Digital Transformation: A 101 Guide for Flipping the Odds in your Favour


A mere 26% of organizations succeed in their digital transformation initiatives. If you’re looking to flip the odds of digital transformation success in your favour and be a part of that elite 26%, here’s what you need to do:

1. Establish clearly defined digital transformation goals
2. Establish a fail-fast-learn mindset to drive change and spearhead innovation
3. Have employees drive digital transformation initiatives from within rather than simply relying on an army of outside consultants
4. Leverage a product mindset to design products that are scalable, functional and last the test of time
5. Hire a technology partner to help replace your age-old legacy systems

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70% of organizations fail in their digital transformation efforts simply because their initiatives are focused more on the technology aspect of the transformation process and less on the people management aspects. Even digitally savvy industries, such as high tech, media, and telecom, are struggling. Among these industries, the success rate does not exceed 26 percent.

Leaders must therefore understand that although technology can open the right doors leading to digital transformation, they cannot force people to walk through those doors. A broader suite of technologies in the hands of unwilling employees could result in more complex execution of transformation initiatives and, therefore, more opportunities to fail.

Leaders need to chart out a course that makes digital transformation favorable to their team if they ever hope to flip the odds of success in their favor. Here are some of the things they can do right now:


Establish Clearly Defined Digital Transformation Goals:

Setting goals without a unified vision can lead organizations down a rabbit hole of ambiguity and uncertainty. To prevent this travesty, leaders can make use of SMART goals to help bring order to the chaos. SMART Goals technique is intended to simplify the overwhelming exercise of setting goals into multiple small steps. This helps organizations reduce the ambiguity that creeps in the goal statements & help them craft effective business strategies that will bring them a step closer towards achieving success in their digital transformation efforts.

Establish A Fail-Fast-Learn Mindset That Drives Change:

At the heart of every organization there lies a fundamental need to innovate. For innovation to happen, leaders must create an organizational culture where experimentation is the norm, not the exception. Leaders spearheading digital transformation initiatives must therefore begin driving a “fail-fast-learn” behavioral change as part of the organization’s new culture.

For example, when you work with an Internet of Things (IoT) project that requires a significant hardware investment, you must validate how the platform and devices affect your design. The best way to do this is by implementing as little of your infrastructure as possible to validate an assumption and then implement a bit more to validate the next assumption. If a significant part of your IoT platform isn’t built before you encounter a failure, you’ll have a better idea about where the failure is happening. From an application-delivery point of view, the DevOps team can receive immediate feedback to determine whether the code or a deployment is flawed. In this way, a team can move to higher-quality code and create a more stable deployment environment.

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As your organization embraces the notion of failing fast, its employees will become accustomed to experimenting and recovering from failures as well as unexpected circumstances which can be the spark needed to pioneer innovation from within.

Drive Digital Transformation Initiatives from the Inside-Out:

Digital transformations require cultural and behavioral changes such as  , increased collaboration, and customer centricity. But many organizations that seek to succeed in their digital transformations endeavors frequently bring in an army of outside consultants who tend to apply one-size-fits-all solutions in the name of so-called best practices. However, this approach is more often than not counter intuitive.

The best approach towards implementing digital transformation initiatives is to instead rely on the inputs of your employees who have intimate knowledge about both intricacies as well as the idiosyncrasies present within your organization. Having employees drive digital transformation initiatives will yield the best possible outcomes even during the worst of times.

Leverage Product Mindset When Designing Products:

A surefire way for organizations to succeed in their digital transformation initiatives is by improving the value that is being consistently delivered to their customers. Leaders must begin aligning their organization’s priorities, mission, and working cadences to cultivate a product centric mindset. A product mindset enables organizations to strive not just to match the standards set by our clients but to go above and beyond to ensure their continued success.

However, for this mindset to bear fruition, any effort made by the organization must be preceded by a system study. Here feedback is actively solicited from customers for the explicit purpose of building a product that is meaningful, sustainable and leaves them satisfied and smiling. This enables organizations to create products that will not just have a market for them on the release date but also deliver monumental value to their customers.

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Legacy Modernization:

Organizations should opt to either completely replace   from the ground up or to integrate a new commercial off-the-shelf software solution that meshes well with their existing systems in place, preferably with the help of a technology partner. Legacy modernizations options to help you garner the best results includes:

  1. Replacing technology with a custom-built system,
  2. Moving towards an IaaS solution
  3. Rebuilding existing features from scratch using a modern programming language more suited for future scalability.
  4. Refactoring your legacy code to close down potential cyber security breaches through open-source dependencies

However, before modernization takes place it is vital that organizations get the approval of their employees.

If you’re hitting roadblocks in the tech aspects of your digital transformation initiatives and are in dire need of a tech partner to help re-architect your legacy systems then consider reaching out to the folks here at Adtech. Adtech is a tech consultancy that helps small to large enterprises attain operational excellence. At Adtech, you will find a team of seasoned technologists, expert developers, and thought leaders who have more than half a century’s worth of experience in the fields of legacy modernization, product engineering, product consultation, and enterprise software implementation.

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