The vast majority of digital transformations fail. We’ll explain why digital transformation may be vital to your business and provide guidance on how to position your organization for success.
Forbes published that 84% of digital transformations fail. McKinsey had that number at 73%. If those numbers are even close, that spells dangerous times ahead for businesses pursuing digital transformation.
In this series of weekly articles, we’ll explain why digital transformation may be vital to your business, why so many fail, and how you can position your organization for success.
My first digital transformation was in the 1990’s when I helped Microsoft create Expedia. That web site transformed the travel industry and created billions of dollars of value. I later led a team with another company that applied predictive analytics to reduce operating costs by $50 million dollars. These are only two of several experiences in which we succeeded with digital transformations.
These initiatives had a few things in common that drove their success.
First, was a clear definition of objectives that were understood consistently across the respective businesses. And that brings us to the number one reason why digital transformations fail: an unclear definition of digital transformation.
If the CEO thinks digital transformation is an app, and Marketing thinks it’s a social media campaign, and IT thinks it means adapting Agile software development practices, well, your major change initiative will likely fail. Clarity is key.
We define digital transformation as “applying technology to deliver a differentiated customer experience”.
That single definition, the one common objective, will align your team around the numerous aspects of digital transformation. The CEO may be right about the app. Marketing may be right about social media. IT may be right about Agile. But success depends on these, and several other factors, coming together in one integrated strategy that focuses on the customer experience.
In the coming weeks we will cover the following, critical aspects of digital transformation:
- Who Really Is Your Competition?
- Customer Journey and Differentiation
- Strategy, Culture, Technology
- Programs and Projects
- Resource Planning and Performance Objectives
- Executive Sponsorship Role and Accountability
- Change Management
- Scope Management
- Marketing and PR
- Staff Challenges and Surprises
- The New World After Digital Transformation
If you’re embarking on a digital transformation, planning to do so, or just don’t want to wait 12 weeks for all of these articles, just email Emily at Emily@WolffStrategy.com and she’ll be happy to schedule a call with me to discuss any or all of these topics.
Larry Wolff is the founder & CEO of Wolff Strategy Partners, a boutique consulting firm specializing in Enterprise Strategy Management and Digital Transformation. Larry has served as CEO, COO, CIO, CTO, chief digital officer, and management consultant for public, private, international, and emerging growth companies. His specialties include corporate and IT strategic planning, technology led business transformation, business and IT turnarounds, merger integration and large-scale project rescues. His methodologies span industries and scale to companies of all sizes.
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