Avoiding the Pitfalls on the Road to Digital Transformation

The speed of change around digital transformation is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Terms that were unknown yesterday become industry buzz-words today. Business models and ecosystems considered cutting-edge one day, teeter on obsolete the next.

To stay relevant businesses must change, and change fast, but as with any new venture comes an assortment of myths that carve pitfalls on the road to success. With a complicated topic like digital transformation, this is especially true. The trick is recognizing these mistruths for what they are and navigating around them.


Myth 1: Digital Transformation is an IT Function

Granted there is a huge technical component, but thinking DT only affects technology will get you nowhere fast. Digital transformation impacts all aspects of your business, rippling through every department, process, business model, ecosystem and partner model, down to the very culture of the organization.


Myth 2: We’re Not a “Tech” Company so Digital Transformation Doesn’t Affect Us

Tech companies like Amazon, Uber and Netflix may have led the initial charge, but in reality, DT is an equal opportunity disruptor. Regardless of your industry, sector or end customer, DT offers the same prospects for success or failure. How you adapt your game-plan determines your place in the new world order. If Netflix had stuck to its DVD-by-mail model instead of reinventing itself, it would not be a household name today.


Myth 3: There’s No Need to Jump Into Digital Transformation Right Away, It Can Wait

Don’t fall into the trap of taking the “wait and see” approach. Your customer is evolving, so are your competitors.  To stay relevant, so must you.  Agility, scalability and cost efficiency are must-haves to keep pace with the unprecedented speed and evolution of the digital space.


Myth 4: Digital Transformation Is a Bottom Up Initiative

You can turn that myth on its head. Changing every aspect of how you do business is a daunting, and costly proposition, something many senior executives are reluctant to take on. But it is for the very reason that DT is so all-encompassing and complex that C-suite commitment and leadership is essential.


Myth 5: It’s All or Nothing When it Comes to Digital Transformation

It’s true, digital transformation means fundamentally changing everything about the way you do business, but that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Strategic planning and innovative business models will allow you to bridge the gap between your legacy and transformed business practices. Squeezing the most out of your legacy systems will enable you to invest more in your digital future.


Anyone who has experienced rapid change, and let’s face it we all have, knows that the faster you go, the harder it is to avoid the obstacles in your path. But you also know that planning a clear route and executing a sound strategy can mean the difference between losing your way and reaching your destination. So, as you set out on your DT journey, start with these questions:

  1. Why do we need to transform – what is your DT vision, what are your goals?
  2. What do we need to transform – what needs to change from infrastructure to business plan?
  3. How can we transform – which internal and external partners need to be involved?

 Digital Transformation is no longer a buzz-word, it’s a reality. Are you ready?