Digital Transformation Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve come to terms with the fact that greater digital transformation (DX) for your businesses is necessary to success for 2019 and into the foreseeable future. That’s an important first step! But you should be aware, like any technology implementation there may be a few bumps on the road to DX success. Forbes reports that 84% of companies fail at digital transformation. That means right out of the gate you have the odds stacked against you. However, given that you can’t put off this necessary disruption any longer, you can at least proceed with full knowledge of the challenges you may face. To help you make more educated decisions moving forward, we have compiled a list of common pitfalls organizations experience while implementing technology to solve traditional business problems. That way, you can avoid them and achieve success on your own.

If you're ready to make the change, check out our Digital Transformation page and contact Fully Managed today. To learn more, read on! 

5 Common Blunders Your Organization Needs to Avoid for Successful Digital Transformation in 2019 and Beyond

1. Lacking Clearly Defined Goals

While this can be said about any new business initiative, it is never as true than it is with digital transformation (DX). You will need to look at every aspect of operations (more on this in item #2 below) so that you can define each goal by departmental need, along with the respective budget available for each. Only then can you figure out which Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and/or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will be required. Yes, you know you need more robust cybersecurity across the board, but what about cloud-based productivity solutions for remote staff, or more efficient automation tools for mundane but necessary tasks? Get input from everyone in the company because, as an executive, you may not realize what the touch points for prospective technology may be. 
In addition, listen to the data. Don’t make assumptions based on old preconceived notions. The whole point of technology is to leverage its capabilities so that you can make better, unbiased business decisions. While the older technology you have may not afford the wealth of data you need to see the entire picture (yet) you do have some at your disposal. Everything from your site analytics to your current CRM (as applicable) holds data that you may not have been using to its full potential. Access this information so that you can craft a detailed requirements list and define the goals that will create greater success through DX.

2. Not Making the Transformation Company Wide

You may successfully serve vertical markets, but when it comes to internal use of technology you cannot approach the transformation in a vertical manner. That means you should not apply technological upgrades and enhancements to one area of the company while leaving out another entirely. There is no part of your business that cannot be improved through tech, be it manufacturing, marketing, customer service, shipping, or human resource management. The good news is that with modern cloud solutions, you can integrate it, protect it, and manage it all under one umbrella.  

3. Not Migrating Current Business Tools to Better Subscriptions

Some of your business tools are already online, otherwise, you would not even be able to function as a business in this century. However, just because you’ve experienced no real issues with current applications thus far, does not mean that they too won’t benefit from an upgrade.
Email is a perfect example. Sure, your current e-mail services may have been working like a charm (as you see it) to date, but are you really getting the most out of this important business communications tool? Or more importantly, is it as secure as it could be? Probably not. By moving current e-mail services (as applicable) to cloud-based Office 365 (Microsoft Exchange) your business will directly improve efficiency, security, and team productivity. Unlike your current provider, MS leverages AI and machine learning for greater email (and workplace) efficiency, offers better security, and better team/user collaboration. This is just one example of how your current use of technology could benefit from better business (as-a-service) subscriptions, so leave no digital stone unturned.  

4. Not Training Staff, Stakeholders, and Customers/Clients

DX typically fails because of poor adoption and fear of technology. Longstanding companies have staff that may be resistant to new technology, and that often starts at the top. Make sure everyone (and we mean everyone) is educated on what changes are being made and ensure that everyone who is impacted, either directly or indirectly, is trained on how to use this technology, not only for immediate efficiency but for the sake of redundancy. You should never have to hear that something in operations failed because a business user was away and there was no one in place to back them up and access the business tools needed to generate a report or service a customer/client. Learn more about this on how to introduce new technology into the workplace.
However, this call to train and educate doesn’t stop inside corporate walls. In many cases, customers and clients need to be educated too. For instance, let’s say that your company has adopted the use of a new app. Don’t assume that customers/clients are going to know how to use it no matter how logical the UX may seem to you and the development team. Instead, assume complete ignorance and provide customers/clients with the necessary tutorials. 
Another example can be pulled right out of recent headlines. Earlier in the year, Coast Capital Savings member accounts were compromised in a phishing scheme that cost members hundreds of thousands of dollars. A case was made that the financial institution was negligent in safeguarding member accounts, citing a lack of security questions and allowance of weak passwords. Should the onus have fallen on the institution to ensure members followed password management best practices? It doesn’t matter what experts say, because consumers certainly think so. Given that corporate responsibility is tied tightly to the digital age, you need to make sure that customers/clients are afforded insight into how your DX may impact them.

5. Trying to Do it All On Your Own 

The biggest reason for large scale corporate failure of digital transformation is neglecting to secure a partner in the transition. Think about it, if you have avoided DX so far, then you won’t have the necessary infrastructure in place to identify, secure, and implement the appropriate SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS platforms and subscriptions. In fact, if any of this sounds “Greek”, you absolutely need outside support. Again, you’re facing a major business disruption here, but it can be an extremely positive experience with the right help. 
A managed IT services provider can assist in every step of your digital transformation by defining goals, setting budgets, migrating operations to the cloud, training staff and stakeholders, and maintaining systems along the way. Learn more about this on why you should secure IT support.
Avoid the pitfalls far too many businesses make when increasing the adoption of technology. Visit our Digital Transformation page and contact Fully Managed today for a more seamless entry into the new digital world.