Digital Transformation has been a hot topic for some time, being thrown around so often it’s almost lost any meaning. The term even comes with its own matching cliche comments like…
“Digital Transformation isn’t coming, it’s here today”
“We must embrace change and how we approach technology”
“Make sure you take your team with you on your transformation journey”
and yet we still see statistics like:
“70% of Digital Transformation plans don’t meet their goals”
“40% of technology spending will go towards digital transformations”
“of the 1.3 TRILLION dollars spent on digital transformation, $900 BILLION goes to waste”
When you google the term you’ll find yourself swimming in articles sure to include at least one of the above comments and offer a neatly presented list of things to do in order to make your transformation plans a success.
I mean, they’re not wrong, but its the ‘failure’ stories that make me wonder if people are truly embracing the greatness of these plans and the longevity they require to actually be a success.
“The entire technology budget was spent on the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation, making sure that it had all the bells and whistles, however our operating system is still Windows 7 and now our current technology is barely compatible with the new EMR and we can’t afford to update any of it.”
“There was a problem in the production line so we assembled a team of experts and spent a cool $8 million to install a high tech piece of equipment to fix it, however it caused so many flow on affects that weren’t taken into consideration that the staff were forced to fix it themselves and did so with a $20 fan.”
“We bought state of the art mobile workstations to help the nurses with their patient care tasks, however after leaving the maintenance and upgrades go for so long we’re now forced to buy brand new ones… except we didn’t really plan for the wider impact and now are looking down the barrel of a $30 million price tag to upgrade our WiFi system so the workstations will actually work.”
Yes, digital transformation is here today. Yes, it can be scary. Yes, you need to take your entire team on the journey and yes there will be plenty more people ready to pen their thoughts on the subject.
But remember, digital transformation plans are not a one time gig. It’s not enough to implement a cool new piece of tech and say ‘job well done’.
Those articles you’ve found in your google search from Forbes.com, Harvard Business Review and the rest are full of value, and the content should definitely be taken into consideration, but don’t just stop there. Take these points into consideration too:
– what metrics are we going to measure the success of this implementation by? Have we established a baseline for comparison?
– how will we prove the return on investment for both econimically and effort?
– what does our current technology stack look like? Are there upgrades that should be completed first? How will new technology integrate with it?
– do we have a technology roadmap to keep us on track and informed and continuosly prepared for the future?
– how will I manage the maintenance and upgrades of this cool new piece of tech?
– do we really understand the implications this plan has on our team? Have we adopted a way to truly listen to their pain points and concerns?
– have we established a plan to test the implementation to address and concerns or unforseen challenges before a widespread rollout?
– what technology is on the horizon and how will it affect our business, team and future plans?
Remember, you’re not alone. Technology doesn’t age gracefully – it spoils rapidly. Keep in mind that your digital plans will be ever evolving and that big picture / forward thinking approach will keep you, and your team, on the path of transformation success!
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