On a global scale, the demand and preference for digital transactions have been rising. Similarly, several companies have opted to work towards digital transformation. Their journey may involve updating current technologies or incorporating entirely new ones. Regardless of which, it is no question that such efforts would require thorough planning and consideration for the turnout to be favorable.
A journey like this is not storm-proof and risk-free. Hence, those at the forefront must take into thorough consideration the risks and problems that may arise and impact the overall outcome. With that, let’s look into some common digital transformation mistakes that other companies should learn from and ultimately avoid.
What mistakes should you avoid when undergoing digital transformation?
1. Lack of clear goals and direction
Failing to have a clear vision in mind or to think through the implications of the digital transformation process is a misstep that may heavily affect the course of the journey. To avoid this mistake, it is important for goals, expectations, and direction to be clearly articulated prior to the commencement of the journey. The specific desired outcomes, the rationale behind the digital transformation efforts, and even KPIs should be laid out in the open. It is important to also have SMART objectives – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives.
2. Lack of sufficient and thorough planning
Even in the planning phase, the various phases of the digital transformation journey must be taken into account. It is important to plan through the entailed adjustments that result from the implications of the journey. Moreover, attention must also be granted to the level of detail in the budget and to the evaluation of the current employees in terms of current skills, necessary skills, and lacking skills. Taking these details into consideration would help deal through possible repercussions and may even prevent hidden costs, such as unforeseen delays or additional training.
3. Underestimating costs
Several companies end up gravely underestimating both the development costs as well as the impacts of the digital transformation project. Moreover, in some cases, hidden costs may arise throughout the journey. These costs may end up snowballing and leading to great expenses. Hence, even during the planning stage, it is important for the budget to be elaborated in detail. It may be helpful for companies to secure and allocate buffer funds for each part of the project.
4. Not taking everyone into account
At times, decision-making is done by a certain person or group without taking other important stakeholders into consideration. Subject matter experts and employees may end up getting left out. This may tremendously affect the course of the development, given how the impacts of digital transformation are organizational-wide. Hence, from the very start, it is important to include the involved persons in the process. The rationale, the process, and other details must be thoroughly relayed in order for them to be engaged in the journey as well. It may be even helpful to collect insights from their side.
5. Regarding digital transformation as a one-time project
Several companies who have embarked on the digital transformation journey think that it is simply one project that is finished when the goals are met. However, this is not the case. Technology is constantly evolving and thus, digital transformation is about keeping up and maintaining pace with technology. There is no definitive end point since there is still vast room for innovation. Thinking that digital transformation is simply a one-time phase or project is a mindset that needs to be corrected. Innovation—whether for the organization itself or for the customers—is a journey that knows no end.
6. Ignoring relevant and essential data insights
Massive data is largely accessible and available and it is in the hands of companies to make the most out of this data. When undergoing digital transformation, companies must see to it that decision-making is driven by concrete data and not assumptions or intuition. Maximizing existing data as well as data collection capacities is necessary in order to make strong and calculated decisions.
7. Getting fixated on old systems
Because digital transformation involves change, there is no question that some systems or tools may have to stay in the past. Holding on to old systems may serve as a drawback to the success of the digital transformation process. Hence, companies should be flexible and must not be attached to any particular system or technology. As things continue to progress, so is there a need for the company to progress as well. Systems may need to be modernized or entirely replaced by modern ones.
Digital transformation may lead to boundless opportunities, but the journey may not always be smooth sailing. It is important to not turn a blind eye to the potential issues that may arise. Learning from these digital transformation mistakes may end up being the key to dealing or even avoiding them.
ICTS Custom Software is a Vietnam-based software development boutique that focuses on cutting-edge technologies. We help SMEs (small and medium enterprises) digitize their business and handle the digital transformation in the most professional way, at a reasonable budget.
Contact us and discover what benefits we can bring to your digital transformation project.