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Posted: 02/24/2023 - by Dean Reid

7 Reasons Digital Transformation Initiatives Stall

Why digital transformations (DT) stall can be different from company to the next depending on their technology infrastructure, company culture, employee skills, etc. But there are common reasons why digital transformation journeys often fail.

In 2020, 89% of organizations reported they were undergoing digital transformation, with 53% in early stages of transformation and 36% having already completed the transformation. (IDC) 

While many companies may have started their digital transformation journey - numerous have found that their initiatives have stalled or have not returned the expected results. 

When digital transformation initiatives are implemented properly - companies can yield significant returns:

  1. A MIT study found that leading organizations in digital transformation are 26% more profitable than those that lag behind. (MIT Sloan Management Review)
  2. Digital transformation initiatives are expected to increase productivity by 34%, with a corresponding increase in revenue of 31%.(IDC)

7 Reasons Digital Transformation Initiatives Stall

Diagnosing if a digital transformation journey has stalled can be difficult, but there are several telltale signs that can help identify if there is an issue. 

  1. Lack of clear vision & strategy - digital transformation projects often fail due to the lack of a clear vision and strategy. Without a clear understanding of the goals, objectives, and expected outcomes, it is difficult to execute a successful digital transformation project.
  2. Resistance to change - digital transformation often requires significant changes to business processes, workflows, and organizational structures. If there is resistance to change, it can slow down or stall the project.
  3. Inadequate resources - digital transformation projects can be resource-intensive. If the project lacks the necessary resources, including funding, technology, and personnel, it may struggle to make progress.
  4. Poor communication & collaboration - digital transformation requires collaboration across different departments and stakeholders. If there is poor communication and collaboration, it can result in delays and a misalignment of objectives.
  5. Technical challenges - digital transformation often involves the integration of new technologies and systems. Technical challenges such as data integration, compatibility issues, and security concerns can cause delays and stall the project.
  6. Lack of leadership & support - leadership and support are critical to the success of digital transformation projects. If the leadership is not fully committed to the project, it can result in a lack of direction, unclear priorities, and insufficient resources.
  7. Unrealistic expectations - digital transformation projects can take time and may not yield immediate results. If the expectations are unrealistic, it can lead to frustration and disillusionment, causing the project to stall.

To restart a stalled digital transformation program, companies should:

  1. Step back and look at how you can truly transform the customer experience with your organization 
  2. Secure executive buy-in
  3. Ensure a clear strategic direction and communicate the plan across the organization
  4. Re-ignite a rigorous change-management program 
  5. Develop a robust governance structure or consider outsourcing the digital transformation implementation 
  6. Keep internal users in mind & minimize employee resistance to change
  7. Determine the return on investment (ROI) timeline
  8. Drive adoption of new tools & processes
  9. Mitigate security concerns 
  10. Ensure the program has the right resources and technology in place to support the digital transformation effort
  11. Maintain an ongoing digital transformation mindset 
An elegant businessman standing with a paint roller transforming a blue wall into urban city landscape drawing sketch including skyscrapers and clouds concept
Modern notebook computer with future technology media symbols
Group of young colleagues using laptop at office

The digital landscape is always changing. Is your company continuing to embrace new new digital business transformation trends?

Has your organization?

  1. Adopted cloud computing to support digital transformation (storing & processing large amounts of data)?
  2. Inserted Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) algorithms into your business processes to automate tasks, improve decision-making and offer more personalized experiences to customers?
  3. Utilized Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices and sensors to gather data and analyze it to improve business processes and decision-making?
  4. Adopted remote work and collaboration practices that leverage digital technologies to enable effective collaboration and communication among teams?
  5. Implemented cybersecurity and data privacy protocols to ensure security and privacy of sensitive data?
  6. Adopted blockchain technology for secure and transparent record-keeping (especially in financial services)? 

Do not get left behind. Not sure where to start - no problem we have done this many times before.

Give us a shout at Poeta Digital - it will be the best thing you have done today.