”What to consider when planning your Digital Business Transformation?”

We obviously recommend You to use our three-stage program to plan and orchestrate your Digital Business Transformation. Additionally, you should be aware of the following risks related to your digital transformation journey.

Risk #1:  Jumping into Digital Business Transformation without first analysing

Before embarking on your Digital Business Transformation, it is essential (in Stage-1/Step-1) to learn the basics of various digital technologies, analyse what your competitors have achieved in the digital era and analyse how your own IT infrastructure and development plans already utilize new digital technologies. Without analysing your initial maturity state, your transformation may solve only secondary issues and not issues that will give you the competitive edge.

Risk #2: “Overthrowing” the entire digitalization responsibility to one person

According to World Economic Forum, one of the worst ways to lead Digital Business Transformation is to “overthrow” the entire digitalisation responsibility for one person, for example, a company IT manager (Reports.weforum.org: Four themes of becoming a digital enterprise, 2016). Digital transformation is not one person’s battle, but a phenomenon that affects every person and every unit in the organization. Hence, Digital Business Transformation should be part of the company strategy and mandated by the company leadership.

Risk #3: Underestimating the psychological effects

Even the company would have had a successful implementation of its technological projects, but has not managed to assure these technologies will be taken into use, the whole technological investment is wasted. Therefore it is essential (in Stage-2/Step-2b) to plan how to deal with people’s resistance to give up their old “well-functioning” practices and instead use new digital technologies or ways of working.

Risk #4: Missing work descriptions, missing training or outdated organizational metrics

If the organization is not trained or the work descriptions are not updated, the new technologies will simply not be used. Additionally, if the organization is still measured against metrics that support the old ways of working, the organization will not be motivated to use new digital solutions.

Risk #5: Digital transformation achievements are not measured

If the digital achievements are not measured, it will be impossible to know the profitability of digital investments. This can cause that “sceptics” will downplay the benefits of Digital Business Transformation, which in turn will slow down the Digital Business Transformation journey.

Risk #6: Missing continuity in Digital Business Transformation

To avoid that Digital Business Transformation becomes one-time-project or one unit’s experiment, the organization should invest in well-functioning idea gathering culture as well as information/expert sharing culture. Without these functions (that are part of Stage-3, Step-3) the organization is unable to create a snowball effect of Digital Business Transformation.

PhD Riitta Bekkhus (Advisor and Co-owner at Nordomus)

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