Organizational exhaustion prevents companies from completing their digital transformation journey. Source: Shutterstock

Organizational exhaustion prevents companies from completing their digital transformation journey. Source: Shutterstock

How to avoid digital transformation exhaustion

ONE of the worse things that could happen to a company embarking on a digital transformation journey is organizational exhaustion.

Many well-meaning companies often fall into this trap and exhaust all their funds, resources, expertise, and commitments into an ambitious project without clear objectives, or end goals in minds.

Worse, they could be focusing their efforts in areas that do not add any value to the organization, and either of these scenarios will result in companies not being able to complete their digital transformation agenda.

While this problem is not inevitable and is entirely avoidable, an organization must first be aware of what is digital transformation exhaustion, and how it occurs.

How DX exhaustion occurs

Digital transformation exhaustion occurs when businesses take the technology first approach as a foundation of their digital agenda.

For instance, a company may start their journey by developing technology platforms first, in hopes of expediting its initiatives. And to that end, they could migrate to the cloud, procure a new ERP system, and develop powerful APIs, in the hope of laying the foundation for the transformation that they want.

While the foundation is crucial, these implementations are just the foundation, and they could have exhausted all the resources in just laying the foundation.  Instead of structuring their transformation efforts in a modular and progressive fashion, they have effectively gone all in the right at the get-go.

These foundations, while necessary, also does not deliver any obvious immediate benefits, and in many cases may inflate the operational expenditures, which could further exacerbate the situation.

Thus, it could be argued, technology first approaches as discusses could be costly for companies and which could deprive them of the fund requires for solutions that actually improve their business.

Beyond that, with the development of new technologies, businesses are also lead to believe that deploying these platforms will quickly transform their operation and deliver value.

It may be a difficult pill to swallow, but the most significant aspect of a successful digital transformation agenda is not the technology or platforms, but the transformational shift in the business model, workflow and culture, which are the augmented with appropriate technological platforms.

Steering clear of DX exhaustion

To ensure digital transformation success, companies have to deploy solutions that can deliver tangible business value, while at the same time, serve as a foundation to an agenda of continual improvement.

A shift in mindset is a first step toward achieving this. Businesses have to figure out the business problems for which they need solutions, and how much they are willing to spend for it. They need to start with their desired results and work backward to the right technology that will deliver it.

Furthermore, other factors such as flexibility, scalability, and ease of deployment should also be taken into consideration, as these initial implementation will also serve as both springboard, and foundation for the organization’s future initiatives.

In conclusion, the technology-first, value later approach may lead to digital transformation exhaustion in any organization.

And thus, businesses first need to identify the business problems and areas they want to improve, establish a clear objective, and work backward towards finding the appropriate digital solution, to ensure a sustainable digital transformation agenda.