However, digital transformation mistakes can cost businesses dearly and even jeopardize the future. Luckily, they are almost always avoidable as long as you plan in advance and understand where you might get caught out. Here are 5 typical digital transformation mistakes that you need to avoid making when upgrading your business to modern processes.
5 typical digital transformation mistakes
1. Postponing your decision to ‘next year’
The biggest digital transformation mistake any business can make right now is actually procrastination. In normal times, businesses might have the luxury of not committing to change and waiting to see how things pan out. You might plan digital transformation but decide to wait 6 months to see how a product launch pans out or if the Q3 results are better than predicted. The COVID-19 crisis has made the business landscape much more difficult for most companies but has also prompted competitors to innovate and try new technological solutions. Therefore, one of the biggest digital transformation mistakes right now is waiting to see what happens. The global situation is so dynamic, and your competitors are moving so fast in reaction to the crisis, that “wait and see” is not longer a valid business strategy.
2. Not seeing the bigger picture
Digital transformation can be something of a paradox. SaaS solutions and third-party tools mean that you no longer need to change entire monolithic systems or in engage in wholesales changes from the off. In fact, you can integrate in iterations, one plug-in at a time, and see how each SaaS tool brings value to your business. However, this leads some companies to make one of the more common digital transformation mistakes: focusing on small gains but not keeping the big picture in mind. By all means, choose the best individual SaaS tools for individual usages. Make sure that you have outlined a fully-defined strategy and that each tool you choose is leading you towards that greater aim.
3. Huge investment in a short time
Digital transformation does not need to be prohibitively expensive to businesses if you choose pay-as-you-go tools and stick to a budget as you go along. In fact, spreading your investment is actually the best method for implementing changes, even if you have a large war chest allocated up front. This is because implementing half a dozen new SaaS tools at the beginning will probably bring major improvement to your business but you will not be able to define exactly which tools are bringing you success. Perhaps 4 out of 6 are bringing value but implementing them all at the same time means you can’t identify which are effective and which are not. So, rather than making a huge investment in a short time, implement new processes singularly, or two at a time. You will then be able to clearly measure their value to business and decide if they are worth keeping.
4. Constantly introducing new tools
We are technologists. We love tools. And we love new and shiny things. However, one of the most common (and expensive) digital transformation mistakes is not committing to a tool for a longer period of time. In previous points, we mentioned that SaaS tools are most powerful when you can measure their effectiveness, and that you can dump a non-performing solution and try something new until you find what works. That being said, you need to understand when you will see improved results from different technologies. Some tools might bring immediate and visible benefits, while others might take months to show their full potential. Do your research and understand which tools have a longer ROI, otherwise you might find that you are constantly replacing them with new options simply because you haven’t reached the tipping point yet and seen how they improve your business.
Find more information: Digital transformation during COVID
5. Working without strategy
Another paradox of digital transformations in the current global crisis is that you need to act fast in response to dynamic changes. But a knee-jerk reaction is unlikely to bring the hoped for long-term benefits. Speed is off the essence if you want to save a business, or take advantage of a new opportunity, or outpace competitors. However, it shouldn’t start with the technology; it should begin with the people who know your business best making an honest appraisal of what is needed for success. A well-defined strategy has the most influence on the success of new technology solutions and helps you avoid digital transformation mistakes. Put together a team of half a dozen people who represent a cross-section of business-function and technology departments in your company, and make sure to include technophobes and advocates for new tools so that you hear both sides of the argument. Set aside a couple of days (or up to a week) to outline what is critical for the business to succeed and decide upon the tools that are needed. Create a clear and binding agreement on your strategy and then move fast to get started on implementing it.
Choose the right partners
The right technology partner is often as important as the tools you choose, especially when you are transforming a business from manual processes to digital ones at speed. Be cautious of any IT team that promises wholesale transformation at lightning speed. Digital transformation will revitalize your business, but it will require time, a strategic approach, and a little recalibration along the way. Make sure that you choose a technology partner that has been there before and knows the common digital transformation mistakes as well as the paths to success.
At ValueLogic, we help companies from fresh startups to established large businesses to implement new tools and make the most of digitized and automated processes. Speak to us about the challenges you face right now and how you might overcome them.
More interesting tip you can find here: Technologies and the pandemic. Where should you invest in 2021?