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
“We’re Going Digital” April 2012