Organizations must and can always transform digitally. Source: Shutterstock

Organizations must and can always transform digitally. Source: Shutterstock

Turning the tide: It’s never too late to transform digitally

ACROSS industries, businesses are constantly being disrupted by emerging technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. To survive and thrive in this environment, businesses must be able to adapt and transform digitally.

Sadly, many organizations fail to implement their digital transformation agendas beyond a strategy map. As a result of this, they lag behind drastically on the digital maturity curve and struggle to survive in today’s highly competitive landscape.

The good news, however, is that it is never too late for organizations to catch up.

If business strategies can be restructured around digital transformation, they can still accelerate their journey to digital. To make a meaningful movement towards change, the focus must shift to outcomes and not any particular technology following the hype in the market.

Business leaders must recognize that each corporation is unique and faces different sets of challenges when it comes to digital transformation. Simply ‘copying and pasting’ other’s strategies will not be feasible.

Working with specific strategic business goals in mind, leaders must ensure that transformational efforts are internally aligned. Strategies should be tailored around what they want to get out of the technology, rather than just the technology itself.

Also, for transformation to succeed, the entire organization must be on the same page.

To do so, employees must be clear on the reason behind implementing a technology, and be comfortable using it. No matter how fantastic the technology is, it will be useless if employees don’t know, or will not, utilize it.

Thus, it is crucial that leaders constantly seek employee feedback through effective two-way communications. Effort must also be made to ensure that employees feel safe and comfortable enough to voice their opinions.

Also, for a technology to be effectively implemented in an organization, it must be versatile enough to be scaled, and be compatible enterprise-wide.

Further, it shouldn’t impede, but enhance current work processes. This is especially true for cross-functional work, which requires the exchange of massive amounts of data across departments.

Lastly, business leaders must always be on their toes and keep an open mind to ensure that the digital transformation of their organization is never stagnant, and keeps going.

Therefore, goals should not be viewed as an endpoint of an accomplishment, rather, as guideposts to propel the business forward.

Along the way, organizations must be agile enough to brace themselves for U-turns.

When a technology is not performing as expected, a proper investigation should be carried out to identify the root cause. If technology is deemed simply unpractical, then pivoting would be worthwhile.

Ultimately, it is never too late for an organization to turn the tide and win the digital game.

All that it takes is having a renewed digital mindset, some patience, and a willingness to change. This would be challenging at first, but the reward that is to come will be worthwhile.