Common Digital Transformation Mistakes to Avoid3 min read

Liquid Digital May 20, 2020
Common Digital Transformation Mistakes to Avoid 1

When it comes to digital transformation, companies who haven’t implemented any changes yet may feel the pressure to do so as quickly as possible. Our article on How to Make Digital Transformation a Success points out that today’s businesses have to deal with a myriad of new threads including smart-startups, disruptors, and wave upon wave of new tech innovations that competitors are probably utilising. So how can your business keep up?

Here are some common mistakes that companies should strive to avoid for a higher success rate during their digital transformation process:

Forgetting to create value

At the end of the day, digital transformation is meant to help businesses succeed, not bog them down with more processes. Practically every digital transformation tool out there markets itself as the solution your company must have in this day and age, and it’s easy to get swayed by these marketing tactics.

However, adopting too many tools not only slows down employee productivity: the costs behind each subscription and tool purchase can easily rack up. It’s worth working with department heads to see where digital transformation is needed the most. As a general rule, you have to be able to make a solid case for each tool you want to implement.


Not looping your employees in

A survey reported on by HR Dive found that poor leadership plays a huge role in employee burnout. Proper digital transformation reshapes the entire business, and not keeping employees in the loop can catch them off guard — in a very bad way. A guide to talking tech by Verizon Connect reveals that the key to getting your employees on board is to have other employees promote your respective digital tools. After all, hearing it from a peer makes it sound a little less daunting than hearing it as a directive from management sometimes.

It goes without saying, this feedback should still be genuine, and getting individual employee feedback can also help management decide how to implement digital transformation tools.


Measuring the wrong metrics

The success of digital transformation relies on solid metrics that help managers create a clear before-and-after plan when it comes to operations. According to The Enterprisers Project, the top-line impact is the “holy grail of IT metrics” as it focuses on revenue growth, profitability, and new products and services.

The article cites Intel’s IT annual report as a perfect example of a top-line impact in practice. This report outlines findings such as how an enterprise predictive analytics platform generated billions in revenue, or how a machine-learning tool allowed the company to push products out to the market faster. Keeping top-line impact in mind when measuring a digital transformations’ impact ensures that investments remain sustainable.


Neglecting the customer

Digital transformation should work to help a business understand its customers better. Every step has to be taken in order to bring the customers closer to the company, whether it’s adopting machine-learning to study customer trends or rolling out chatbots to help free up customer service personnel.

Social listening is a perfect example of how digital transformation needs to be customer-centric. Our digital life is evolving at a rapid pace, and social media platforms have thus changed leaps and bounds over the span of a few years. The right tools will be able to continually generate insights while adapting to platform changes.

Changing too quickly

All businesses with structure and systems already in place need to adopt change at an achievable rate. It’s recommended that a business shouldn’t try to change more than 10-15% of their operational functionality per year. That said, there are cases where a higher rate of change is necessary, for example during the Covid19 crisis, many businesses have had to adopt change and adapt digitally at an alarming pace to remain competitive, or for some, in business.

Digital transformation requires a lot of effort and planning to implement correctly and it takes time to see the long-term impact. Steering clear of these mistakes can help you make the best choices for your team moving forward.


written for Liquid.Digital

by Roberta June