Majority of digital transformation efforts lack focus

If your business is knee-deep in a mire of confusion, delays and miscommunication when it comes to executing a digital transformation strategy, you're not alone.
12 November 2018

The whole organization should be on board. Source: Shutterstock

Digital transformation, as abstract or impalpable as the concept is, sits at the top of many businesses’ priority list, and probably has done for some several years.

Put simply, digital transformation projects overhaul some or all aspects of your company’s digital infrastructure. The end goals are generally business-wide efficiency and interoperability, but getting there often requires projects to be split into multiple phases and the input and collaboration of multiple teams.

In short, it’s rarely a quick and simple task for any company. But if your business is knee-deep in a mire of confusion, delays and miscommunication when it comes to executing a digital transformation strategy, you are certainly not alone.

In fact, research from SnapLogic has found that some 40 percent of enterprises are either behind schedule with their digital transformation projects or have yet to even start them. Meanwhile, of those that have begun to act, over two-thirds (69 percent) have had to reevaluate their strategy entirely— 59 percent would do it differently if given the chance.

Lacking a clear, focused and company-wide objective seems to be at the heart of most firms’ digital transformation woes. An alarming 58-percent majority, meanwhile, cite confusion amongst the organization around what they’re trying to achieve. That confusion manifests itself most commonly as a result of internal politics, a lack of centralized ownership, a lack of senior management buy-in, while over half of IT decision-makers note that a reliance on legacy technologies and a lack of the right technologies— and skilled talent— within their organization, is holding them back.

“While some companies may take solace in knowing they are not the only ones struggling, for those of us in the technology industry this is a stark wake up call that we must do a better job advising, partnering with, and supporting customers in their digital transformation journey if we are to ever see the reality of a digital-first economy,” said Gaurav Dhillon, CEO at SnapLogic.

Certainly an enormous undertaking, the payoffs of a painstakingly-planned, tested and well-executed strategy can see companies increase both revenue and market share by 13 percent, chop operating costs by 14 percent and gain an 18 percent hike in customer satisfaction. Getting there, however, requires businesses to invest in the right technology and tools, involve all departments in strategy development, and invest in staff training.  

“Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight, and there’s no silver bullet for success,” continued Dhillon. “To succeed with digital transformation, organizations must first take the time to get the right strategy and plans in place, appoint senior-level leadership and ensure the whole of the organization is on-board and understands their respective roles, and embrace smart technology.

“In particular, enterprises must identify where they can put new AI or machine learning technologies to work; if done right, this will be a powerful accelerant to their digital transformation success.”