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article imageFive reasons why digital transformations fail

By Tim Sandle     Jul 1, 2018 in Business
It’s easy to get blinded by digital transformation success stories, but often digital transformations fail, or become extended and extended without the core objectives ever being fully realized. We look at some key reasons.
Some of the reasons for failure are philosophical, or at least connected to an immature company culture. This can be tied to a lack of coherent vision. Many digital strategies, for instance, do not reflect how digital is changing economic fundamentals, industry dynamics, or what it actually means to compete.
Then there is the wrong type of technology selected or a failure to fully understand how digital is changing the sector within which the company is operating in. Here some firms underestimate the increasing momentum of digitization, failing to take note and interpret the behavioral changes required or the type of technology driving the change This leads to a lack of appreciation of the scale of the disruption bearing down.
In terms of some specific reasons for digital transformation failure, CIO has assessed industry practices and teased out some common causes. We select five of the most relevant, drawn from a poll conducted by polled by Wipro Digital.
No clear vision
A lack of consensus in the board room and an unclear transformation strategy is a common reason raised by executives as to why digital transformation does not deliver This can arise, for example, where the CIO sees digital transformation as the means to achieve improved operational efficiency, clashing with the CMO who wants to use digital technology top boost customer engagement.
Organizational culture
If the employees are not with the digital transformation vison, it won’t happen. Often change is challenging for businesses and people will fall outside of their comfort zones. Where resistance to change occurs, it becomes a major impediment to a successful digital strategy.
Uneven pace
Too slow a pace can lead to technology becoming obsolete or to a company falling behind its competitors or not having the latest ideas. The snail's pace of change isn't helping. Often it tales too long for companies to realize their digital investment in time. To deal with this, getting the strategy right up front and planning resources is important.
Lack of skilled workers
Not having employees with sufficient digital skills can be a stumbling block. This is not helped by a dearth of skills in the job market. Digital transformations require new talent, like software engineers conversant with the latest programming languages. Currently demand exceeds supply, and top talent too often gravitates towards the big firms.
Integration issues
Too often a new digital technology does not appropriately integrate with existing systems, and this is down to a lack of foresight and research. Another problem is with implementing digital technologies in a piecemeal fashion instead of building them into a cohesive platform.
More about digital transformation, digital strategy, Strategy, digital disruption