5 pitfalls leaders need to avoid in their digital transformation (DX) journey
As the global economy is increasingly being driven and disrupted by technology, digital transformation has become a critical part of the boardroom agenda for enterprises of all sizes and scales. It is evident that digitalization has penetrated the global business ecosystem and the enterprises are embracing this transformation rapidly. Yet IDC predicts, about 70% of the digital transformation initiatives are expected to fail. One of the reasons for the expected failure is that enterprises aren’t prepared well enough to manage digital disruption internally. That’s because of the presumption that digital adoption will happen by itself as part of the overall digital transformation even though digital adoption is a cornerstone of digital transformation.
Inarguably, the digital transformation will eventually happen. But at the same time unless and until the industries are prepared to adopt digitalization, they cannot transform their businesses. And for this preparedness, it is important to understand the importance and benefits that digitalization promises to deliver to the diversified industries across the globe.
1. Not focusing on “True Value” of Digital Transformation
On one end of the spectrum, many a times, companies fall prey to the habit of reacting to every technological advancement. On the other end, some become lost in measuring impact of digital in terms of traditional ways of calculating efficiencies and cost-savings. Instead, companies should focus on the true value of the digital transformation – freeing up employees so that they can focus on utilizing more human skills to create bigger impact for the company.
“The two extremes – reacting to every technology or lost with traditional ROI”
For many technology teams in companies, it is normal to get lost in the excitement surrounding all the talk around digital transformation and automation and they forget to answer tough questions that run in the end users or employees minds – about the impact it will create, about the change it will bring and how it affects them and their teams. It is also important to note that the digital initiatives you take may not always end up affecting the existing KPIs.
2. Not preparing their users and employees for the future digital journey
Digital transformation is not just about incorporating technology oriented modes of management and operations. It is a vessel to make things easy, engaging and enticing for the users at every touch point. While the technology part is important, ensuring that all the stakeholders like end users or employees are empowered and are agile to handle the disruptions that are roused due to technological innovations is even more important.
Leaders should start by answering questions on what digital transformation is for their companies, what new technologies are being introduced, what the impact will be, what is the lifetime of the transformation and how they will be prepared for the upcoming changes.
3. Incorrectly predicting organizational readiness
IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies will exceed 1.5 trillion dollars in 2018 and will touch 2.1 trillion dollars by 2021. And a majority of this spending is expected to go into creating user and employee experiences by leveraging digitally-connected products, services and people and making all of them communicate with each other better. But while many companies do understand the importance and aim for digital transformation, they end up doing patchy digital upgrades with no holistic vision. It is important to note that digital transformation is meant to change the way you work with customers, employees and partners and your digital strategy should be enough to maintain competitiveness.
“they end up doing patchy digital upgrades with no holistic vision”
4. Jumping into digital with BOT armies
McKinsey forecasts that 30 percent of the tasks in most of the companies are related to back-offices with mundane data-entry works which are error-prone, need low-judgement and are compliance-needy and can be readily automated. So, many companies rush by spinning bots with pilots to configure automation for all these processes while expecting large financial outcomes. While some such localised efforts found success, their scalability was not a success story so far.</>
Configuring and piloting thousands of bots which can handle multiple exceptions in standard process which may result in thousands of permutations can quickly become incredibly complex and out of control. Also, bots are not deploy-and-forget mechanisms. They need constant care and attention and even the platforms that these bots interact with change frequently making the bot maintenance much more than originally projected. Also, automating 30 percent of tasks does not necessarily mean 30 percent savings as people do multiple tasks and fixing few bottlenecks instead of addressing digital holistically only moves the bottleneck to someplace else.
5. Digital rewards ecosystems, not individual organizations
Digital follows flexibility. No other way around it, which is why platforms and ecosystems surrounding them are succeeding and are usurping traditional models with familiar business boundaries. These ecosystems are entering competitive sets of multiple industries at the same time and are aggregating customers at scales never before. In a way, digital rewards scale and bigger companies with their ecosystem models become much bigger using technologies like machine learning to engineer exquisite levels of service.
Businesses those are not able to operate frictionless, those can not create cross-functional services and those can not completely change their business model quickly are the ones who can not effectively utilize DX opportunities. Transforming the “core” along with digital leads to much better business models, helps you create better products, lower costs and greater customer satisfaction.
Whichever technology the companies are looking for, a suitable digital transformation framework and platform will help them carve a path for a well planned and executed system. A system wherein all its end to end activities could be tracked and monitored by multiple stakeholders through a centralized platform. A system that will eliminate the middlemen and automate operations/ processes carried out within an organization. This richness and transparency will enable them to absolve from the shackles of an environment hindered by multiple disparate systems. In fact, it will allow the departments to seamlessly work in a synergy.
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