Digital Transformation: 3 Secrets Your Consultant Won’t Tell You
Digital Transformation: 3 Secrets Your Consultant Won’t Tell You
The story of Digital Transformation is not without its pitfalls. There are roadblocks that need to be recognized, understood, analyzed and addressed before the changes kick in. More often than not, it is not an external consultant who will highlight these challenges to you, but it is you who will have to call out the elephant in the room.
Here’s an interesting story that would help you understand why the entire company has to align with Digital Transformation goals to make it working.
Let’s assume a mid-sized enterprise planning to transform their business with digital solutions. The enterprise has been seeing its profits dwindling and they undertakes an organizational restructuring to reoriented their go to market strategy; approaching the market with industry-focused solutions rather than an inward-looking services approach.
However, there is a lurking fear that they will lose their edge to the competition. In a brainstorming session, the company decides that it was not fully geared up to compete in the digital world and was not aligning with the volatile business landscape.
The IT head was tasked with the responsibility to come up with the ‘Digital Transformation’ plan for the organization. They hire a consultant for recommendations, who presents a blueprint on how the organization has to adopt new technologies in becoming agile and serve customers better. The organization is all set to begin the journey. As you would have guessed by now, something was messed up. More than hope, it is doom that seems to be lurking in the shadows.
Any transformation of the business is a high-stakes game with inherent risks. Success depends on identifying the risks and avoiding them. And, these challenges are not limited only to external consultants. To transform a business completely, it is the C-level executives, employees, partners, vendors who have to resonate with the transformation agenda.
Let us take a look at the major roadblocks to Digital Transformation.
The single biggest roadblock to Digital Transformation is ‘status quo’. Like with any transformation, the lack of appetite for change or the fear of change puts breaks on the changes you want to bring about. Status quo operates at different levels.
- Employee Pushback: From learning new technologies to doing things differently to taking on new challenges, a majority of the workforce in any organization resists change. With Digital Transformation being a large-scale, multi-year, all-embracing change, the resistance will be even more pronounced.
- Organization Structure: Digital transformation has an extensive impact on several things within the organization and may require changes in employees’ roles, changes to departments or even an overhaul of the organizational structure. The existing, entrenched structures and hierarchies will resist this.
- IT Department: The IT departments often focuses on the tactical improvements and maintaining legacy infrastructure and systems, while business is demanding new technology solutions to improve their performance. Besides, there is often misalignment on priorities of Digital Transformation between businesses and IT caused by a lack of common understanding of the overall objectives, scope, and roadmap.
The key to steering away from status quo is by taking it head-on. Educate the employees on the objectives and value of the exercise. If employees can see the benefits of the exercise for them, it becomes easy to take them along on this journey. When it comes to organization structures, the prudent way to deal with them is by making your structures fluid and agile; because, in today’s world, it is the business realities that have to determine structures, which will be in a constant churn.
When you look at Digital Transformation from a 360-degree lens and make IT the facilitator of change in technology part of the transformation rather than make IT in charge of the overall transformation, you would have navigated through a common pitfall. Prioritizing your technology investments and initiatives is a strategic lever you can use to take IT on board.
Digital Transformation need not be a complete overhaul. When you are bringing in digital technology and removing outdated processes, you may be picking and choosing which pieces of your existing technology can stay, and which should go.
- Lack of Vision: Digital Transformation is not just about introduction of new tools or creating a few cool experiences for the customer. Digital Transformation involves development of a clear vision of how the organization will meet their customers’ digital needs, setting objectives against that vision, and execution – often over the course of multiple years. It is also about a vision for the way the organization operates, in tune with the changing world, in order to execute, compete and win. A vision like this can only be drawn and pursued with the involvement of investors, management, all the departments and the employees.
- Lack of Awareness, Education, Alignment and Collaboration: Digital Transformation requires a clear vision, strategy and purpose that needs to be communicated to all the departments, teams and employees. The Transformation journey doesn’t belong to one individual or a department. Departments might be tasked with executing on part of the strategy, but the whole company should be working toward the common goal.
- Budget: While organizations will always grapple with resource constraints and allocation of insufficient budgets, companies can overcome this challenge by taking a phased approach, realization of quick gains, and prioritization of areas of digitization.
Most organizations embarking on Digital Transformation underestimate how long it takes to build capabilities. They require skills and competencies in newer and different areas of technologies. Very often, it makes more sense to seek external help in building systems, applications and competencies that are essential to make the transformation happen successfully. The key lies in choosing a technology partner who will participate in this journey fully, brings in the right expertise and work as the extended team of your IT department.
If you are looking for a technology partner, we have the right expertise and experience in transforming businesses using cutting-edge digital technologies.