Why Digital Transformation Fails (and how to start prepared)

by | Feb 6, 2019 | Digital Transformation

Digital transformation (DX) can generate a lot of frustration. Everyone knows it is necessary, but no one is completely convinced that its company is going in the right direction. Worse, there is a general feeling of being the only one falling behind. We will go through what are the most common pitfalls of digital transformation and how to be prepared for them.


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Focus on a specific area

The first risk when initiating digital transformation is to let the broad picture overwhelm you. Instead of overthinking about where you must go, it is important to objectively acknowledge where you start from and which are the concrete actions that can be done right away to propel your company on its digital journey.

There are no BIG BANG solutions that will miraculously turn a company into a futuristic business. Various areas are subject to digital transformation (the MIT Sloan Management Review identifies 9) and the first step could be to think in which one DX would be mandatoryrelevant or desired for the company.

Mandatory DX: the #1 reason for most companies to invest in digital transformation is their survival, the vital need to stay relevant to customers and to keep up with the pace of an evolving digital environment.

Relevant DX: beyond the bottom line necessities, deciding which areas of your business must be transformed can simply be motivated by what your business is. For example, in the banking industry transforming the customer experience might create more value and have a stronger impact on revenues than tackling operational processes (unlike manufacturing).

Desired DX: the ultimate motivation, in any field, is to do what you enjoy. There is something magical about discovering new digital possibilities, and you could be driven by an ideal way your business should deliver value to its customers or manage its operations.

 

The importance of choosing an initial focus is that it gives the possibility to start small with something concrete. It enables the validation of a proof of concept that creates a solid ground to support further transformations.

Digital transformation vs. technical optimization

New technologies such as Cloud, IoT, Blockchain and AI can cause, enable or accelerate digital transformation but are not defining an organization’s digital journey as such. Beyond adding new apps to existing processes, digital transformation is about redefining the company’s business logic with a digital focus. There is an increasing need for enterprise software that integrates new technologies while illustrating the digital strategy on an abstract level.

In 2019, according to Gartner, the software industry is expected to continue capitalizing on the evolution of digital business (approximately 10% of the total IT spending in 2018). It raises the question of whether digital transformation’s main challenge belongs in dropping outdated processes and legacy technology in favor of emerging ones or to find additional ways to fund the shift to digital business.

Don’t overlook the people factor

If technology is just a tool for digital transformation, what should the main focus be? The key to successful innovation is to put people and processes at the center.

Although IT plays an important role in driving digital transformation, the task of implementing and adapting to the massive changes that go along with it falls to everyone. It is critical for the CIO (or other project owners) to foster company-wide support and collaboration in order to leverage on the knowledge people have of their field and get digital transformation right since the beginning.

For the success of digital transformation, one of the most important challenges is to encourage and cultivate mutual understanding and alignment between the business and IT.

The Olympe Advantage : Pragmatic Transformation

Equip your team with a new technology to create software: the Olympe platform, a “Digital Programmer Platform”, boosts transformational initiatives beyond what low-code/no-code players can provide. The resulting software is a “data flow” itself, assembled in real time both visually and/or through a coding interface. What are the advantages that it represents for you?

Remove barriers for business innovators: by visually drawing new business logic and digital processes, business people are more independent. As the technology codes the software behind the platform, it allows validating proof of concept before involving core dev teams on a more deep tech level.

 

Adapt quickly and secure accuracy: small iterative processes provide immediate tangible results and enable to rapidly leverage on failures to adjust the software more closely to the business needs. Embark your experts on the collaborative platform to assemble, refine and share software bricks that will enrich your internal marketplace to stay 100% focused on your business.

Expand while keeping strategic alignment: aim at what you didn’t think possible. The platform provides incomparable agility by allowing multi teams real-time collaboration, rapid scaling, incorporating deep tech, and third-party or legacy systems integration. Operating with the Olympe platform ensures a global approach to digital transformation by creating a living software ecosystem.

Conclusion

First of all, this is important to choose a particular focus to start a digital transformation. For example, the areas of customer experience, operational processes or business models defined by MIT Sloan are niches big enough to address mandatory, relevant or desired transformation.

Digital transformation should not be confused with technological optimization. New technologies cause, enable or accelerate the transformation but are not defining a company’s digital journey.

People and processes should be the main concerns of digital transformation. One key success factor is to secure company-wide collaboration and to cultivate mutual understanding and alignment between the business and IT.

Olympe provides a new way for enterprises to re-invent themselves and accomplish their ambitions.

In which area(s) does your company need digital transformation? What is preventing it?

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