How to Ensure a Successful Digital Transformation [TESTED]

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Written By Haissam Abdul Malak

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Did you know that less than 30% of digital transformation initiatives succeed? In other words, just 3 out of 10 businesses have the opportunity to switch to digital operations! The key question is how to guarantee a successful digital transformation journey even though the reasons vary amongst businesses.

Ensuring a successful digital transformation requires a clear strategy, strong leadership, and the ability to continuously adapt to changing market conditions. It also means making the required financial investments in human resources, technological advancements, and culture-supportive environments.

Organizations today are working hard to remain competitive while running effectively, and they can only achieve this if they combine processes, technology, and people to change how they go about their everyday business.

Businesses shouldn’t be overly concerned about the low success rate of digital transformation, but they should learn from challenges faced by others, develop the best plan for their particular operation model, and keep on monitoring their digital transformation KPIs.

According to one study, 95% of startups have digital business plans compared to 87% of traditional, well-established companies. That is somewhat understandable given that startups typically have fewer staff members, and a higher proportion of employees are mostly familiar with digital technologies. As a result, their success rate in implementing digital transformation is higher.

You can check our article titled “Digital transformation statistics” in order to inspire you.

percentage of failed digital transformation initiatives

Why Digital Transformation Fails?

We must determine and discuss the reasons why the majority of DX implementations fail if we are to raise the likelihood of having successful digital transformation programs.

Several factors can cause a digital transformation to fail, including unclear objectives and a poor strategy, poor leadership and support, a lack of resources and finance, and a lack of employee involvement and buy-in.

A market that is changing quickly, a failure to properly integrate new digital transformation tools, not following up on the latest DX trends, and a failure to adapt to new working methods can all thwart digital transformation efforts. Organizations must carefully plan and implement their digital transformation to avoid these pitfalls, making sure they have the necessary tools, support, and cultural alignment to be successful.

What makes digital transformation successful?

Digital transformation is successful when it combines a holistic approach to enhancing and updating business processes and technology, with an emphasis on addressing the changing needs of consumers and employees. It also necessitates strong leadership, clear goals, and a commitment to ongoing learning and progress.

What are the 6 factors of successful digital business transformation?

Adopting a digital model has three main advantages: it increases operational effectiveness (40%), enables a quicker time to market (36%), and aids in meeting consumer expectations (35%). For more info about the benefits of DX, check out this in-depth article.

For the reasons mentioned, most businesses are making every effort to adapt how they run and include the necessary adjustments into their management operations.

To ensure a successful digital transformation, organizations should take the following steps:

1- Carefully plan change management

We can conclude from our expertise assisting major organizations in beginning their DX journey that change management is your implementation’s biggest obstacle.

You will undoubtedly fail without full support from upper management all the way down to the group structure. Also, doing this is difficult! The management of change necessitates careful attention to the little things, such as trainings, persistently promoting the benefits of the change and why it is required and addressing any errors in judgment.

Although you have little control over how the internal politics of the organization are handled, you must get involved to ensure a successful project implementation.

If you want to dig deeper into the different available methods for change management, check out this article.

2- Develop clear goals

An organization’s fundamental business objectives should be aligned with the approach that will lead to a digital transformation. The particular goals and objectives of the transformation should be described in this plan, along with the major tools and methods that will be employed to accomplish them.

Setting these specific objectives will make it easier for everyone to understand your vision and the direction you want to take the business, and it will give them a sense of ownership from the start.

70% of organizations either have clear digital transformation goals or are currently working on one.

3- Secure strong leadership and support

That is one of the top steps you need to take to ensure a higher success rate of implementation.

Digital transformation requires the support and leadership from the top levels of the organization. Usually these executive-level managers establish a dedicated team that will meet regularly to lead the implementation and execution of these initiatives.

Other important departmental stakeholders may be a part of this team in order to support them and establish them as role models for the group. You may be able to anticipate some resistance to change from these departments.

4- Invest in technology and training

In a recent study, they concluded that $1.5 trillion was spent on digital transformation globally in 2021 and the global spending on digital transformation is expected to reach $6.8 trillion by 2023.

If you want to guarantee a successful digital transformation path, investing in digital technology and training employees is a must. The problem is that you might not know where to begin, which technologies are suitable for your business, which personnel can work on them, etc.

The difficult part of this situation is finding qualified people who are adaptable, in a position to be trained, and willing to support these applications internally. It’s not just about securing the financial budget, either. It’s also about making sure that the technology being adopted are best suited for your daily operations.

Remember that you must train your employees who will create digital apps based on the chosen solutions, as well as all other employees, in their use.

With one of our clients, the implementation was delayed for more than 6 months since they insisted on self-training rather than investing in key employees who would be starting to build internal solutions.

5- Encourage an innovative and experimental culture

A culture that supports creativity and experimentation is necessary for digital transformation. This entails developing a work environment where employees feel free to experiment, try new things, and fail.

As a leader, you must set aside some time (up to 20% is advised) for important workers to become acquainted with and knowledgeable about this technology. This will encourage innovation and improved solutions to problems relating to your working activity that arise on a daily basis.

6- Continually adjust for shifting market conditions

Organizations must be ready to continuously adapt to shifting market conditions and consumer needs as a result of the ongoing process of digital transformation.

This can entail assessing and revising the plan for digital transformation on a regular basis as well as keeping an eye on important metrics to monitor development and spot areas for improvement.

This is one of the tasks that the team established earlier should focus on while they progress with the implementation.

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