It is no secret that executive boards of many companies have been demanding a digital transformation, especially at this global pandemic juncture, but many executives find it difficult to really know where to start this process of change. Faced with this difficulty, it is easy to be paralyzed by the possibilities and consequences, so there is a doubt in many: What are the biggest digital strategy errors we should avoid?
"More than 80% of CEOs who responded to our annual CEO survey said they have a digital transformation program in place to make their businesses more digital," says Mark Raskino, Gartner\'s distinguished vice president analyst. "However, our surveys in recent years have also shown a lack of penetration by changing business models, among other indicators, which makes us think that many of these digital initiatives may not be deep enough corporate transformations."
The success of digital transformation must operate at three levels: corporate governance, management and execution. The problem is that companies make mistakes at all these levels and end up thwarting the transformation. Knowing where these mistakes can occur could help avoid falling into these traps.
Misunderstanding the true scope of digital change
Sometimes a company may misinterpret a situation from the outset, for example, by making a misjudgment on how digital forces will be able to change the industry, or by having an insufficient corporate vision to take advantage of product and business model innovation. Not having a solid understanding of what\'s happening in their industry can lead to superficial change for any digital transformation. According to Raskino, organizations should think in terms of using digital technologies to reinvent what their industry does.
Too much inner thinking
Too often, organizations focus on what they want to do rather than analyzing customer needs and their opportunities, further showing an insufficient view of the competitive market for examples and lessons. Raskino points out that this kind of thinking suggests that digital change is just another operating model change, but that\'s not the case. "An operating model approach does not consider the market in general. It focuses mainly on efficiency and effectiveness. A business model approach considers the market and how it is monetized. An outward-in perspective is what the most successful digital transformation projects depend on," he said.
"It\'s not my job"
Some boards treat digital transformation as a management issue and not as part of their role. On the other hand, some members of the executive team avoid the issue and treat it as something that only corresponds to the IT department. This vertical dissociation behavior prevents actual changes. Digital transformation must be an integral part of the organization\'s mission and for the core of its leaders. If not, some irregular progress can be made, but transformational progress will always end up eluding the company, wasting time and resources.
Digital is undefined, targets are vague
Another strategy error is not having a specific plan, or what is the same, when the organization has a vague and confusing view of digital transformation because it has not been defined. There are aspirations and a collection of great projects, as well as will, but there is no specificity on what the digital journey is truly about. Organizations must define their objectives, set specific goals and metrics, and then measure them to ensure that the transformation project is on track.