Digital technologies continue reshaping the world in unexpected ways. Companies across the globe realize that the only way to stay successful as technology changes is to embrace a digital transformation.
According to a recent McKinsey Global Survey, eight out of ten organizations stated that they made digital transformation efforts in recent years. And according to FutureScapes 2017 Report, global expenditure on digital transformations will reach around $2.2 trillion by the end of 2019, a massive 60% upshot from 2016. While almost every company and industry is attempting digital transformation, few are succeeding. Studies found that less than one-third of the companies undertaking digital transformations are successful.
Any organization, government agency, service provider, or business can benefit from a digital transformation.
Digital Transformation improves businesses by:
• Helping your organization gain a competitive edge. The ability to harness new information, analyze data more effectively, and implement advanced strategies can help you distinguish yourself in your field.
• Improving customer engagement and experience. This will allow you to attract and retain more customers, increase market share, and profits.
• Ensuring that all of your operational standards and processes are entirely streamlined to minimize friction and redundancies.
• Empowering all of your human resources to contribute ideas and come up with creative solutions, which can increase your productivity and innovation.
• Automating specific tasks to reduce costs and redundancies and improve efficiency.
Less than 30% of all companies and organizations succeed in digital transformations. This number took a further dip in 2018, where only 16% of companies reported that their digital transformation efforts were successful. Approximately 7% of respondents answered that they achieved short-term success from digital transformation but that the results weren’t sustainable.
The success rate of digital transformations amongst industries such as media, technology, and telecom are relatively better, but still pretty weak at only 26%. The success rate in sectors like oil, gas, and pharmaceuticals are even more shocking, scraping the line between 4% and 11% success.
Implementing technologies is just the beginning of a digital transformation. There’s a lot you have to do to ensure its success as well.
One of the most important aspects of a successful digital transformation is an effective culture change. Most companies that fail in their digital transformation efforts focus solely on the technology while neglecting the building blocks of their organization, the people.
To truly succeed in a digital transformation, you must seek cooperation and participation from the people who make up your organization. This is done by modifying your organizational culture to reflect your new efforts. Most people in your team won’t know how to implement the new technology in their day-to-day tasks, and some may even be ambivalent about them. You need to empower your organization to appreciate these digital changes and implement them effectively.
This can be done by fostering a culture that focuses on continuous digital learning, holistic improvement, and encouraging employees to seek help. Your organization should also invest in training programs to help employees catch up to the technology and perhaps enlist technology professionals who can help them when necessary.
Digital transformation entails changing collaboration systems, exploring new technologies, multiplying capacities, and upending processes. All of these changes can be overwhelming for anyone — no matter how technologically adept they are. That’s why it’s always a good idea to seek external help from professionals.
Digital consultants can help you avoid many of the pitfalls that other unsuccessful businesses suffer from. They can help you with the following:
• Clarity: Digital consultants and agencies can help you form a clear action plan for the future of your digital transformation efforts. They will make sure your processes are streamlined and ensure that all of your organizational needs are in-line with your endeavors. Their knowledge and support will substantially improve your organization.
• Perspectives: For your digital transformation to succeed, you need to view your organization in a new light completely. You need to uproot everything you knew and look at it with a new lens. A fresh pair of eyes will help you come up with creative solutions for digital transformation.
• Customer-Centrism: Digital strategists and agencies can help you better understand your customer base using the technologies. This allows you to capture your customers’ interests better and retain their support.
Digital transformations are accompanied by company-wide changes — especially in terms of talent and recruitment. Most companies have to completely change their top talent to include leadership that understands how to leverage the new technologies to guide the organization in the right direction.
Hiring digital-specific leaders for your management team is key to succeeding in your digital transformation strategy. Furthermore, the leadership needs to be on board with making structural company-wide changes and implementing them in the best way possible.
Less than one-third of companies implementing a digital transformation have engaged with technology-specific leadership. Expectedly, organizations that hired a new Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to accompany the changes were 1.6x more successful in their digital transformation efforts than those who didn’t.
Surveys have also found that one of the most important aspects of a successful digital transformation is developing talent and skills for the future. The organization must implement some workforce-related strategies to ensure the continued success of their digital transformation efforts.
They need to modify everyone’s roles and responsibilities, so they align with the overall transformation objectives. They also need to engage in technology-innovation leadership and integrators to bridge the gap between the traditional and digital aspects of the organization. These integrators can help employees implement technology into their existing daily tasks.
Furthermore, during recruitment, your organization needs to focus on a broader range of capabilities and methods. For example, your organization can host technology conferences for recruitment purposes and run tests that gauge the candidate’s ability to implement the technology.
Finally, the key to the success of any new strategy — not just digital transformation — is clear and open communications. You need to carefully communicate your objectives and goals for your company and your employees because they need to see the purpose and benefits of the digital transformation.
Companies that are open and transparent with their employees are three times more likely to succeed in their efforts as this ensures that your team embraces the changes. In addition to communicating the changes, your senior leadership staff should also communicate urgency.
Digital Transformations are disruptive and can cause some initial hesitation. However, if you implement a thorough strategy and receive support from digital consultants throughout your digital transformation, you’ll be able to be successful in the long run by gaining a competitive advantage and increasing your ROI.