Forbes reports that 84% of companies fail at digital transformation. While the explanation for this startling statistic is no doubt as complex as digital transformation itself, it’s easy to conclude (and rightfully so!) that for many organizations, failure comes in the form of dashed expectations. Digital transformation carries so much promise: new technology is exciting; it changes the way we work and interact with the world around us. Innovations are supposed to make everything easier, so updating our technology and moving along to latest shiny software just has to lead to success, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. But success, of course, is absolutely possible if you take a careful, measured approach to digital transformation and check at least some of your expectations at the door. In our experience working with companies embracing cloud technology solutions, we’ve identified three key areas that have the potential to slow down—or stop—digital transformation in its tracks:
1. Going in Without a Comprehensive Strategy
Companies eager to innovate with promising new technology usually want to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms associated with legacy systems. They struggle with limited system functionality, they don’t have mobile access to their data and tools, employees are elbow-deep in manual processes, and they’re missing opportunities. They’ll do anything—sign into a cloud-based version of their existing financial management software, subscribe to a cloud CRM they heard about from a colleague—to quickly “solve” their problems.
This tends to be a shortsighted approach. Impulsive IT spending often ends up wasting time and money. While transitioning to cloud-based software is a great idea, a company is better off taking a step back and considering adopting cloud solutions as part of a larger digital transformation strategy. In other words, successful digital transformations are not piecemeal endeavors. Before implementing anything, it’s critical to define your organizational goals, assess your existing technology environment, consult your budget, and other such strategic tasks that engage decision-makers across the company.
This day and age, technology decisions are no longer strictly IT decisions because digitization is happening everywhere—it touches every functional area. Medium expresses this sentiment well: “Digital transformation involves governance, operations, funding, metrics, professional incentives — much more than just technology.” So before pressing Go on a piece of new technology, look at the big picture and put that investment in context.
2. Not Addressing Your Organizational Culture Needs
Leadership may be ready for the insights, business agility, and cost-savings promised by a new business system (think cloud ERP)—but are employees ready? It’s easy to assume that they’re natural advocates of technology updates because they live in a tech-driven world, but that’s not usually the case. Employees can feel threatened by new technology, fearing that a shake-up in the status quo will put their jobs in jeopardy or that they won’t be able to rise to the challenge of learning “new ways” of working. When this is the case, they:
- Won’t buy-in to the decision to use new business tools
- Won’t engage in the tech rollout/training process (and may actually disengage)
- Won’t take advantage of features and functionality of your software—and your organization won’t make the most of it
While you’re in the process of exploring new technology solutions, it’s important to get your employees involved—and excited! Make them part of the solution, ensuring they’re aware of the challenges or limitations imposed by your existing technology. Help them see the win-win opportunities of a new system. Building a company culture that, from the top-down, embraces change and innovation can take time—and a lot of effort—but it’s essential if you want to drive progress and real results.
For more change management insights, don’t miss 5 Tips for Preparing Your Employees For a First-Time Cloud ERP System Implementationand Have You Considered an ERP Communication Strategy?
3. Not Working with an Experienced Partner to Help Guide Your Transformation
Digital transformation—even if all that means for your company at this point in time is implementing a cloud-based ERP solution—is a big deal. It’s a significant strategic initiative, a sizable investment, and a cultural game-changer. Unless you have a deeply experienced internal IT staff with the skills to manage the heavy-lifting of a legacy system replacement, you really need the guidance and support of a trusted partner who can hold your hand through the process.
How else can be sure you’re covering your bases, following best practices, and setting your organization up for long-term success?
An implementation partner, like MIBAR, can help…
- Evaluate the capabilities and health of your existing technology environment to determine sound allocation of tech dollars
- Identify your business requirements while shopping for new software
- Manage relationship with technology vendors
- Assume leadership of migrating data and processes to your new environment
- Prepare your users for change and train them on their new tools
- Make the most of your new software and take next steps when you’re ready
Most importantly, the right partner will help you create your strategy and put it into action—so your digital transformation efforts result in the success you’re planning on. Learn more in Choosing an Implementation Partner Who Can Manage Your Expectations.
Need Help in Your Digital Transformation?
We can help you assess your needs and ensure the right system gets puts in place to take your business to the next level. Contact us to learn more!