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The Costliest Digital Transformation Mistakes … And How to Avoid Them

Digital transformation mistakes can be costly – and the most costly ones can cause projects to fail.

It’s essential for any project manager or change manager to anticipate and prevent mistakes.

The right approach to risk mitigation can:

  • Help you sidestep avoidable mistakes
  • Mitigate unavoidable ones
  • Increase overall transformation results

For starters.

Below, we’ll cover some of the most common mistakes, as well as solutions, workarounds, and prevention strategies.

Digital Transformation Mistakes

In a study covering the financial services industry, Deloitte found that:

  • 90% of respondents felt digital technologies were disrupting their industry
  • 76% of respondents felt it was important to work for digitally enabled organizations or digital leaders
  • 38% of respondents agreed that their organizations offered enough resources or skill development opportunities that would help them thrive in digital environments

These statistics highlight how important digital transformation is in the modern organization.

They also point to some mistakes that should be avoided, such as:

Ignoring Warning Signs in the Marketplace

Digital disruption has been upsetting markets for years.

As we saw above, financial services is being severely disrupted, but it’s not the only one.

Everything from healthcare to retail is affected by digital disruption.

Keeping pace in these changing times is essential for every business … and the price for ignoring warning signs can be high.

Costs can range from lost market position to total business failure.

In an era where innovation rules, it is critical to study your market and look for signs of disruption, change, and revolution.

Not Offering Enough Training

Training is another critical component of digital transformation.

Shortchanging your training program:

  • Reduces employee skill levels
  • Decreases engagement and productivity
  • Negatively impacts employee retention and loyalty

All of these, in turn, negatively impact a number of business areas, including:

  • Revenue
  • Culture
  • The work environment
  • The reputation of the workplace

These are just a few reasons why employee training is so critical, especially during digital transformation.

The right training program will help prepare employees for the digital future – and it will help your organization stay competitive.

Not Prioritizing the Employee Experience

Employee training is one of the best ways to improve the employee experience.

But it’s not the only way.

Others include:

  • Offering well-being programs, such as health improvement programs, on-site exercise facilities, classes, and so on
  • Providing career development programs beyond training, such as mentoring and coaching
  • Proactively prioritize and promote the benefits of a positive employee experience to executives
  • Physically improving the workplace
  • Holding corporate retreats, outings, or other social events

Each company has a different culture, so base your improvements on that culture.

Also, consider asking employees for their input – they can probably provide the best suggestions for your workplace.

Thinking that “Digital Transformation” Only Refers to Technology

Digital transformation is a type of organizational change that goes beyond technology adoption.

To truly transform, businesses need to:

  • Adopt new strategies in the marketplace
  • Maximize software investment through full digital adoption, training, and optimization
  • Design employee experiences that improve engagement and productivity
  • Focus heavily on the customer experience, to create relevant and useful products
  • Create cultures that are innovative and forward-thinking

In short, digital transformation is a holistic business change.

The best strategies will be those that are multi-pronged, sophisticated, and continuous.

Not Engaging in Continuous, Ongoing Change

For better or for worse, change has become a permanent feature of today’s market.

Technology has not stopped changing and it shows no signs of doing so.

To survive and thrive, companies must recognize this.

Successful continuous transformation means:

  • Advancing the enterprise change capacity within the organization
  • Engaging in projects that are part of an overarching transformation plan
  • Building robust innovation hubs within the organization
  • Integrating digital change strategy into the organization’s overall strategy

Adaptability is one of the most important traits in today’s economy.

Moving Too Slowly

Another critical business trait is speed.

Along with innovation and adaptability, speed is essential.

In fact, according to DocuSign CEO Keith Krach, it’s the speed of innovation. 

In an interview with TechRepublic, he said, “It is not the big that eat the small. It is the fast that eat the slow. Speed is the weapon of choice.”

According to Krach, in today’s world, where everything is “speeding up,” momentum is what defines leadership.

In order to get ahead – and stay there – your business must be able to move quickly.

This includes:

  • Developing and releasing products quickly 
  • Reacting to external changes quickly, from PR events to marketplace disruptions
  • Pushing digital transformation and change management projects through the pipeline efficiently and at speed
  • Innovating faster

There are many areas of a business that can benefit from an increase in speed.

However, in an era defined by change, perhaps the first areas to focus on are change, change management, and digital transformation.

Final Thoughts

Digital transformation is driving a great many change projects today.

A strategic, careful approach to transformation can produce stellar results – from employee productivity to better marketplace positioning.

However, to achieve this success, it’s critical to avoid making the mistakes mentioned here.

Hopefully, these tips will help you do just that.

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Digital Adoption Team
Digital Adoption Team
A wonderful team of Digital Adoption, Digital Transformation & Change Management Experts.

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