‘Digital transformation’ is fast becoming a buzzword of 2019. To fully leverage business opportunities, companies are now incorporating a mix of digital technologies and culture changes in order to accelerate business growth in a strategic and prioritized way.
Many companies are either in the full flow of a digital transformation, have road mapped their transformation journey and are ready to kick start delivery, or are only now starting to think about embarking on their own transformation. 63% of UK businesses said they have a formal digital transformation strategy.
Conversations I have had with C-suite professionals and leaders about their journey and transformation seem to echo similar thoughts, feelings and in some cases, misconceptions. I’ve highlighted some of these below to shed some light on the myths around digital transformation, which will hopefully allow you to get well on your way to achieving a true digital transformation.
Myth 1: Digital transformation means better technology
The most common myth or misconception is that digital transformation is solely focused on technology. Technology upgrades will support or drive digital transformation but the objectives may be for entirely different reasons including culture change, customer experience or leveraging business opportunities.
Part of this myth is that if a company upgrades its technology, then the transformation is successfully complete. Whilst technology is vital to the transformation, it doesn’t complete it. You’ll need to look at your business processes, policies and the willingness to adopt this transformation by employees within the organisation.
One of the most challenging aspects of any transformation is adopting change. Undergoing a digital transformation will have a significant impact on employees and buy-in is crucial. Research by agency Organic, reveals that 62% of staff felt that the biggest barrier to digital transformation is not having a clear leadership mandate.
The survey of digital and marketing professionals found that 58% agree that managers are among the most valuable stakeholders in digital transformation projects; the same percentage say this for heads of departments, while 57% single out directors.
Myth 2: Digital transformation only matters to tech and software companies
Your company doesn’t need to be a hot tech startup in order to embark on a digital transformation journey. The number of UK businesses with formal digital transformation strategies has more than doubled over the past 12 months, according to a survey by Daisy Group.
There are companies across a variety of industries who are undertaking a transformation journey and they have enjoyed significant benefits from doing so. We are seeing more recruitment requirements from traditional companies now taking on digital transformation projects including shipping, legal, banking, finance and insurance. These long-standing industries are now being targeted as areas for development by startups and so established leaders are looking at ways to digitally transform their services in order to maintain a competitive advantage.
Myth #3: Digital transformation can wait
Technology is changing at an increasing speed, so if you need to start a digital transformation project then you can’t afford to delay. The longer you wait the harder it could get. Also, while you continue your business as usual, is one or more of your competitors digitally transforming? And will this transformation mean they take a portion of your customers? What impact will this have on your business?
Every day I speak with organisations who are on their journey and work with me to support them in identifying and attracting the best talent in the market to complete the next piece of their digital transformation. Having the right employees to drive digital transformation can make or break your project.
With new processes and new technologies you will find a need for new employee skills. In a recent survey of digital professionals by Econsultancy, more than 50% of respondents highlighted the challenge of finding employees with the right transformation skills. 25% characterised sourcing talent as a ‘major challenge’.
Things to think about
If you decide to undertake a digital transformation project then make sure you have a clear objective and strategy. What are your priorities and what has brought about this need for transformation?
Technology – Consequence of technology changes or a need which becomes pressing
Customer – Needs of your customers, threat of competitors or changes to industry/market
Ecosystem – Changes in economy, ecosystem, regulations or geopolitics
Society – Innovations with a profound impact on society
The types of technologies you need will depend entirely on what your digital transformation project is looking to achieve. Will you need to update your CRM? Add on an automated email platform? Or find ways to better support your customers?
Think about how you will update processes, activities and campaign models. Finally, do you have the employee infrastructure to support your project?
We’ve found that contractors can be an incredible resource for digital transformation projects. They offer vast technical experience, flexibility and can fill short-term skill needs. They can even train your current employees and help with adoption of new technologies and processes.
If you’re looking to hire for your digital transformation, we can support you with tech and digital professionals to ensure your project succeeds.