Posted by: Nicky Verd Comments: 0

Digital transformation puts technology at the core of every business strategy and some of the big trends we’re witnessing in the technological evolution are:

  • Every company is now a tech company.
  • Every CEO is now a tech CEO.
  • Every Industry is now being Infiltrated by technology.

As a result, technology has become essential for businesses in all industries, not just those in the tech industry. Technology serves a foundational purpose for every kind of business.

Technology enables companies to operate more efficiently, communicate more effectively, and reach a wider audience. It also helps businesses to gather and analyze data, which can be used to make informed decisions and improve operations.

Customers and clients in all business sectors expect companies to have a strong solid online presence and to be able to offer digital products and services. 

What is Digital Transformation?

A definition by Salesforce: “Digital Transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new (or modify existing) business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.”

Every organisation now wants to jump unto the transformation bandwagon, but they haven’t checked whether the wheels are sturdy.

Digital and transformation often get used in the same sentence but there’s a big divide between understanding digital technologies and managing digital transformation in Africa.

Digital Speaks to the technologies deployed while transformation speaks to the people who’ll be affected by these technologies.

The Number #1 Reason Why Digital Transformation Fail.

When it comes to digital transformations, the odds are not in your favour. According to a recent study, 70% of digital transformations fail. 

Even though most business leaders understand how crucial it is to evolve with technology, yet failure to do so is still rampant.

Why is this? And more importantly, how can you avoid becoming part of this statistic?
 
There are many reasons why digital transformations fail, but some of the most common include:

  • Failing to properly plan and execute the transformation
  • Underestimating the complexity of the project
  • The costs of implementation are grossly miscalculated.
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of a clear vision or strategy
  • Not engaging the right stakeholders early on

However, the #1 reason why digital transformation fails lies in the PEOPLE/CULTURE component of Digital Transformation. This relates to stakeholders. 

The heart of what makes digital transformation successful is PEOPLE

A Tech First Approach Leads to Failure.

Leaders often make the mistake of jumping on the digital transformation bandwagon, investing in new technologies without first rallying their troops.

When embarking on a digital transformation journey, most business leaders immediately go into the mindset of — it must be a new software, a new website, a new App, data, etc.

Successful technological adoption and digital transformation are more than just software!

Digital transformation driven by the Forth Industrial Revolution (4IR)is not only about new technologies, new software and new Apps. 

It is about:

  • A new Era…
  • New ways of thinking.
  • New ways of leadership.
  • New ways of working.
  • New ways of doing business.
  • New ways of making a living, etc.

People First Approach.

Buying the technology is easy but developing the potential of your people to align with the tech is the hard part.

Even though technology does so much, and digital innovation is the destination you’re heading for, it’s human beings who make it happen.

The people on the ground are the ones who are going to have to deal with the change. This includes your employees as well as your customers. 

So, prepare them for it, bring them into the transition early, and ask for their contribution.

A successful digital enterprise isn’t a technological enterprise, it’s a confederation of inspired people empowered by technology.

“Businesses require disruptive people to be disruptive. A business consists of holdings: eg, office buildings, warehouses, desks and chairs, sophisticated machinery, and electronics. They’re shells: inanimate, creating nothing. Like a beehive, minus the bees. It’s pretty difficult to get honey that way. People are required to breathe life into a company to achieve innovation, growth, and productivity” -Whitney Johnson

Companies don’t disrupt, people do!

Technology doesn’t innovate, people do. Digital transformation is about bringing people, processes, and technology together.

Use technology to enable, amplify and unlock the potential of your people.

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics have enabled companies to understand customers at a much deeper level, but a lot of customer interactions still happen through personal contact with employees.

Therefore, the secret to enhancing Customer Experience is to empower the Employee Experience. Make it easy for employees to make it easy for customers.

Involve the Customer Service Team early on. They understand customer pain points better than anyone in the organisation. 

When embarking on your digital transformation journey, don’t marginalize or leave your employees behind.

People (not technology) are the missing link to the success of any digital transformation. 

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