Remarkably, the digital transformation market is expected to reach $3.3 billion by 2025. However, despite the immense level of investment companies are making in these initiatives, many are still struggling to see a return on their investment.
In fact, studies have shown that the vast majority (70%) of digital transformation efforts fail. Often, these failures come with profound consequences, since these initiatives are typically very resource intensive.
So, what is going wrong?
Well, in many cases, it boils down to companies making avoidable mistakes, either due to a lack of experience or a failure to adequately plan for the challenges ahead. With this in mind, let’s take a look at five of the most common mistakes that you can avoid so that your digital transformation initiative doesn’t become another statistic.
Failing to Define What Success Looks Like
Without a clear and measurable goal, it’s impossible to determine whether the transformation has been successful. This leads companies to either pursue aimless transformation strategies or, alternatively, to declare success too early and abandon the initiative before it has had a chance to reach its full potential.
On top of this, many companies focus on “going digital” just for the sake of it, without any real understanding of the value they are hoping to achieve or how it will be measured. This is a recipe for disaster, as it means you will likely end up investing in extensive technology upgrades without fully understanding how to monetize or utilize them to drive growth.
For the best chance of success, clearly articulate your objectives and measure progress from the outset. SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) are a great way to do this.
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Not Getting Buy-In From Senior Management
Without the support of those at the top, it’s very difficult to successfully implement a digital transformation strategy.
This is because digital transformation often requires significant changes to company culture and the way employees work on a day-to-day basis. If those in charge aren’t on board with the initiative, it’s very unlikely that the rest of the workforce will buy into the initiative with any real level of enthusiasm.
To avoid this, you must ensure that you have the full backing of those in positions of power before moving ahead with digital transformation efforts. This may require some convincing, but it’s important to make a strong case for the benefits of transformation and how it can help the company to achieve its long-term goals.
Not Embracing Digital Culture
As we just touched upon, company culture has a huge impact on the success of digital transformation initiatives. In order to fully reap the benefits of going digital, you need to ensure that your workforce is on board with the initiative and fully understands how it will benefit them both personally and professionally.
This can be a challenge, as digital transformation often requires employees to change the way they approach their work. For example, they may need to learn new skills or adopt new technologies for tasks they have already been doing manually for years.
Moreover, the initiative may also result in some employees feeling threatened about their job security, as automation can replace certain roles that have been traditionally carried out by humans. In light of this, it’s essential to ensure that your digital transformation initiative is accompanied by a strong communication and training strategy, so that employees feel supported throughout the process.
Neglecting Web Accessibility
As companies go digital, they often focus on creating websites and digital products that look great and offer an intuitive user experience. While this is important, it’s also essential to ensure that your website is accessible to all users.
Those that fail to put measures in place are putting themselves at risk of alienating a significant portion of their potential customer base, not to mention increasing their risk of the legal consequences that can come with neglecting web accessibility.
It’s essential to have a web accessibility solution in place so that all users can use and enjoy your website or digital product. Not only will this help to boost your potential customer base, but it will also show that you are a company that cares about inclusivity. Furthermore, web accessibility and SERP ratings go hand-in-hand, as many of the factors that make your website accessible are also key ranking factors for Google (e.g., having alt text for images)., therefore increasing your SERP rankings.
Investing in the Wrong Technologies
Technological advancement is at the heart of any digital transformation. However, with new technologies emerging all the time, it can be difficult to know which ones will really benefit your business and which are likely to become obsolete in the near future.
As such, it’s important to carry out thorough research before investing significant sums of money into any new technology. This will help increase your chances of finding a positive ROI from your efforts while reducing unnecessary spending.
Failing to do this can result in your business being stuck with outdated technologies that offer little value, which can hamper your digital transformation efforts and leave you at a competitive disadvantage.
Digital transformation is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. Those that fail to take the necessary precautions often make avoidable mistakes that can jeopardize the success of their initiative.
By being aware of the common pitfalls discussed above, you can put yourself in a much better position to steer your company toward a bright digital future. Just remember to take your time, do your research, and involve all stakeholders in the process.