Undergoing a digital transformation is critical for survival in today’s business climate. Companies must invest significant resources into integrating digital technology into all facets of their business, but not every company has a dedicated IT department to help them make this move. Even those that do have dedicated IT departments available to assist with digital transformations, more than 70% of enterprises fail.
Fortunately, plenty of companies have already paved the way to a successful transformation and can provide advice on how to avoid digital transformation failure. Their digital transformation strategies can help you sidestep potential pitfalls and expedite the transformation process.
A successful digital transformation requires a complete culture shift. This is one of the more prevalent of the many digital transformation challenges. Leaders must encourage transparent communication and a willingness to learn. The process isn’t going to be easy and everyone needs to be on board with the changes that will have to be made to fully implement the new technology.
Establish shared goals for everyone in the company so that all employees know what the company is working toward. Then, delegate decisions down the chain of command so that the people who are actually doing the work have an impact on the transformation.
Focus on Products Instead of Projects
When you focus on products instead of projects, you’re committing to seeing the development of the product all the way through to the end. Projects are done developing as soon as the plan is complete, which means they may not get enough attention once they’re done. Products, on the other hand, continue to evolve based on customer needs and market forces so they require ongoing maintenance and development.
If you look at your digital transformation from a product level instead of a project level, you’ll feel more comfortable making changes, discontinuing failed experiments, and striving for continual innovation. There won’t be the temptation to scrap the entire product just because testing didn’t work out exactly as planned or because it didn’t meet the user’s needs the way you thought it would.
During your transformation, be prepared to fail often, but try your best to fail fast. This means you need to quickly make decisions that something either is or isn’t working so you can discontinue the failures and put your efforts toward developing the successes. Digital transformation solutions require multiple input points from multiple stakeholders to analyze an experiment’s effectiveness in as close to real-time as possible. When something doesn’t work, you don’t want to keep throwing resources at it. Change course quickly and learn from your mistakes to improve your overall transformation.
Even when you’ve succeeded in digitally transforming your business, you’ll still want to continuously monitor your product. Data is the key to ongoing development and success. It allows you to fully understand your product and system so that you can respond to issues with agility and speed. It will also allow you to develop the technical capabilities to prevent and remediate incidents in the future so that you can minimize user disruption. Find a digital transformation platform that provides this data for you so you don’t have to rely on an IT expert.
Companies that don’t digitally transform their businesses are going to be left behind. However, it can be one of the most challenging obstacles facing a business owner today, especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT department. Without the right approach, you’re more likely to fail than not. Fortunately, by following in the footsteps of companies that blazed the transformation path, you can avoid at least some of the growing pains of those early adopters.
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