Enterprises have reportedly spent upwards of $5 trillion on their digital transformation efforts, yet they’re also not hitting their objectives. In fact, in many industries, such as banking, health care and utilities, only half of organizations are keeping pace with their digital transformation expectations.
According to Joe Garber, global head of strategy and solutions at Micro Focus, it’s essential to set goals early and clearly. Garber said most organizations find that their primary objectives for digital transformation fall into one of four buckets: optimizing for speed by prioritizing enterprise DevOps, maximizing agility with hybrid IT, driving insights with predictive analytics, and enhancing the ability to protect users, applications and data with advanced security measures. “Establishing a framework early on helps inform next steps,” he said.
Once those categories are in place and prioritized, many organizations can benefit from starting small with one department or one geography. This will enable organizations to test their theories and control their trials more closely, but also leverage positive results to establish a business case for future projects, Garber said. “Just be careful to think broadly and long-term when you decide what technology to deploy—software that may be good for a small-scale operation can break down or paint you into a corner if you’re not looking at the big picture and select technology that can support your enterprisewide requirements,” he said.
Contentstack chief operating officer Matthew Baier advises organizations to pick a real-world challenge and provide a proof of concept that could garner a quick win. Be sure to note upfront the goals and key performance indicators. “Another piece of advice is to include both the affected business and IT teams in the project, to capture feedback holistically about what impact digital transformation efforts have across the organization,” he advised.
Nabil Freij, CEO at GlobalVision International said pilot projects are key to effective implementations. “Before transforming your entire processes, you need to make sure that the proposed transformation will bring sufficient monetary, quality and/or schedule benefits before they are proliferated across the board,” he said. “This is not hard to do. Be selective with the pilots that you undertake. Make sure that they are representative of the majority of the work that your teams undertake on a regular basis. Create key metrics that are important to meet and measure and track them. After a few pilot projects, you will have enough data to start making conclusions regarding further testing or regarding starting across the board or limited implementations.”
With objectives down, it’s essential to get the right people in place. “The first step in developing a successful digital transformation strategy is bringing together the right people to assess the current state of the workplace environment,” said Dave Maffei, president and chief revenue officer at Akumina.
“To get the right feedback, organizations should deploy a survey and interview their employees across business units and job functions to understand what technology and processes they value most, as well as what challenges they face while performing their job duties,” said Maffei. “Without completing this essential step, organizations won’t truly understand what solution they need and could be missing out on solving existing challenges to the overall employee experience. Having internal feedback will allow organizations to understand what their ideal solution might look like.”
Larry Wolff, CEO, Wolff StrategyPartners, added that a team of digital transformers should be established, if possible. “If an enterprise has the luxury of time, such as no imminent existential threat, then they may want to set up a single, high-performing team to tackle an initial phase of the digital transformation. Set them up for success so that others want to emulate them and drive the next phases,” he said.
“People are naturally apprehensive about change. Drive one positive change initiative to diminish those fears and get more and more people on board,” he added.