Digital Transformation is a long-term project for your business. Therefore you should consider all pitfalls on the way to success. So, let’s define what is digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation?
At Allsop, we understand Digital Transformation as the process of using digital technologies to create new or modify existing, business processes, culture and customer experiences, to meet changing business and market requirements.
It is a “reimagining of business in the digital age”.
Put simply, it is about looking at what we want to do or are currently doing and seeking to improve that experience using digital technology.
And this is also the why – “seeking to improve”.
You should not do Digital Transformation just because you think you need to appear modern or because someone else is doing it, and you need to stay competitive. These can be valid reasons, but the primary goal of any Digital Transformation project should be to improve – whether that be your processes, your customers, or our planet.
Let’s check these examples that are commonplace for most people nowadays:
– eCommerce – allowing buyers to browse and shop items any time, from anywhere
– Online banking – from day-to-day banking to applying for loans and mortgages, all without stepping foot in a branch
– Streaming services – be it music, TV shows or movies – are all instant and available for rental or purchase
3 Digital Transformation Pitfalls:
- Doing too much and expecting unrealistic results
- Treating Digital Transformation like a ‘one-time’ project
- Don’t select and evaluate correct partners
Pitfall 1. “Doing too much and expecting unrealistic results”.
The most common problem we see is that businesses have a vision for the end goal of their Digital Transformation and want to jump straight to that end state. It leads to frustration when things go wrong, plans change, or the results aren’t achieved quickly enough. How can you avoid this mistake?
- Start small with a ‘quick win’
Start by looking at all the changes that are required for the end goal. Then prioritise tasks with the most improvement for the least effort. It will help you focus on a ‘quick win’ that allows you to start the transformation.
- Communicate clearly and regularly with everyone
Resistance to change is inevitable, so try to include all or as many employees in the process as possible. When people are aware, you’ll get greater buy-in for the project and more feedback to allow you to make better decisions as you progress.
- Set a realistic and clear strategy
Make sure you are clear about your strategy and set realistic results. If your team is left guessing or doesn’t think it’s achievable, then that uncertainty or doubt can spread and impact your efforts.
Pitfall 2. “Treating Digital Transformation like a ‘one-time’ project”.
Another common mistake is when organisations treat Digital Transformation like a one-time project and stay focused on only the end goal they set out originally. Of course, keeping aligned to the end goal is important – but your industry, technology, and the world around us are constantly evolving. Hence, your goals should be evolving constantly. To do so, make sure to consider the next steps.
- Digital Transformation is a long-term mindset
Digital Transformation is a long-term mindset rather than a point project. If you break your goals into smaller projects, you can then review at the end of each what went well and use this to improve your next tasks.
- Review and re-evaluate your goals
It’s important to review your goals along the way. In some cases, clients realise that the objectives they set out originally are no longer what they should be aiming for. Having these small projects, allows you to pivot quickly and react to the changing world around you.
- Appoint champions of improvement in all areas
Make sure to have champions of improvement as a part of your project team in Digital Transformation. This will differ from each project depending on the area you’re looking at – but some examples we have seen of this are:
– A factory worker would rather spend time ensuring the machines on the production line are running optimally than filling in the paperwork.
– A call centre operative would rather be on the phone with customers than typing in order details received via email or fax.
– An HR officer would rather spend time interviewing and shortlisting candidates than chasing departments to get a new employee onboarded correctly and quickly.
By being part of the project team, your champions can quickly give feedback on what may make the process inefficient or add dissatisfaction to the experience.
Pitfall 3. Don’t select and evaluate correct partners.
One of the mistakes organisations make is not selecting and evaluating the correct partners to assist with their Digital Transformation journey.
- Stay focused on what you are best at
In some cases, organisations will try to do it themselves. This is often the wrong choice as it means that you lose focus on what you are already doing day-to-day. It can bring a negative impact on your people and your customers.
At Allsop, we, by no means, think a partner should do it all for you either. We encourage our customers and their staff to upskill and learn as we engage on a project. Often training is a key part of what we deliver, but we encourage it only under the right guidance and training.
- Conduct research to find the best fit for your organisation
You should research potential partners as early as possible in Digital Transformation. This could be by reviewing their website to see what other organisations they’ve worked with. If they’ve only worked with large multinationals, then they may not be the best cultural fit for a micro-organisation; or if all of their customers are hotels, then they may not have experience in processes within a distribution business.
Similarly, look at the types of technology used in the projects they’ve done before. If they have a lot of eCommerce website experience and you have eCommerce as one of your goals – then they will likely be a better fit than someone who has lots of experience putting accounting systems in.
It is also good to speak to at least 1 or 2 of their existing customers, and ask questions about how it is to work with them, why they selected them over others, and what post-project experience they’ve had with them. These are the questions that only someone else in your shoes can answer, and it will give you a feel for what the engagement might look like rather than just what the project being proposed will be made up of.
Have a chat with one of our experts today to see if we are a good match for your business to help you with delivering the best Digital Transformation.