Digital transformation is today what ‘Big Data’ was 5 years ago.
Filled countless blogs, generated rationale for SEO/SEM, got you on a conference keynote and generally signalled you were trying to sell something.
Some recent research (Couchbase / IBT) identified that around 90% of ‘digital transformation’ failed to meet business expectation.
And yet not keeping up with the competition is a sure fire way to go out of business.
For anyone that has actually personally worked on any large scale digital transformation initiatives – this is not new news.
I believe that if you really want to enact the kind of change to your business needed to move forward – there are some important differences that will make the difference.
1. Be clear about what you need and what your objectives are.
Most businesses want growth – because you are stagnating or not relevant – be clear that you need growth. Most digital transformation projects actually are focused on process, supply and operational efficiencies. Difficult to quantify the great results because the rest of the business doesn’t keep up.
2. Start with people not technology.
The biggest impact on why these often don’t go right is because the people in the organisation are not a) bought along on the journey, and b) are not skilled enough to adapt. Communicate with your shareholders / owners and let them know that the magic technology bullet is a myth – and good old fashioned people are vital to success.
3. Look at customer & brand first.
Do the hard old fashioned work of looking at your business strategy first – create the new business models that are suited to your goals before you think about implementing any technology. This is the real skill that very few technology vendors can offer – the hard work of research, strategy and marketing.
If you can answer this question, “Who is NOT my customer and why?” – you are ready to start.
Real transformational change that delivers new growth comes from the right intersection of people, your brand and technology.
But the emphasis has to be on people – define the change you want and how that will create value for real people.