Rethinking digital transformation – Lessons the Pandemic has taught us

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Business leaders, the world over, have worked their way through the highs and lows of DX initiatives over years, but the pandemic has changed it all.

The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that any business that is far into their DX plans must accelerate their transformation rate to be agile enough to adapt to the change. Companies that prioritized DX and were keen on becoming more future-ready were not affected as gravely as the others. They were in a relatively more comfortable position in some ways.

Research says 71 % of companies are now accelerating their DX plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, 74% of leaders say pandemic has exposed more gaps than expected in their business systems and operations. With DX initiatives accelerating but gaps also increasing, it is the right time to rethink your transformation initiatives to avoid failure.

Why does DX effort fail?

According to McKinsey, 70% of DX efforts fail.

There are several Digital Transformation challenges that need to be addressed to succeed in the long run. The following are some reasons which can hamper your Digital transformation journey.

Lack of leadership

– Change begins at the top. The management must plan, actively promote, and implement transformation.

Poor Communication

– Having a clearly defined goal is just your first step towards success but conveying it properly to your workforce can only help you achieve it.

No roadmap

– You must have a roadmap of how you are going to reach your goals. Businesses recognize the need for change but often it is the lack of planning that leads to failure.

Change Resistance

– Employee resistance to change can be challenging to overcome. You must have an effective change management plan in place.

Digital Transformation Success Stories

The following companies serve as the best inspiration for Digital Transformation success.

IKEA (Since 1958)

IKEA, the Swedish multinational conglomerate, is one of the best examples to show how Digital Transformation can redefine a traditional company. IKEA offered mail-order, and it remains as bricks and mortar business.

IKEA identified that brick and mortar businesses cannot succeed in the long run and embraced digital. IKEA purchased TaskRabbit which made it easier for customers in assembling furniture. Next, IKEA dipped into the smart home sector. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, IKEA’s IoT and Augmented Reality allow customers to choose furniture and virtually furnish their home.

Microsoft (since 1975)

There was a time when Microsoft was forced to rethink its Digital Transformation strategy because of the strong competitors like Google, and Apple. The year 2014, when Satya Nadella became the CEO, was a truly game-changing year for Microsoft.

“We’ve seen two years’ worth of DX in two months. From remote teamwork and Customer Service to critical cloud infrastructure and security – we are working alongside customers each day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything”
– Satya Nadella.

The growth of Microsoft is because it shifted its focus towards cloud computing which is a must-have for today’s enterprises and any large-scale businesses.

Tesla (since 2003)

Tesla has shown enormous growth in less than 2 decades. Tesla is the only manufacturer providing automatic over-the-air firmware updates. It allows Tesla cars to improve their safety, performance, and other capabilities remotely.

CEO Elon musk says, “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is a disaster.” Solar roof tiles, inter & intra-city tunnels are some key things they are into. Also, they are popular for lean software development and fully autonomous vehicles.

From these examples, it is obvious that shifting to the latest technology and thinking out of the box can help companies achieve Digital Transformation goals.

The future requires companies to digitally transform in many unforeseen ways to survive. It is fair to say that businesses that can restructure according to the emerging technology are the ones that will be able to sustain and grow.

By looking at the Technology adoption rate, it is evident that businesses need to rethink their strategy to make product adoption smooth. There are tools that can support your Digital Transformation journey and make your DX dreams come true.

Summing it up

During critical times or complex situations, it is groups of people, not individuals, who can create transformation. These groups need to tune the process through a perpetual cycle of sensing and responding to outcomes. Stay focused on what customers want, and consistently deliver it, and keep your employees engaged to lead Digital Transformation projects better.

Business Leaders must foster a growth mindset, assemble a workforce aligned to adaptability, empower employees to apply their full potential, collect feedback and continually monitor change progress.

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