Forrester found that 56% of companies have official digital transformation projects underway. They also found that “many don’t realize that transformation will be a permanent state of being” and that 21% of businesses think they are “finished” with digital transformation.
There’s a lot of talk about the promise and hype of digital transformation. But digital transformation means different things to different companies. And many digital transformation projects are siloed and short-term.
MIT researchers Thomas Davenport and George Westerman wrote a fascinating article on why so many high-profile digital transformations have failed at companies like GE, Nike, Lego, and Ford. I particularly liked this takeaway:
“Digital is not just a thing that you can buy and plug into the organization.
“It is multi-faceted and diffuse, and doesn’t just involve technology. Digital transformation is an ongoing process of changing the way you do business. It requires foundational investments in skills, projects, infrastructure, and, often, in cleaning up IT systems. It requires mixing people, machines, and business processes, with all of the messiness that entails. It also requires continuous monitoring and intervention, from the top, to ensure that both digital leaders and non-digital leaders are making good decisions about their transformation efforts.”
Market intelligence firm IDC predicts that “70 percent of siloed digital transformation projects will ultimately fail due to insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing, or project management.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years:
“Digital Transformation” November 2016
“Shifting Priorities and Digital Transformation” May 2018
“We’re Going Digital” April 2012
5 CommentsJoin the Discussion
Ori Pomerantz says
Digital Transformation is similar to IT Security. In both cases, it’s not a product you can install or a short term project you can do and be done with. It’s a change in the way the organization works, an ongoing process.
Of course, in both cases there are people who try to sell you a product or a service saying it will take care of the problem. They are less than 100% honest.
Tomasz Woźniak says
exactly 🙂 why so many organizations still don’t understand this.
Henry Mason says
Tom, great cartoon!
Many of our clients experience similar challenges.
I recently wrote an article flagging 4 common reasons why they stumble, all of which ultimately are linked to the fact that most digital transformation projects are too inward-looking, and aren’t grounded enough in what the organizations’ CUSTOMERS really want.
Hilarious! just made my year!
Ian Ashby says
this is great – love the cartoons, and unfortunately so true…