7 Sins of Digital Transformation You Should Never Commit

Did you know that 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail? According to Deloitte, 70% of digital transformation projects fail.  Some of the common reason behind digital transformation failure are:

  • Lack of clearly defined goals
  • Setting unrealistic expectations
  • Conflict of interest
  •  Poor technology adoption
  • Lack of communication and collaboration between internal teams
  • Resistance to change
  • Lack of Skills and Training

To make matters worse, businesses tend to make mistakes that put their digital transformation journey off track. Unfortunately, they are unaware of these sins and tend to make these mistakes repeatedly. This article will highlight seven digital transformation sins that you should avoid.

7 Sins of Digital Transformation You Should Never Commit

Here are seven sins of digital transformation that can derail your digital transformation initiative.

1. Focusing Solely On Technology

Whenever you use the word Digital, it automatically sends your brain towards technology. There is no denying that switching from legacy systems to Seattle dedicated server is an integral part of digital transformation but not the only part. Businesses obsess too much on the technological aspects at the cost of neglecting business aspects. When you are too focused on fulfilling the technology goals, business goals tend to take a back seat. This is when your digital transformation project starts to miss business outcomes, which lead it towards failure.

Improving customer and employee experience is the prime objective of digital transformation, according to a Gertner survey. That is why it is important for C-suite executives to form partnerships and work together to achieve the business goals. The survey also showed that 88% of CIOs struggle to achieve digital transformation success without these partnerships.

2. Putting Customer Needs and Market Trends on The Back Seat

Just because you are embarking on the digital transformation journey does not mean that you should replace all your legacy systems with the latest dedicated servers and eliminate all the technical debt you already have. You can not address all the risks, security gaps, cost related issues all at once. Instead you should take one step at a time.

Put your customer and employee needs at the heart of your digital transformation initiatives. Think how digital transformation could benefit your customers and employees. Analyze market trends and look at what other competitors in your industry are doing. If they are moving in a different direction with digital transformation or have achieved success with other methods, you can also give it a try.

3. Ignoring Change Management

As mentioned before, resistance to change is one of the main reasons behind digital transformation project failure. If your organization is dealing with a similar issue, you need to convince all the stakeholders that bringing changes will benefit all parties involved. You need to develop a culture that encourages change. 

This would only happen when you clear all the reservations and confusions change opposers have. Instead of treating change management as an afterthought, make it an integral part of the process from the outset.

4. Thinking Teams Will Meet Security and Compliance Requirements

Security and regulatory compliance are two of the biggest concerns for businesses these days. Despite this, most businesses take it lightly. They assume that their teams will take care of all the compliance and security requirements, which is not always the case. Relying solely on self-organizing agile teams, data scientists, and user experience specialists to possess all the necessary knowledge and best practices can lead to risks and implementation setbacks. CIOs should ensure that security and compliance experts actively collaborate with all teams involved in digital transformation initiatives. 

Effective, cross-functional collaboration is fundamental to understanding the role of technology changes, defining use cases, and adopting the right approaches, aiming to institutionalize streamlined methods of experimentation and learning from new technologies within the organization, as emphasized by Andres Velasquez, a technology consulting principal at EY.

5. Jumping on AI Bandwagon Without an Strategy and Data Governance Policy

Kjell Carlsson, head of data science strategy and evangelism of Domino thinks that “Organizations who think they can leverage artificial intelligence as a bolt-on to their existing digital transformation strategies are doomed to failure.” According to him, “AI is a fundamentally different set of technologies that requires a separate strategy and capabilities

Since most businesses don’t have neither the AI strategy nor the capabilities required, the adoption is bound to result in failure. Before jumping on the AI bandwagon, you should develop an AI strategy as well as AI governance policy. Moreover, acquire skills and expand your technical capabilities as well as improve the quality of data center outages to make the most of AI technology.

6. Lack of a Roadmap

You are treating digital transformation as a journey, which is the right way to go about things but sadly you don’t have a clearly defined path that leads to success. You need a roadmap with clearly mapped out milestones along the way and communicate it to all the parties involved to achieve success with digital transformation.

CIOs should go into the trenches to clearly see how day to day operations work.This will help them better understand the impact new technology adoption would have at the ground level. This will also provide them useful business insights which they can use to develop a strategy for digital transformation success.

7. Expecting IT Leaders To Lead Digital Transformation Initiative

You might have achieved success in IT operations, project management, program management or application development but leading a digital transformation initiative is a completely different ball game altogether. Expecting project managers, program managers and IT operations managers to deliver exceptional results in digital transformation will be a big mistake. You need the specific skills and the relevant experience to drive digital transformation projects to success.

Which of these sins of digital transformation have you committed? Share your story with us in the comments section below.