Unlocking Success in Digital Transformation

From time to time, team members will share their views stimulated by content from an industry thought leader. Here, Co-Founder Chase, discusses the Digital Transformation article, “Unlocking Success in Digital Transformation” by Kevin Keohane.

This article is interesting because it points out that although many businesses have made efforts to incorporate digital technologies on a large scale, they’ve been, for the most part, unsuccessful at it.

The piece referred to the results from a recent McKinsey Global Survey about digital transformations. Out of every ten respondents, more than eight indicated they had attempted to implement a major change in their organization to remain competitive or take advantage of the digital movement.

What I found interesting was that when McKinsey had conducted research back in 2015, it noted digital transformations were more successful a few years ago then they are today. Back then, only 26 percent of respondents said they had implemented change and were keeping up with the digital transformations they had made. Now, it’s down to 16 percent.

However, the article makes a valid reality check about company-wide transformations. Making them on an organizational level is difficult to achieve. What’s more, when you add the digital component and you’ve got another challenge to overcome.

Best practices in five major areas indicate the likelihood that an organization will be successful in making and sustaining a digital transformation:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Empowering workers
  • Capability building
  • Upgrading tools

That’s a great list and I can see why it’s challenging to cover all of those areas and maintain, yet some organizations are indeed doing it right.

The article also revealed that many media and high tech industries had an even lower digital transformation success rate at no more than 26 percent. No insight was given into why the percentage for tech industries was so low, but I wonder if company size plays a role. The study found that smaller organizations have achieved their digital transformation goals by 2.7 more times than their larger conglomerate counterparts. The article offered additional reasons for successful transformations such as the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning methods, and other more advanced technologies.

It was helpful that the article provided a graph that showed how organizations can increase their chances of making their digital transformations victorious. The success rate can increase by 3.1 times when management creates a good reason for the transformation. This makes sense because if management doesn’t buy-in, no one else will.

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