Why many digital transformations fail? (Part 1/2)

September 15, 2017

 

Amir Soufizadeh is the Head of Commodities & Utilities Practice at BJSS. BJSS is an award-winning, delivery-focused IT consultancy, and you can learn more about its services at ETOT 2017.

 

Read part 2/2 here

 

With the emergence of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, advanced machine learning, Internet of Things, Cloud computing or Blockchain, as well as the ever-increasing importance of creating user-centric designs that focus on customers instead of product, businesses across industries have realised that digital transformation is integral to maintaining market share and sustainability.

 

Top digital firms, such as Apple, Amazon, Google and smaller but disruptive new entrants such as Airbnb and Uber are proving that digital platforms and virtual networks can overtake traditional product and services, and they are becoming essential for companies’ success.

 

However, despite their efforts and investment made by CEOs, industries still have a mountain to climb and challenges to overcome. Based on analysts’ forecasts, 2018 70% of digital transformation will fail and there are many reasons why. The below summarises the three key factors that contribute towards these failures:

 

 

1. Lack of Leadership

 

When undergoing a digital transformation, it is important to establish who is in charge of leading that specific initiative. Recent research indicates that only 28% of CEOs own digital transformation projects, while over 30% of the time digital transformation is owned by CFOs, 20% by CIOs and nearly 15% by CDOs.

“When people do not know, or cannot understand where they are going with these digital initiatives, they are unlikely to follow and support changes.”

Reports also suggest that many industry leaders seem to believe that an organisation can be digitally transformed with a few well-scoped projects led by C-level officers. However, what really makes an impact in a firms’ operational infrastructure is the implementation of entire digital business models rather than executing a handful of fragmented digital projects.

 

Successful digital transformations start with leadership embracing technology. Having the right people on-board send a clear message to the rest of the organisation that the firm is seriously committed to implementing change. However, since corporate digital transformation is a process that impact the whole organisation, it is not only about having the right leadership skills, it also requires connecting with people and addressing cultural change. If people do not know or cannot understand where they are going with these digital initiatives, they are unlikely to follow and support these programmes.

 

Read part 2/2 here

 

 

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