70% of digital transformation efforts fail because companies view them as technological initiatives rather than organizational ones!
This alarming figure casts a shadow over the intentions and investments made by organizations, highlighting that the road to becoming digital-first is fraught with challenges. Let’s explore some of the critical hindrances organizations face in this journey.
Low Digital Dexterity
Harvard Business Review suggests that organizations exhibiting high digital dexterity are 3.3 times more likely to succeed in their digital transformation efforts. It encompasses the tools and systems in use and the organization’s capacity to evolve its processes, culture, and mindset in response to digital advancements.
In layperson terms, digital dexterity is an organization’s ability to adapt. It comes from the inherent cultural flexibility that’s practiced at every stage.
Organizations with rigid structures and centralized authorities often display low digital dexterity, while those with decentralized control, accountability, and a flexible mindset integrate new technologies faster.
Pushback from Culture
Becoming digital first is intrinsically linked to the organizational culture. Culture, a key factor in digital transformation, directly influences employees’ mindsets, is essentially a set of habits they consistently exhibit.
The transition from a product-centric or service-centric company to a digital-first company often requires an overhaul of this culture, and then comes the pushback. However, when you look closer, you will notice that this pushback is more due to a lack of clarity into the why and how of this change, ambiguous and confusing communication from different stakeholders, and a non-alignment of departmental priorities, which leaves the employees (mainly in the junior and middle management) confused and alienated.
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Lack of Implementation Expertise and Experience
Successful digital transformation demands vision, expertise, and experience in implementation. Many organizations need more talent, knowledge, and experience to execute their digital strategies effectively. Many organizations try to compensate for this by retraining their employees on emerging technologies. They overlook a crucial fact: while acquiring the technical know-how of new technology may be relatively straightforward, the intricacies of implementation challenges cannot be taught but can only be learned through hands-on practical experience.
So, often, a lack of partners who have successfully implemented digital-first strategies in your industry for organizations with similar requirements and context as yours – is what you usually need more than the technical expertise. The hands-on experience of navigating an organizational environment and tweaking the plan on the go while keeping an unwavering focus on the end goal is often missing in the puzzle.
So, how can organizations overcome these impediments and make meaningful strides towards becoming digital-first? Enter Digital Assurance is a comprehensive approach that can help mitigate these challenges and make your digital-first strategy more sustainable.
Augmenting Digital Dexterity
Digital Assurance practices can assess an organization’s digital maturity and identify gaps in digital dexterity. This exercise enables it to design and implement the complete set of value ingredients needed to reach the to-be state in realizing a digital-first strategy. It comprises a set of frameworks, tools, technologies, process guidelines, techniques, templates, and domain value-adds bespoke to the organization’s requirements and context.
But assuming this set itself will enable the vision is a rookie mistake. While this toolkit is critical, integrating it successfully with current processes will require experienced hands. People who have been there and done that for you and several other industries of every size and tribe.
Prepping up the Culture
Today’s fast-paced environment requires organizations to embrace flexibility with open arms.
Enterprises that have enjoyed multi-decade success with centralized authority and bureaucratic structures may find it extremely hard to let go of this tried and tested formula for sustainability. But today, the competitive landscape has undergone a drastic change. Digital natives are sweeping the customer base off your feet with their nimble approaches and agile business practices. Here’s an example of what organizations that respond to change are the ones who stand to gain:
Netflix realized that relying solely on one great idea for a digital business isn’t enough. They started by streaming content licensed from others, which was a hit. But as costs skyrocketed, they shifted gears and became content creators themselves. Then, they went global, translating content for different markets. Now, facing a plateau in subscriber growth, they’re trying cheaper ad-based plans and rethinking password-sharing rules. It’s a reminder that in the digital world, adaptability is key!
Digital Assurance can help you reorganize your culture. It identifies cultural bottlenecks and resistance points through surveys, assessments, and feedback mechanisms. With this insight, organizations can develop tailored culture-change strategies and communication plans aligning with their digital-first objectives.
The imperative to become digital-first is not a mere trend but a strategic necessity for organizations in today’s hyperconnected world. The alarming statistics of failed digital transformation initiatives underscores the importance of addressing common hindrances. By leveraging Digital Assurance, organizations can enhance their digital dexterity, reshape their culture and tap into the expertise of experienced partners – all critical components for achieving digital-first success.