Considering digital transformation a one-time thing
Digital transformation isn’t something you can do easily and in one day (or even a year). In fact, it’s a continuous pursuit that involves evolving your organization through frequently changing digital technology, transforming your processes, products, and services to meet the new market needs, and adapting your business to the challenges of tomorrow.
Of course, the “everything now” approach won’t work, and trying to adopt too much too soon will only lead to confusion among both your employees and customers. Therefore, the transformation process should never be taken as a one-time thing but rather a sustained improvement in every aspect of your business.
Every new technology or innovative strategy you adopt will inevitably lead to more changes in the processes and priorities of your digital transformation. It will impact every side of your business in some way. But this doesn’t mean you should be overwhelmed and discouraged by its ever-increasing scope. What you should do is understand that digital transformation is not all about technological progress—it’s the evolution of your entire organization from branding and marketing to HR and sales. When you think these things through, you will see how far and wide the digital transformation process can ultimately take your business.
Collecting data and failing to use it
Successful digital transformation requires data-informed decisions. Many companies fail to understand that they need a solid data foundation before they can actually move forward with the transformation. Moreover, there are many more collecting vast amounts of data and not even using it when building their business strategies. This is a huge mistake which means your digital transformation is very likely to fall short without a solid data-backed plan.
Data is an incredibly valuable resource. Use it! Analyze and leverage the data you collect from business and customer activity to produce actionable insights and encourage data-informed decisions in your digital transformation efforts—identify inefficient business processes that need optimization; shift your business priorities based on deeper customer intelligence; design new products/services to enter new markets; simulate future market scenarios to make better strategic decisions. Never trivialize the importance of data-backed insights for building your digital transformation strategy.
Underestimating the importance of cultural change
One of the biggest mistakes an organization can make when starting their digital transformation journey is maintaining a silo mentality towards it. Digital transformation is not just the business of C-level executives and those “IT guys,” it’s everyone’s business. A huge part of a successful transformation depends on establishing a free flow of information, the C-level willingness to openly share knowledge with employees and vice versa—providing a company-wide input on the transformation process. A cultural change will prevent any confusion or rebuffs towards the change within your organization. It will increase the overall morale and ultimately make the process ever so efficient.
Even though your digital transformation strategy should definitely start at the top, every department, every employee needs to clearly understand their role in the process and how their work contributes to reaching those goals. Avoid “siloing” the information. Be consistent and clear in communicating the goals you’re trying to achieve, the impact of digital transformation on the organization, and the tangible benefits. Get feedback from everyone in the company. Successful digital transformation can only be driven through close collaboration between all business units and functions within your organization.