Whether your company is executing carefully crafted plans for digital transformation or was forced into it when Covid-19 restrictions shut down workplaces, successfully completing digital transformation projects is always challenging. Misunderstanding what digital transformation really means and what’s needed to achieve the benefits contributes to the challenge. In order to succeed at digital transformation requires knowing the facts and falsehoods, myths and realities of the project.
Falsehood: Digital transformation requires new technology.
New technology such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, and the internet of things can be critical components of a digital transformation project. Yet new technology isn’t essential to digital transformation. Digital transformation can be achieved by using established technology such as mobile devices more effectively throughout the entire organization, or by building new interfaces to existing applications.
Falsehood: Digital transformation is a project.
Digital transformation isn’t a project with an end date. Transforming the business is an ongoing effort of repeatedly identifying where processes can be streamlined or where technology has opened up new opportunities for business. Although we pointed out above that transformation isn’t necessarily about new technology, as time goes by, existing technologies evolve and new technologies are created, meaning they continually offer the potential of enormous change to the business.
Falsehood: Moving a process online is digital transformation.
In this day and age, certainly most processes shouldn’t be offline and manual. Yet moving them into a computer may not be transformative. Rather than simply automating existing processes, digital transformation requires rethinking and reengineering them to identify missed efficiencies and missed opportunities, then redesigning them so those benefits drive a new online process.
Fact: Digital transformation is about people.
Despite the fact that digital transformation restructures processes and implements new technology, ultimately those processes and technology are used by people to achieve goals set by people. It’s unfortunate but true that people often react badly to large-scale, rapid change, and if they fear for their jobs as a result of transformation projects, employees will resist the change and the project may fail. Any transformation project therefore must plan to address human factors as well as technical considerations.
Fact: Digital transformation requires balancing planning with risk-taking.
Transformation is a big word, and transformation projects are intended to have big impacts on the businesses that undertake them. This kind of change is frightening and risky, which leads businesses to create detailed plans and carefully implement changes. The problem with that is that too much caution means change comes too slowly, businesses don’t see the benefits, and the transformation effort withers away. Succeeding at transformation requires being willing to take risks that may have big payoffs.
Fact: Digital transformation is essential.
Some businesses never change, and the fact that they do things in “traditional” ways is part of their image. Most businesses like that fit in a small niche; other businesses need to compete and keep up with the modern way of doing things, and digital transformation is essential to their ongoing success.
VAST IT Services helps companies understand the facts and falsehoods of digital transformation so they can achieve their transformative goals. Contact us to learn how you can use digital transformation and reshape your business to be more effective today and in the future.