Digital transformation: Assess before you execute

  • Posted on November 13, 2019

Digital transformation is a top-three priority for Dutch and Belgian businesses – but according to recent Avanade research, progress is stalling as they are suffering from “transformation fatigue”.

Often, the root problem is not necessarily tech, but the organization itself, the capabilities and skills of its people, its culture and the lack of agility that’s needed to be successful in this new era. Digital transformation is actually about people and the organization – with technology being the tool to achieve what organizations aspire to be. It’s therefore time for businesses to properly reflect on who they are, what they aspire to be and how its culture supports its goals.

Main challenges to digital transformation
Drilling down to the core issues underlying this “fatigue”, our research found five prevalent challenges when it comes to successful digital transformation in Dutch and Belgian businesses:

  1. Businesses struggle to find the right people who have the skills to transform
  2. New technologies are not integrated into existing systems
  3. Organizations are struggling to modernize legacy systems and processes
  4. Organizations have multiple disparate projects at the same time
  5. The culture is too fragmented to embrace comprehensive change

How to turn challenge into success
It’s crucial to create a shared sense of direction – all the way down to the very last employee. This means having a digital transformation strategy based on a fair assessment of the company’s identity and strengths.

Practice at Avanade shows that businesses that are simply implementing a new IT system as the foundation for digital transformation are far more likely to trip over the obstacles mentioned above. On the other hand, enterprises that are aware of the need of full-scale digital transformation stand a much better chance to succeed and survive into the new era. These are the enterprises that are willing to ask themselves the fundamental questions of digital transformation – who are we? What makes us us? And what does the digitally transformed us look like? Having that awareness – an awareness that needs to be shared across the enterprise – is what organizations need to become future-ready now.

So – assess before you execute. The answer to what an organization’s future-self looks like may very well change along the way, and it will need all its agility to swiftly go with those changes. However, each change will be based on thorough analysis and a strategic roadmap that supports a vision shared by an innovative corporate culture.

Read more about Avanade’s global Future Ready. Now. study here.

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