Our survey of 877 digital transformation decision makers in the U.S., the UK, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg revealed that 85% reported at least one digital transformation-related challenge that led to compromised or poor performance.
That under-performance has significant financial ramifications, with 59% of those surveyed reporting that compromised or poor performance of digital technologies resulted in revenue losses of $250,000 or more, while 14% reported revenue losses of $1 million or more.
As the consequences of neglecting digital maturity become painfully clear, digital leaders are responding by investing more in initiatives that increase the utilization of digital tools after they are deployed, including training for both technical and non-technical employees.
For digital projects to truly meet their potential, leaders should be taking vital steps well before any digital project reaches deployment. Based on our experience at CTG and our survey findings, there are three key considerations for improving an organization’s digital maturity that will help ensure successful digital projects.
Business leaders must become technology leaders.
Leadership endorsement of digital initiatives is a great start, demonstrating that digital transformation is a strategic business imperative driven right from the top.
Senior executives who “walk the walk” by utilizing new technology and making data-informed decisions become the best role models to motivate employees to become more digitally literate.
Leadership teams should be more intentional about how they manifest themselves as technology leaders, including providing a clear digital vision, developing digital leadership knowledge, using digital platforms to communicate, publicly learning new digital skills, demonstrating the power of data-driven decisions, and more.
Bridge the gap between IT and non-technical employees.
Business and digital leaders also have a responsibility to help foster improved communication and understanding between workers in the IT department and the rest of the staff.
Leaders should communicate early and often about the digital strategy and expected impact of digital technologies such as automation or artificial intelligence. This gives employees a better understanding of why these digital tools are being adopted and how they could benefit from using them in their specific roles.
Mitigating the hype and mystery that surrounds some new technologies is critical to improving utilization following their deployment. This pre-deployment phase of a digital project is also the best time to assess any skill development needs, both for IT staff who must manage new digital technologies, and for non-tech employees who must adopt more digital ways to work.
Focus on business outcomes.
It seems obvious, but remembering that digital transformation is ultimately about achieving positive business outcomes is vital to every digital leader’s success. It’s far too easy to get attracted to a new digital platform or tool, especially if your competition is using it.
Every digital initiative should start with agreement on the desired business outcome(s), which could be anything: improved customer retention; streamlined customer service; increased productivity; improved compliance; better collaboration; faster product innovation; enhanced supply chain management, and so much more. Leaders then need to assess which business processes to digitally transform to achieve their desired outcome(s). New agile processes or modified organizational structures could also come into play to support the transformation.
This alignment of technology with people and process is the key to elevating digital maturity and enabling organizations to go further, deliver faster, innovate more—and ultimately succeed with digital transformation.