Digital transformation has become a necessity for legacy businesses looking to modernize their workflows and applications. But while companies may be eager to reap the benefits of new operational improvements, many are unprepared to face the transitional roadblocks they’ll soon face. Here are five common issues organizations struggle with when preparing for and executing their digital transformations and how you can successfully navigate them.
Disregarding Strategic Transformation Planning
It’s a sad truth that roughly 9 out of 10 digital transformations inevitably fail. But what causes these companies to lose their way? It’s not because of a lack of motivation. Rather, in most cases, you can trace the root cause of digital transformation failures back to a lack of strategic transformation planning. Executing a digital transformation successfully requires vision and high-level objectives in place to see it through. While many companies get excited at the opportunity to inject new technology into their infrastructure, approaching this process with a “head-first” mentality is ill-advised. Constructing a roadmap for each transitional phase will help to ensure higher levels of readiness as you move towards better operational efficiency
Poor Budgeting and Resource Allotment
Your short- and long-term budgetary restrictions can be a critical factor when considering the scale at which your organization can adapt. But many companies don’t recognize this early enough in the planning process. While they may think they understand the costs of new software integrations and process overhauls, they quickly realize that these initiatives drain internal resources and adversely affect their bottom line. Ensuring you have the right staff in place to manage your transitional stages is critical to getting the most out of your digital transformation. This will help to reduce lead times when integrating new technology and maximize your ROI.
Lack of Necessary Employee Engagement
Once you have the right staff in place, it’s important to keep them engaged and actively involved with your digital transformation efforts. This can be a challenge for many organizations as it requires due diligence into both the external and “internal” benefits of your transition. It’s important to remember that business innovations also affect the future roles and perspective of your employees. When your staff recognizes the benefits of digital workplace initiatives, they are much more likely to stay motivated when driving these changes. Just as important as your customer's needs are when adapting your processes, your employees’ are too. If your employees can visualize the benefits of your company’s transformation to them personally, it will increase productivity levels and reduce roadblocks to your success.
Having No Active Leadership
Many companies find out quickly that the road to digital transformation success isn’t as short or straight as they had hoped for. This realization causes many organizations to adopt an “all hands on deck” approach to planning and execution. However, without assigning dedicated leaders to drive productivity and efficiency, projects soon begin to stall. Appointing company leaders to organize priorities and accountabilities during a digital transformation is an important step to take before diving into the process. Ideally, these leaders should have a keen insight into the inner workings of the company - knowing what works and what “needs” to change. Companies can also use third-party consultants to help infuse a fresh perspective into the organization while helping them recognize their strengths and weaknesses before, during, and after transitions.
Resisting the Need for Change
Regardless of the benefits that new technology and more efficiency can bring to an organization, the fact is, most people try to avoid change. This is typical during a digital transformation when company leaders find it hard to let go of legacy applications and processes. While not wanting to discredit your current ways of doing business is a good thing, it takes an adaptive mindset to have a successful transformation. Many times it’s hard for companies to conceptualize on their own what immediate changes are necessary. Outside agencies can play an important role in this process by identifying your companies highest priorities and helping you make the best use of your current infrastructure. Your digital transformation doesn’t have to be another sad statistic. By creating a strategic action plan, budgeting your staff and resources effectively, and relying on experienced leadership to guide you through the process, you can ensure that you maximize your success while creating a more sustainable business future.