What does it take to make your digital transformation succeed?

Digital transformation (DX) is on the agenda for every business looking to stay competitive in a world that is moving at lightning speed. Sadly, most DX projects fail to deliver. See why missed connections may be at fault.

Sanjay Brahmawar Sanjay Brahmawar

Making the decision to transform digitally is the easy part of the equation. Around 70% of transformations fail  — and they are only getting worse. This is hugely significant, considering that most CEOs see digital transformation (DX) as a critical growth driver.  

According to Gartner research, 89% of board directors say digital business is now embedded in all business growth strategies. Yet shockingly, just 35% of board directors report that they have achieved or are on track to achieving digital transformation goals. So why are so many seriously off track, and what are the root causes of these failures?

Transformation is not as easy as it sounds.

In most cases, the root causes of these failures are straightforward and are down to a lack of strategy, skills, conviction, and change narrative. This results in a lack of buy-in to make change happen. According to Harry Robinson, a global leader in transformation practice at McKinsey, issues also include insufficiently high aspirations and insufficient investment in building capabilities across the organization to sustain change.  

From a technological perspective, enterprises are also coming at transformation from a deceptively complex multi-cloud environment. This leaves them with the illusion that they are much more agile than they actually are.  

Mature organizations with transformation success in their grasp have robust change roadmaps and multi-cloud management strategies that ensure they have comprehensive visibility of their cloud estate. Organizations can’t manage what they cannot see.  

Explore the truly connected world

Digital transformation is a journey. One that needs to be carefully planned. It is not about cutting loose newly adopted technologies or lessening scope. It is about navigating the complexities and connecting the dots to make better connections.

Connect, digitize, and transform.

As we have explained, many issues contribute to DX failure. But fundamentally, they all have one thing in common. Connection. DX revolves around connecting data, applications, people, processes, clouds, and things to work harmoniously to deliver a DX strategy. Enterprises that try to start DX with one component, such as data, inevitably fail. 

Of course, no enterprise can solve every problem simultaneously, but it is essential to break down silos so that all the moving parts of the DX can work together. Integrating all the components holistically and ensuring they can support each other drives a truly connected enterprise.

A data foundation should be the starting point of any DX.

Data is now an enterprise’s most valuable asset, and a solid data foundation is paramount to any successful DX strategy. Any digital business requires quality curated data that can be quickly and easily accessed by those who need it. To turn this data into value they need an integration platform that efficiently accelerates business processes and workflows, synchronizes data, and automates integrations while providing visibility.  

This should be a unified, scalable hybrid integration platform that runs a variety of hybrid and multi-cloud environments as part of an API-led approach., This allows both on-premises and cloud solutions to communicate as part of a phased approach to be fully cloud-centric. This allows all types of applications, from packaged and SaaS, to be fully customized to deliver knowledge in a form that can be easily understood. It can also map and orchestrate data to achieve business knowledge.

Need help with a Business Transformation project? Speak to our experts.

A long-term change management process is essential.

The business landscape is highly volatile, and enterprises must adapt quickly to new markets and conditions, exploiting opportunities to meet business objectives. This requires significant transformations to business processes that must align with enterprise goals. 

Here a business process analysis and management platform is a strategic asset. One that can continuously design the most efficient processes to respond to changing requirements while aligning strategy and operations.   

The platform should have operational excellence baked in, helping to reduce risks and costs, bolster the bottom line and create value for both customers and shareholders. This provides greater end-to-end visibility of operations and the transparency needed to take full control of change across the enterprise.  

By utilizing process mining, an analytical approach to discovering, monitoring, and improving real-time processes, enterprises can also speed up the implementation of more efficient routes to internal and external operations. It also provides a fact-driven avenue to smart decision-making. 

Sustainability is now pivotal to every business strategy. Here it is vital to source a business process system that supports sustainability, so it can be anchored in operations and the goals are based on real data.

Connecting the growing number of “things.”

IDC predicts that by 2025 there will be 55.7 billion connected devices generating 73.1 ZB of data. This data offers enormous potential regarding products, services, and business models.  

This is where IoT at the edge comes in, providing new opportunities to connect devices, products, machines, and other assets. DX at the edge allows people and things at the edge to interact digitally with each other.  

Many enterprises are still at the early stages of their edge strategy and how it complements their cloud investment. Edge enables enterprises to maximize the value of their data quickly to gain valuable insight. IoT is complex by its very nature, so it is paramount to have a platform that simplifies things and gives users access to data that can quickly change outcomes to improve scenarios such as plant managers.

Managing the risks of DX.

DX has many components but realizing that they all need to be successfully connected goes a long way toward successful change. Promoting interoperability and the open sharing of secured data ensures people can access the right knowledge for smart decision-making. This is why it is critical to do due diligence when choosing partners and solutions. One connection problem can put a DX project then paces backward, leaving it on the precipice of failure. 

To find out more, read “Why your digital transformation problem is a connection problem in disguise” whitepaper here.