While businesses all over the world have embraced the concept of digital transformation, these transformations are not always as successful as one might think.
According to a 2020 BCG study, just 30% of transformations met or exceeded their target value and resulted in long-term change. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are boosting their digital transformation activities. According to IDG’s ‘CIO Pandemic Business Impact Survey 2020’, 59 % of IT leaders are intensifying digital transformation activities because of pandemic pressures.
There is no silver bullet that will guarantee the success of a digital transition. Each circumstance is unique, based on the size of the organization and the scope of the transformation; a winning strategy necessitates thorough planning and a customized approach. While the goals and circumstances of each enterprise are unique, some basic principles that can assist organizations in reaching a desirable outcome have evolved.
Pay attention to specificity
For nearly two decades, companies and the media has referred to numerous technological upgrades as “digital transformations,” to the point that the term has lost its meaning. The digital transformation of a company could include anything from the implementation of a new AI feature to the shift to a remote workforce. Businesses should avoid using catch-all terminology to describe new technology deployments in order to set goals and expectations within the organization; instead, it is crucial to be precise.
Invest in resilience
The last 18 months have demonstrated how quickly business operations can change. With unpredictability now baked into planning and forecasting, technological decision-makers should respond by prioritizing long-term updates above inventions that may not be suitable for the long run. In the short term, businesses should look into solutions that will improve the performance of existing systems and allow for smoother integrations.
While the pandemic may soon be over, today’s leaders must be prepared for a variety of game-changing events, ranging from security threats to economic crises. Putting an emphasis on resilience through digital innovation puts businesses in the best position to weather unexpected storms.
Consider reimagining the path to the boardroom
With digital technologies becoming more important in enterprise operations, businesses must now assess how much technological skill should be demanded of C-suite executives.
Companies that are implementing new digital solutions should consider how much control their top executives will have over the use of these tools. They may wind up investing too much in a new product without knowing if it is pushing the needle on business outcomes if there are no individuals at the top to evaluate their effectiveness. Forward-thinking businesses should assess what they are looking for in new executive hiring, while also giving opportunities for tech-savvy employees to advance through internal leadership positions.
Maintain a healthy balance between leadership and freedom
To establish the framework for success in a digital transition, a clear mission and strong leadership are crucial. A strong leadership presence, on the other hand, may be resisted by employees, who will ultimately determine whether the effort succeeds or fails. Digital transformation necessitates a careful balance of firm guidance and autonomy, allowing staff the freedom to adapt new tools to their processes and goals.
This is especially true in the new post-COVID working conditions, when employees have become accustomed to working remotely, away from the supervision of a manager. While giving top-down leadership, seek to establish a culture of ownership throughout the company, allowing employees to provide input on the transition and feel pride in the company’s success.
Digital transformations will continue to have an impact on businesses around the world, as large and small businesses alike look for ways to use technology to increase efficiency and better business outcomes. To deliver the ROI expected from cutting-edge business technologies, a flexible, resilient, and personalized approach is vital.