Do you know what’s common between Nokia, Kodak, Blockbuster, Yahoo?

They all failed to adapt to change. With the fast-paced world, technologies have become obsolete, and those who fail to adapt today become ghosts.

With this, we’re moving to today’s topic – Digital Transformation. But, before we get to unveil our, 5 Step Guide to Avoid Digital Transformation Failure in 2022

you need to know what Digital Transformation is and why you need it. 

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation is the adoption of digital technology by a business to create new or revamp the existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences to deliver value to the customer and obtain a competitive advantage. 

The traits of companies that undergo digital transformation are- 

  • Identify new cost-cutting opportunities and efficiencies. 
  • Focus on creating experiences that result in customer delight 
  • Use a different approach to carry out day-to-day business operations
  • Strive to achieve seamless innovation and disruption 

Why do you need Digital Transformation?

The reasons for ‘Why digital transformation’ are many, but the main reasons are changing market and customer demands.  

The following statistics can sum the need for Digital Transformation- 

  • According to Mckinsey, data-centric companies are 23x more likely to acquire customers 
  • 19% of business organizations have customers leaving them due to inaccurate or partial data 
  • 45% of the companies who have suffered a loss in revenue due to Covid-19 are increasingly focusing on digital transformation 

If you mistake brushing these stats as meaningless numbers, you are committing a grave mistake.  The benefits of digital transformation will catapult your business to new heights. 

Organizations who undergo successful digital transformation report the following benefits– 

  • 70% of the leaders have reported an increase in customer satisfaction and engagement due to digital transformation 
  • The digital transformation uses structured and unstructured data to produce highly customized and relevant information. This promotes quality feedback. 
  • Digital transformation enables enhanced agility, innovation, and digital culture. Agility is among the top 3 things that companies desire from digital transformation. 
  • Renewed collaboration between all departments is a reality of digital transformation. It develops powerful leadership and synchronization within and between different departments.

Steps Guide to Avoid Digital Transformation Failure

The internet is rife with stories of digital transformation failures, but they seldom mention the reasons for failure. Here is a 5 Step Guide to Avoid Digital Transformation Failure in 2022-

#1. Prepare the environment to embrace change

The first and the most critical step is determining the reason for achieving digital transformation. You need to work with the key stakeholders and critically analyze the entire organization. All departments must be scrutinized, and the bottlenecks must be identified. 

Some of the problems might include poor customer experience, which means negative reviews, employee dissatisfaction due to poor internal communication, or slow turnaround time, leading to a loss in revenue and market share. 

Whatever may be the problems, you need to find answers to the following questions- 

  • Where is your business lacking order? 
  • How’s the current situation, and how is it working?
  • Where are the bottlenecks in each sphere of the business?
  • Is everyone aware of their role and vision?
  • How well does the information disseminate? 

Be honest with yourself and be a tough critic because everything seems rosy on the surface but dive deep you’ll find that all’s not well. 

Evaluate the technology stack you use, data you utilize, to identify the gaps in problems in competencies and resources necessary for digital transformation. 

#2. Develop a plan of action

All problems in your business need not necessarily have technology as a solution but, using technology and data can help you in every aspect of your business. Prepare a plan to procure and implement technology to effect digital transformation. The plan should be comprehensive and be future-oriented. 

What does it mean? 

You need to decide metrics and key goals for measurement and ways your organization needs to evolve to leverage data-driven technology. 

Always have a backup plan if things don’t pan out the way you hoped. Don’t forget to include small targets as achieving them will boost the morale of the team members.

What’s better than having team members who are happy and dedicated towards their work. These should be projects that don’t have financial complications.

# 3. Form a change team

Digital Transformation can only start when the top-level employees believe in it. The managerial level employees must believe the need for change for others to be convinced. 

A change team must be formed, consisting of employees of all levels of the hierarchy who are advocates of a digital transformation to be the ambassador for the same in the organization. 

The team must have members who have been closely affected by the bottlenecks in different functions of the organization.

#4. Captivate and communicate to the employees

Use internal communication to brief employees about the need for digital transformation and its benefits. Communicate how adopting digital technology will improve their employee performance and productivity. 

Use newsletters and surveys to captivate, engage and obtain feedback to set the roadmap for digital transformation. 

#5. Build a changing culture

A culture that promotes continuous improvement influences continuous innovation is necessary. Without change culture, things will be back to square one. 

Encourage employees to come forward and contribute ideas. Incentivize them to create a structured innovation process. Reward employees for coming with innovative ideas that have made an impact. Everyone needs to be appreciated if digital transformation is to become a reality. 

Keep a tab on the changing culture by tracking KPIs. Use dashboards, newsletters, and meetings to inform employees about KPIs

Challenges in digital transformation

Any great change is achieved only after overcoming challenges, and Digital transformation is no different. Here are 5 challenges you need to address in your quest to achieve digital transformation-

  • Employee Pushback: Companies must be aware of digital transformation’s effect on workers. People thrive on routine; when that routine is disrupted, people can become stressed and exhausted. In addition, the transition to greater efficiency and productivity requires work discipline, which employees may fail to provide without proper motivation. Therefore, optimal digitalization relies on communication between managers and employees to avoid significant issues. 
  • Devise an organization-wide strategy: Like with any part of your business, you need to clarify where you want to go before actually setting out on a journey. You can do this by outlining one thing- strategy. And once you have something that has structure and a clear vision, everyone can start charting their path in the right direction.
    The most important thing to remember is that this digital transformation journey doesn’t belong to one individual or department. It will fail if it’s designed that way. Departments may be tasked with executing on the part of the strategy but make sure none of your team members is working toward different goals as success is unlikely when done like this.
  • Technical know-how to lead digitization: Tech plays a vital role in digital transformation. However, you can’t rely on technology alone. You’ll need to ensure that your teams are adequately equipped to navigate a path towards innovation effectively, including training your employees to evolve with the times. 
    When you’re considering who to partner with, carefully consider which companies will be most helpful as your business moves forward into uncharted territory.
    If you can’t find internal employees with technical expertise, consider hiring external personnel with the required expertise or hiring one. 
  • Rigid organizational structure: It’s important for organizations to continue to evolve with the current business environment and that often comes with a transition period that may be difficult for some employees to come to terms with. 
    However, it’s better to think of these changes as an opportunity for them as well. One way this could happen is through transforming job roles, departments, or organizational structures which can help staff members develop new skills and become more comfortable taking on greater responsibility.
    In fact, such a shift in thinking can be influential within the organization. 
  • Budget Management: Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an endless supply of money? Well, unfortunately, we don’t. But budgets shouldn’t be a major obstacle for you on your digital transformation journey because you will most likely have the resources you need to go further with your project or service offered to customers and clients. 
    Just keep in mind any budget constraints while you’re planning any important steps in the actual execution and build of your strategy, product, or service offering.

 

Three digital transformation metrics to measure success in 2022

“What next after digital transformation?” 

If you think your job is done and you can go back to being a couch potato, then you can’t be anymore wrong. You need to measure your digital transformation strategies to find out what’s working and what’s not. 

Here are three digital transformation metrics to help you measure success in 2022- 

  • Cost-Benefit Ratio: Digital adoption refers to the use of new digital technology to gain efficiency precisely. For example, suppose your business started using CRM for sales. 
    You might be wondering what the effects would be on the revenue. Well, let’s say that if you implement new technology successfully, you could see a client acquisition rate of X%. If it comes down to financial savings, they could be XXXX dollars per month by booting up new technology successfully.
  • ROI on digital adoption: Some technologies may not be worth your time and investment. Don’t fall prey to the buzz tool syndrome. New digital trends keep appearing, but not all of them are worth integrating into your organization. 
    Your ultimate goal as a small business owner or corporate head is to ensure that every penny spent on technologies that benefit your business represents real ROI – Return On Investment.
    The benefits you reap from digital transformation must outweigh the costs – above all else, you need to decide if an innovation is worth your time and resources. 
    Milestone metrics are a great way of measuring the digital investment return that is so important to your business. 
    For instance, the ROI of your digital investment can be tracked by observing how and if the different digital tools you use in your business strategy have helped you achieve any specific goals, such as cost savings or customer experience improvements. 
  • Customer Engagement: From a user perspective, the technology should be sufficiently impactful to their jobs to warrant regular engagement. 
    Suppose your users aren’t engaging regularly with the product. In that case, it may be that your technology isn’t useful enough for them to switch from their current work pattern – which might involve manual processes or other tech solutions. The metrics to measure customer engagement are-

    • DAU 
    • WAU 
    • MAU 
    • Net Promoter Score 
    • Sources of Traffic 

Conclusion

Digital Transformation isn’t a one-time thing. It requires planning and of course, action for it to lead to fruition. Aligning stakeholders and employees for digital transformation is the key to its success. 

Customers are tangible for your digital transformation. Declining customer retention rates only mean your digital transformation is failing. Take care of resources and spend money only if needed. You can only improve if it is measured. Digital transformation is futile if no metrics are being used to measure.

Author's Bio
Agilemania

We are a team of Professional Scrum Trainers (PST) and Enterprise Agile coaches actively working as Scrum Trainers, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters/Product Owners aimed at delivering quality and consistency for our students across the globe.