Published on November 16, 2023, 8:26 pm

Successful digital transformations are a complex endeavor that requires careful planning and execution. According to Forrester’s Business And Technology Services Survey, 2022, most services decision-makers face challenges when it comes to executing their digital transformation initiatives.

While there may be a perception that certain organizations hold a secret sauce for successful digital transformations, the truth is that the foundation for success lies in getting the basics right. Just like in fitness plans, there may be new programs and celebrity secrets that promise quick results, but without a strong foundation, these efforts are unlikely to yield long-term success.

The data shows that many transformation journeys are still struggling with the basics. While advanced concepts are important for excelling at transformation, they can only be effective if the fundamentals are in place.

Forrester’s survey asked over 1,300 services decision-makers about their main challenges during digital transformation initiatives. The top three challenges identified were:

Winner: Transformation as a side hustle – The most common challenge mentioned was employees lacking time to devote to digital transformation due to their other job responsibilities. Often, employees are assigned transformational projects on top of their regular tasks, leading to conflicts and distractions that hinder progress.

Runner-up: Functional tunnel vision – Organizations that focus solely on functional roadmaps often neglect building the necessary data foundations for success. Data issues emerge late in the game and can severely impact functionality, eroding end-user confidence in the software and overall transformation.

Third place: Transformation delegation – A lack of non-technology specific skills or knowledge was cited as a significant challenge during digital transformations. Delegating transformation solely to IT without dedicated business resources can hinder success since software should reflect the unique needs of the business.

To achieve success in digital transformation, it is crucial to start with getting the basics right. This includes:

– Focused approach: Successful organizations commit to dedicating resources and establish dedicated change governance. They also identify and address risks associated with individual contributors and fill any resulting gaps in day-to-day responsibilities.

– Pragmatic roadmap: Avoiding the allure of shiny new technologies, successful organizations develop pragmatic roadmaps. They invest time and resources to clean up and harmonize data before developing new software if needed.

– Enterprise-wide effort: Digital transformation requires commitment from across departments. It is not solely an IT deliverable but an objective that involves the entire organization. Leaders must articulate the vision, assign clear responsibilities, and discourage finger-pointing within the organization.

While there is much more to be considered in enterprise transformation, such as the complexities between digital, agile, and organizational transformations, every effort should start with a solid foundation of getting the basics right.

To learn more about common challenges in digital transformation and how to address them, you can read Forrester’s report titled “The Essential Guide To Addressing Common Digital Transformation Challenges.” Additionally, if you would like to discuss this research further or seek guidance, you can schedule an inquiry or guidance session.

Digital transformations are indeed challenging undertakings. However, by focusing on getting the fundamentals right and addressing common challenges head-on, organizations can increase their chances of success and become future-fit enterprises.

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