7 Myths of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has the potential to be implemented correctly when done right. This transformation can enable your business to acquire significant benefits. But with many things in DT, the tendency is to get involved in the hype and not to think through the harsh truths of execution until the promise fails to live up to expectations. Over the past few years, ‘Digital Transformation’ has become a buzz-phrase. In this blog, I will explore what Digital transformation is in actual and what are only the myths about it.

Myth 1: Implementing Digital can be done with a cookie cutter approach

Firstly, we need to figure out the following questions:

  • Why do we need to become Digital?
  • How will it help?

For a food delivery company, your digital tools may include various capabilities for various actors in the whole chain, e.g. Android/iOS App to place order, the food delivery person whose device is updated with new routes, the kitchen manager whose iPad flashes with new orders etc.

Solution: Clearly define the context and the need as being driven by the business bottom-line

Myth 2: I don’t have to think about my existing data set up, as Digital Transformation is a remedy

To implement digital transformation in pieces does not require cleaning up the universe of data across the organization, but the aspects of data that will impact the pieces of business intended to be digitized are important to be clean, reliable, secure, and easily accessible.

Solution: Take care of your basic data, infrastructure and governance set up

Myth 3: Digital Transformation is an internal effort that should optimize how my organization works

Any business transformation has succeeded and endured primarily because the transformation has considered the wishes, behaviors and continuous feedback from the customers who use the final product. It is also important to think about second, third and nth order impacts of your digital efforts. Amazon did not just make it easier to order Books and goods but also invested in technologies like AWS. Google is not only a search engine but did investment in every major area like Google Cloud, Google Analytics, Google Ad’s and many more.

Solution: Empower all users and keep innovating

Myth 4: Digital transformation is something we really need to embrace even if common sense may dictate otherwise

We have seen companies adopt various digital efforts without thinking about system targets. One example is the fairly chatbots, designed to replace/cut customer service costs.

Solution: We are still human; use common sense and don’t fall into Digital Trappings

Myth 5: Digital Transformation is a one-way street and we need not revisit what we have done previously

Many organizations take a very linear view of digital transformations. You have done steps 1 through 4 and now, it is time to plan for step 5. Amazon, being best bookseller didn’t stop there. Over time, with the data that they collected, they not only learned what books their current and potential customers wanted to read, they also created a top-of-the-line recommendation engine which can often predict what you need before you know you need it.

Solution: Consider virtuous cycles

Myth 6: I need to be a first mover or I have no other option

Yes, it is great to be a first Digital Mover and that can place you beyond the reach of immediate competitors. Booking air tickets has been highly competative by Momondo and Google Flights. Airlines are creating new value drivers for customers by not only offering the same low price as in search engines, but also offering to create ‘experiential trips’ for customers. Being constantly creative is a key success factor in any business transformation.

Solution: Get creative

Myth 7: I can drive digital from my branch and the rest will follow

Few companies have the power and resources to affect digital transformations for the whole organization. Instead of a big bang approach, which is oppressed with risk, it is better to identify the key areas where digital may have the most immediate and effective impact. Then, learn the lessons from such smaller implementations and roll them out to serve broader aspects or bigger parts of the organization.

Solution: Top down approaches rarely work and it is important to be agile and dynamic

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