Digital Transformation Journey: 3 Hurdles to Learn From!

By Veritis / Sep 1, 2019

Digital Transformation Journey: 3 Hurdles to Learn From!

Digital Transformation (DX) is one transition that every firm in every industry is keen about today.

The growing consumer preferences and increasing market competition have made digital transformation the need of the hour for every firm.

Digital transformation has transformed the way industry functions by bringing in an all-round change in the overall business culture.

However, success in the digital transformation journey doesn’t come so easily.

Despite the huge demand, around 70 percent of companies failed to generate any business value through DX implementation, while more than 78 percent of enterprises failed to fulfill their business objectives, found a 2018 survey.

Fatigue as a result of ‘continuous change’ is considered as one of the key reasons behind such failures.

Here, we will look into three major reasons that can lead to a digital transformation failure:

1) Lack of strong commitment

Lack of strong commitment

Understanding and accepting a concept, vision is entirely different from committing to its implementation and supporting its journey.

Implementing digital transformation efforts successfully in the first phase and not continuing it to the further phases can break the continuity of the plan.

Remember! Digital Transformation initiatives mean a massive change not just in one step.

It should apply enterprise-wide and across cross-functional teams. Every stakeholder involved should consider the personal ownership of the initiative being rolled out and be able to support the case.

There needs to be a collective vision acceptable across the chain, from the top-level executives to every stakeholder associated with the process.

Following this level of acceptance, start slow and let every stakeholder in the process gets habituated to that process, and then the speed naturally picks up.

2) Lack of acceptance to sprint approach

Lack of acceptance to sprint approach

While implementing any initiative, it is very important to assess the journey in terms of budget, possible risks and measurable results.

In traditional business models like waterfall model, firms create a vision, build a supporting business case, allocate budget and implement it as a long-term project.

This kind of approach has a lot of scope for failures as you don’t know what might happen the next minute.

That’s where the sprint approach plays crucial!

Planning a digital transformation journey requires a sprint approach, where a huge project is divided into multiple short-term ones with short-term objectives and measurable results in line with the planned vision and strategy.

This approach helps you execute the plans stepwise through phase-wise budget allocation per sprint.

Long-term plans with limited knowledge on possible hurdles or unexpected failures can make your journey harder.

3) Technology implementation

Technology implementation

Technology implementation is a strategic step in the digital transformation journey. Run for early implementation might not always give desired results.

Consider a complex technology implementation process to build new capabilities. This might require a complete IT modernization process that can consume more time, budget and resources. After so many efforts, you might often receive only a little value that doesn’t match the efforts. At the end, you might end up feeling this process wouldn’t actually require this much technology intervention.

Here is another instance of a technology implementation that carries with it a new operating change. In this case, handling operating culture and change in cultural mindset can become hurdles as the implementation progresses. This can lead to abruption with only a few assets upgraded and increase stakeholders’ resistance to future technology-enabled improvements.

Now, let’s take another instance where technology implementation is done without needed awareness on its future implications on the existing process. Initial phases might seem extremely well. What if it demands a change in operating model and way of doing business to generate desired results? This can also lead to distress!

All three cases conclude to say that the technology implementation in the digital transformation journey is not about ‘being first’ and should ideally be a strategic approach.

It shouldn’t mean a rapid replacement of legacy systems and apps, and should be a stepwise process with a sprint approach after a detailed understanding of core business objectives.

The Conclusion
These three hurdles teach a lot about understanding the possible failures in a successful digital transformation journey. Add these to your checklist for right implementation!


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