difficult to achieve. People need to be comfortable about being uncomfortable and will need assistance to embrace change.
#8 - Not treated Like a Program
The size, scope and magnitude of digital transformation can be enormous. As with any large IT initiative, it needs to be managed like a program. Stakeholder alignment, progress, costs, timeline, risks and status need to be understood and communicated on a frequent basis. Risks need to be identified and addressed.
#9 - Insufficent Governance & KPI's
Enterprise governance and KPI’s are critical to ensure the digital transformation effort is tracking as planned. If governance and metrics are not in place, you have no way of knowing if you are achieving your objectives and are making progress. KPI’s can provide an early indication that course adjustments are necessary.
#10 - Lack of Technical Vision
Technology is the foundation for digital transformation. The existing technology platforms and applications may not be using the latest architecture and tools. Microservices, cloud, use of the edge, AI and machine learning are emerging technologies that can help position IT for the future. However, if IT does not know what emerging technologies can be leveraged, IT may be creating more technical debt.
It's a Journey
One thing to remember, digital transformation is a journey and not a final destination. It is an ongoing process and it is not something that is accomplished overnight. Technology needs to be maintained and kept up to date, otherwise, additional technical debt will be created. Business processes need to be continually refined.
How We Can Help
As companies embark on their digital transformation efforts, they need IT service partners that have their best interest at heart. They a firm that is transparent, listens to their client’s needs, offers advice and provides an outside thought leadership. Full On Consulting operates as a Trusted Partner, helping companies on their digital transformation journeys. We know that business is dynamic and needs are constantly changing. We are flexible, easy to work with and offer a number of services in which we can provide significant business value. Here are some ways we can help.
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About the Author
Donald Hook is the founder of Full On Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm helping companies successfully leverage technology and deliver their initiatives.
He is a former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Vice President for a $14B IT services firm with over 50,000 employees globally. He has helped Fortune 100 and mid-market companies by defining their IT strategy, aligning IT and delivering complex initiatives.
He can be reached at email@example.com