Organizations tend to lose sight of ensuring IT projects and budgets align with business goals and objectives—specifically those projects focused on driving digital transformation.
More and more companies are making significant investments in developing digital strategies to transform their business, leveraging emerging technologies and innovations that achieve strategic business drivers. However, what we see most often are companies continuing to struggle with their digital transformation. Forrester’s 2019 Prescriptions states that “in 2018…more than 50% of digital transformation efforts stalled.” Based on what I’ve seen over the past couple years, this statement didn’t surprise me.
Here then, are the two primary reasons companies still struggle at implementing new technologies to transform their business:
- Lack of organizational readiness. This applies to both business and IT, and is the situation I see most often. Business demands the use of new technologies (e.g. mobile devices, apps), but isn’t prepared to make the necessary process or transactional changes to accommodate these new technologies. IT organizations lack readiness due to a lack of resources and/or expertise to support the new technologies and applications.
- Poor planning—meaning organizations underestimate the actual work required to implement and properly support new technology solutions.
Many top executives and organizations are still trying to figure out how they successfully complete their digital transformation without completely disrupting their current operations and initiatives.
According to an IDC report, worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies (i.e. hardware, software, and services) hit $1.3 trillion in 2017, and forecasts show organizational spending on digitalization will almost double to $2.1 trillion by 2021.
The approach Anexinet continues to recommend—and use with clients—may seem elementary. But this strategic approach has helped countless organizations overcome the primary challenges that continue to stall many organizations’ progress and success with digital business transformation initiatives and strategic goals (as stated above).
3 Keys to a Successful Digital Transformation
Step 1: Business and IT MUST be aligned.
It’s important to be sure your organization’s key business drivers for digital transformation are reviewed, updated and redefined annually. Once your business drivers have been defined, sit down with your IT leadership team and digital strategy lead (if you have one) to review your current solutions roadmap and ensure the initiatives identified for the year are aligned with those business drivers. Moving forward with technology initiatives that don’t solve business challenges or help achieve strategic business objectives can only result in bad investments, frustrated teams, and a dysfunctional business that goes around (or doesn’t involve) IT to find the technology solutions needed.
Step 2: Review your Digital Strategy and Roadmap.
It’s also important to pause and review your digital strategy and roadmap annually to recognize your accomplishments and identify those areas that may have been overlooked. Each day, new technologies, organizational changes, increasing competition, etc. impact business climates and markets—no matter the industry. The primary objective here is to ensure your digital strategy and roadmap aligns with current business objectives. Your roadmap should not only include tactical initiatives to aid in organizational readiness (IT/Business), but must also include technology solutions that will help achieve strategic business objectives (e.g. improve employee productivity, increase market share, enhance customer experiences).
Step 3: Create a plan that ensures success.
Our process of helping clients define and develop their roadmap includes identifying and prioritizing tactical initiatives that achieve “quick wins” and enable great strides in achieving their strategic business drivers. Organizations need to move away from complex, expensive, enterprise-wide digital transformation initiatives in favor of a more tactical, pragmatic view of digital transformation initiatives and investments. Doing so will increase strategic focus and provide significant momentum towards the successful delivery of more pressing and promising business drivers.
Forrester notes that digital transformation is an ongoing effort that’ll never end. But recent surveys with top global executives reveal that digital transformation is hitting a few not-so-surprising bumps in the road, leading many companies to rethink their digital transformation strategies. If your organization is struggling with digital transformation, or hasn’t begun the process because you’re unsure how to begin, please reach out to us. Anexinet has helped countless organizations across all industry verticals define and execute successful digital strategies. We’d love to get you started.
Sr. Strategist & Client Partner Manager