It is not uncommon to find enterprises today feeling the pressure of onboarding new digital strategies and acquiring digital solutions to ease the process of digital transformation. In order not to feel behind, companies decide to undergo digital transformation, mainly to keep up with competitors and increase the quality of their customer services.
It is not unusual to find a general expectation among corporations to see results as soon as they migrate towards digital solutions when the truth couldn’t be far from it; digital solutions cannot work as a stand-alone product, but rather need a top-down synergetic digital strategy.
In a nutshell, Digital Solutions don’t always fix the problem.
We have previously seen how cybersecurity can affect digital transformation, and we now understand how digital solutions, backed with a company-wide strategy, can protect a corporation and save it millions of dollars. However, let us imagine the case of a hypothetical company and imagine that this company wants to digitally transform. They purchase a cutting-edge solution and implement it across the company, and then wait for a sign. The solution does not generate the expected results. The solution gets dropped or no longer gets supported. This scenario occurs more often than one might think since 73% of companies failed to receive value from their digital transformation efforts. This could be due to numerous reasons that were left in hindsight by management or implementation teams.
Here are the main reasons digital solutions don’t end up solving the problem
Top-down Contagion & Lack of Commitment
Sometimes the problem starts from the top-down. Often, we find that the problem resides in the lack of management belief in the transformation that the company is about to undergo or a disagreement or lack of alignment concerning budgeting and prioritization among board members. And a lack of management commitment most definitely means a lack of commitment on the part of the employees. For solutions to help corporations, they need the commitment of the entire enterprise, top-down. Employees at every level need to understand that the effect of the solution goes as far as their effort to commit to it. If employees feel a lack of commitment on behalf of management, they are more likely to stick to their traditional ways and hinder the transformation process.
Need for Speed, Undefined Strategies
Often the problem isn’t a lack of commitment but rather a lack of strategy and vision. More often than not, we can find companies free-falling into digital transformation rather than taking baby-steps into the process. Pressured by the speed of things and how customer expectations are changing especially post-pandemic, companies are reimagining customer journeys more than ever, reducing friction, and accelerating the shift to digital channels with a dependency on data. The more significant the investment, the faster investors want to see results, which is a recipe for failure as receiving the ROI of digital transformation is a long and steady process. The key to a healthy transformation resides in setting small, reachable goals on the way to realizing the grand scheme.
Expert Tech, Loose Expertise
Knowing the urgency of investing in the right assets and expertise to find results, companies throw all their investments on digital solutions and forget to invest in its most crucial component: the people operating these solutions. Transformation doesn’t start and end with the technology and solutions; it’s the people factor determining the success factor. As corporations invest in solutions, they need to equally invest in the education, training, acquisition, and retention of the employees running the solutions, implementing it across departments, services, and functionalities.
Silos and Culture-shock
Perhaps the biggest enemy of a company’s digital transformation process is its silos. The silos of a company are the departments or employees who isolate themselves from the company’s culture and direction. Some silos in a company are already established; however, as a company introduces new technologies and upgraded strategies, it needs to provide a smooth process for all employees to accommodate the shift. Suppose the importance of this step was neglected by the company’s management as part of the process. In that case, it may create a culture-shock, risking to turn dynamic entities into uncomfortable silos, focusing on delivering expected outcomes and the fear of navigating through the challenges of this new digital strategy overruling the company’s culture. Even if companies want to accelerate the competitive space’s pace, they should never go faster than their core without guaranteeing that their real assets, their employees, are onboard.
Customer Experience, Who?
Another mistake that stands in the way of solutions fixing the problem is the lack of focus on the customer experience and needs. Corporations forget that the transformation’s main drive is the customer experience. The transformation pace should also be dictated according to the clients’ needs and their comfort-for-change level at every step. If the transformation happens too fast and out of the blues, corporations risk losing customers who will turn and search for something that resembles them and their comfort zones better.
Compromising on Quality
“Something’s got to give,” and unfortunately for some corporations, that’s the quality of their services for the sake of transformation to get with the times. Compromising on standards and quality affects the overall ROI of the corporation and risks losing clientele and consumer loyalty. In this case, it is not a reason that hinders the effect of digital transformation solutions. Instead, it is caused by mismanagement that creates more significant problems than the ones this transformation was trying to fix.
Half-way and Back
Every runner knows that it’s the second half of the track that counts in a sprint race. All these reasons mentioned before may cause management to give up mid-way and ask for a U-turn to how things were, leaving all the company’s milestones reduced to a null value. When corporations face issues or the process of digitalization feels too long, they need to re-evaluate their strategies and create smaller milestones to accomplish and reach to evaluate the success or failure of their transformations.
Another crime against the transformation strategy is the corporations’ perception of their ability to transform their own or completely automate their processes from the first steps. A company that is maintaining a competitive edge while working on a digital transformation strategy internally on its own is challenging, as designated employees who will lead this transformation will be learning-as-they-go while technologies are changing and accelerating faster than ever. The partner a company will choose to onboard on such a journey will be the “make or break” point of such an investment.
Successful solutions depend on successful partnerships.
As we’ve seen, sometimes it’s not the wrong product that fails digital solutions, but rather the application behind it. And while this entire process may seem overwhelming to companies, key partnerships can reduce the stress behind transformations and guarantee success. Professional digital solutions providers, such as Intalio, bring a range of services that ease a pre-and post-sale transformation process. They accompany corporations across their digital journey. From solutions consultancy and Digital transformation strategy implementation to post-sales services that include professional training and ongoing solution maintenance to help employees and departments getting on board with the new systems until the transformation eases itself to become a part of the overall corporate culture.
If you are curious to learn more about the unique services Intalio teams can offer or know you are in dire need of help to transform and don’t know where to start, make sure to contact us or check out our wide range of digital transformation solutions.