In today’s fast-paced business world, companies are striving to harness the power of digital technologies to reinvent their operations, enhance customer experiences, drive innovation, and thereby create value for stakeholders. But the hard truth is that many digital initiatives fail to deliver results.
Transformation efforts can be derailed for any number of reasons, but there are several common themes as to why digital initiatives fall short — and most revolve around leadership. So if you are seeking to lead transformational change at your organization, it’s worth knowing the 10 most common reasons why digital transformation fails and what you as an IT leader can learn from those failures.
1. Lack of vision
A common reason digital transformation fails is due to a lack of vision, which along with planning is the foundation for digital success. Without a clear understanding of what their digital transformation should achieve, it’s easy for companies to get lost in the weeds. IT leaders must work with business leadership to help establish a clear understanding of digital transformation goals and a practical roadmap for achieving them.
2. Resistance to change
Change is hard, and digital transformation requires a lot of it. Every step of the way provides an opportunity for employees to resist new technologies or processes, which can derail even the most well design and executed digital transformation efforts.
Reimagination of business processes sits at the core of digital transformation, and so, by definition, digital transformation challenges the status quo, throwing we-have-always-done-it-this-way sentiment out of the window. Because of this, IT leaders must take a proactive approach to change management, communicating the benefits of digital transformation and providing support and training to employees.
A study by McKinsey found that companies that prioritized cultural factors in digital transformations were four times more likely to succeed than those that focused on technology alone. Employee buy-in is crucial and requires involving them in the transformation process early and often.