Why Only 26% of Digital Transformation Projects Succeed
By Scott Mackey | December 15, 2020
According to McKinsey, “…companies often experiment at a pace that fails to match the rate of change around them, slowing their ability to learn fast enough to keep up.”
According to Forbes, a lack of clear strategy, uninspiring leadership, an unwillingness to adapt, and focusing on the launch versus development and delivery are obstacles too steep to surmount.
In my opinion, digital transformation projects can look and sound deceptively simple on the surface, and some are. There are a few easy wins available and those can contribute to a set of false or misaligned expectations about what’s required to truly transform the business.
Set Clear, Realistic Expectations
Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. You’re overhauling everything about how you used to do business and implementing new technologies. The technology you choose is only one piece of the overall project—and it will have downstream implications on the rest of your business.
Create a Cross-Functional Team to Manage the Project
While digital transformation technology may start with an IT team, a successful project requires input from stakeholders in every part of the business.You’ll need an empowered cross-functional team with dedicated subject matter experts and other essential resources like project managers to ensure timely progress against your goals.
Understand How Technology Fits into the Entire Workflow
It’s tempting to go after the low-hanging fruit and use technology to automate a manual process without evaluating why that process exists in the first place.
Be wary of fossilizing a given process or system—what’s the real opportunity for efficiency? Use the power of your cross-functional team to outline existing processes, so you understand what’s working and what’s not. That way, technology fixes the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.
Start Small & Then Expand
When it comes to organizing unstructured data in complex documents, start with the business outcome you want to achieve. Whether it’s reducing overall turnaround time for claims or ensuring compliance with a particular SEC regulation, find easy automation wins—that you can quickly implement—before changing everything at once.
Enjoy the easy, early wins where you can, but don’t become complacent. Digital transformation is a huge undertaking, and you shouldn’t rest on your laurels before your project has truly begun.
Use a Trusted Partner
As the old saying goes: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Digital transformation sounds easy on the surface, but it’s a journey.
Look for a partner with a proven history of operating at the enterprise level in terms of technology, expertise, and ongoing support capabilities.
The Final Verdict
Organizations embarking on digital transformation efforts face an uphill battle that requires coordinating many moving parts and stakeholders to succeed. But by setting clear expectations, creating a cross-functional team, using technology with your workflow, focusing on outcomes, and using a trusted partner like Adlib, you can keep your project on track.
Sources & Credits
Forbes: Where Businesses Go Wrong With Digital Transformation
McKinsey Digital: Digital strategy in a time of crisis
About the Author
As a senior executive, Scott has spent the last 20 years building Adlib into the thriving organization it is today. Scott has held customer-focused leadership roles spanning success, professional services, marketing, and support. He is passionate about business growth, the human impact of technology, and the pursuit of an ideal customer experience measured in the customers’ terms.