In a recent virtual address, Michael Dell, Chairman, and CEO of Dell Technologies said,” The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has pushed companies to adopt technologies and systems that have accelerated the pace of digital transformation worldwide. Digital Technology has never been more central than it is right now.”
In many ways, he is right. But then there is no outright guarantee that organizations worldwide will indeed benefit from a greater digital transformation. A recent survey report by McKinsey has revealed that nearly 85% of enterprises worldwide confirmed that they face immense pressure to implement digital transformation strategies in the next two years or risk the trauma of failure. But reality is that around 70% of digital transformations fail.
What explains these failures even after careful planning with budget support?
The simple answer is – Digitization challenges make transformation difficult. The whole process takes a lot of ingenuity, focus, and the ability to understand what often goes wrong and what steps need to be taken to avoid digital transformation failures.
Facilitate Appropriate Organisational Changes
According to Forrester, “Transformation requires an ‘innovative’ culture. Only then can companies deliver ‘improved customer outcomes’ using technology.” That is, however, not possible if the organizational structure is still driven by an old world mindset.
As they say, ‘Change is the need of the hour’. Similarly, organizational changes receptive to introducing new technologies and facilitating digital transformation, is the need of the hour. The changes must be step-by-step rather than pushed through hurriedly, else the organizations will fuel the resentment in the workplace.
Communication must be an important part of any change strategy. All of the stakeholders must be taken into confidence with each team and technology touch-point, getting individual attention. This way, inherent complexities and flaws can be spotted out and addressed on an individual basis with precision. Eventually, it will spur an agile workforce with everyone on the same page, fully committed towards realizing wider business objectives.
Getting The Business Process Right
One of the main reasons for the failure of digital transformation is the steps taken towards its facilitation which often lacks substance and the needed direction to make the impact.
Adoption of digital transformation must not be just for the heck of it. Every decision must be weighed in with a lot of thought keeping in mind, and whether they are in line with the prevalent trends without deviating from the core purpose of optimizing enterprise performance. For instance, any decision taken on where to invest must be taken only after the organization undergoes business process modeling. Towards this end, workflows must be mapped out; current pain points discussed threadbare with team leaders; and specific areas that need drastic improvements identified. This, if done with success, will help an organization to create the right digital transformation roadmap that addresses organizational goals and challenges.
Facilitating Quality Collaboration
Even though digital transformation involves adoption of advanced technologies with more tasks executed by machines and algorithms, the role of humans in the whole process must not be downgraded. Instead, organizations need to work out as to how humans’ skills can be better leveraged and how they can better communicate and collaborate.
In many cases, one of the main factors for the success and failure of digital transformation is collaboration.
This can be negated with a well-crafted collaboration strategy that also constitutes processes and data movement in the organization. If worked out and implemented well, eventually it will facilitate a smoother transition to digital transformation. More importantly, it will also help in bringing about a change in employee mindsets to a less complicated state of mind.
Ensuring Stringent System Testing
Testing has often been grossly misused by organizational teams, especially when time is short or budget is running thin. This runs the risk of serious downtimes.
To avoid falling into such a quagmire, the best step is to address the problems that ruffle test environments. Towards this end, every aspect of the system should be periodically tested by varied testing mechanisms. For example, backup processes or workflows or the database, should be evaluated and tested rigorously to eject out the flaws, if any. This way, transition to digital transformation becomes easier and more importantly error-free.
Having the right partners onboard with the capabilities to complement organizational teams is also important. They not only bring in a different brand of expertise and skills, but also the needed technology tools that can be put to use immediately while eventually ensuring healthy long-term collaborations.
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