Digital Transformation: Three Critical Success Factors and Three Ways to Fail

    Aug 6

    The IT community and business consultants are buzzing around this concept of Digital Transformation. Like many concepts, digital transformation will mean different things to different people. For some it’s about improving the customer experience, for others it’s a growth enabler, and others still it’s a cost reduction project.


    The core concept of digital transformation is using technology to improve traditional processes. Often, people think digital transformation means going paperless, but think bigger.

    It’s about changing how your company presents itself and interacts with the world. And like most transformations, they happen over time not overnight. Like other IT projects, digital transformation projects have the potential to be big successes or big failures. Here are a few tips to keep you on track and some pitfalls to avoid.

    Keys to a big win!

    1. Know Why – Everything successful project has a clear purpose. Know why you want to take this project on and make sure it aligns with your company’s mission, vision, and values. Saying you want to create a mobile app because your competitor has one isn’t enough. Look for something more such as “We know our customers are our lifeblood. We want to create a mobile experience that delights and delivers on our promise for convenience and service.”

    2. Define What Success Looks Like – This really could be a project roadmap with a series of milestones along the way. Design the project to start delivering returns along the way. This will help fight off implementation/change fatigue and give you the ability to evaluate priorities and progress on a regular basis.

    3. Be Flexible – Remember this is a process. It is likely that your company’s priorities and objective may change over the course of your digital transformation. Design your project to allow for the changes in the business environment that you know will occur.

    Why projects Fail

    1. Too many cooks in the kitchen – Find an executive sponsor and a good team leader. These projects can big quickly and it’s important that someone be the leader and keep things on track. Too many people fighting for their own interests just slow things down and nothing gets decided.

    2. Going for the big bang – These projects are too big to roll out all at once. Going for the big bang is not only a huge expense but a large risk to the organization. Big projects take big time and big money. The likelihood that you can finish the project and roll out new ways of operating before your requirements change is unlikely. Be smart, go for some quick wins to get some payback and build momentum for the projects ahead.

    3. Insufficient resource allocation – It's alright if you can’t budget for the whole project at once. Time, money, and people are your scarce resources. If you allocate resources consistently to this project you can reach your goals. One of our clients told me recently that “the business’ demand will always be bigger than our budget.” They use their roadmap to keep moving forward.

    Maybe you’re considering digital transformation or are in the midst of a failing project. Either way, DTI is your trusted partner to help you identify the best next steps to meet your business goals. 

    We have identified 5 trends to help you seize the opportunities to outpace the competition, control expenses, and have a profound impact on project success and defined them all in an easy to read whitepaper. You may download it for free here.

    Digital Transformation

    Posted by Ryan White
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