Digital Transformation Fatigue — 2020 Round up of Top 4 Myths

Are we experiencing a “digital transformation fatigue?”

Look around. Almost every other business channel — blogs, white papers, podcasts, videos, keynotes, or panel discussions — keep feeding us the undeniable truth. You cannot remain competitive and relevant as a business, if you don’t embrace digital transformation, proactively!

Post COVID-19 pandemic, the “proactive” part has (digitally 😉) transformed into “right now!” You must prioritize and start moving right now!?

This urgency, what can be termed as an accelerated hyper-drive mode has amplified the already existing challenges of Digital Transformation — be it Time-to-market, business agility, talent retention, risk of EOL, cost and so on. The velocity also brings along a higher degree of uncertainty, business complexity and ambiguity. And most of all, fear!

If companies don’t move forward in a state of analysis paralysis OR if they move forward in misdirection, they are assured to become dinosaurs soon!

“It is imperative for the risk function to accelerate its digitization efforts, since it will be increasingly hard to stay analog while customer-facing activities and operations race ahead into digital.”

McKinsey & Company

The fears are, in many cases — myths or misconceptions you might have.

Let us take a few moments to go over and add our perspective to the top prevailing myths on this subject — the myths that we hear from our prospects, partners, and customers. The myths that are so common, everyone feels that they got to be true!

Myth #1: Digital Transformation is risky and expensive

According to a McKinsey survey of 1700+ business executives, only 14% say their efforts on digital transformation have made sustained performance improvements. Moreover, only 3% report complete success at sustaining their change.

This paints a scary picture, and it’s clear as to why this myth of risk and cost is very popular. As a result, a lot of companies think “Oh .. let’s wait and watch other companies go through the transformation, and learn and move forward with caution.”

Now, is that wise? The pace at which technology advances today will hardly gift you any opportunity to sit back, relax, and learn from other’s successes and failures, and the lessons learnt may not even be relevant with ever changing market demands.

Should you rather invest energies on defining a clear set of ROI objectives and focus — be it cost-reduction, customer engagement, growth areas, and then plan a strategy? Short-term and long-term. Think adaptive? Think agile — not just execution, but also mind-sets?

But most importantly, should you wait? Isn’t it smarter to move quick and recover quicker from mistakes than not move at all?

Myth #2: Digital Transformation is optional

It’s hard to believe that there are still companies who think, “Digital transformation is an ‘add-on’ or a ‘nice-to-have’ but not mandatory for our business.”

You’ve probably been very successful in perfecting what you do for your consumers, and it works! You’ve also been keeping technology at bay — adopting only for basic IT needs — such as email, website, etc. Any more tech adoption would make you question — “Wait, I’m not a tech company, and is more adoption really valuable to my end-consumers?”

Pause right there!

Your company may not be in the software business, but eventually, a software company will be in your business.

Naval Ravikant (Co-founder and Former CEO, AngelList)

Imagine if you were to embrace technology in a way that would increase productivity, empower your employees, improve quality of your products, and ultimately meet the changing demands of your end-consumers!

Agreed, it’s not easy. But by taking a holistic approach, wouldn’t you make way for future survival and competitive growth? And possibly look beyond the tough hurdles of company-wide changes and resistance from within?

Now then, is it really optional?

Myth #3: Digital Transformation is all about Technology

Granted that, a significant part of a successful digital transformation is how you’re able to manage a complex technological project. But that’s not the only game.

The better half is actually more organizational and far more complex — structure, culture, processes, skillsets, and probably the most critical — employee mindsets.

Everytime there’s a tech revolution, you worry about navigating uncharted waters. Will my employees adapt and be flexible towards a more distributed and shared approach to working? Will there be attrition? Will machines replace humans? And so on..

Starting with the business value, should you not inspire and execute open communication throughout the organization, and plan incremental steps (small wins)? Thus leading to a transformation of people, culture and processes that can leverage the new tech, to continually advance the business value? For customers, employees, and partners alike!?

People, Culture, Process, and Technology. Isn’t that the magical convergence we all seek?

Myth #4: Migrating to Cloud is Digital Transformation

The race for migrating to cloud has never been so fierce, as it is now. However, most companies are making the mistake of thinking that cloud migration is going to solve all or most of the problems.

The re-hosting of legacy applications to cloud, or what is called the “lift-and-shift” migration is a means to an end rather than an end in and of itself. Also, the path to migration, even though claimed to be quick, in reality has a long tail. And you’re blocked by challenges such as technology EOL (end-of-life), lack of support, and not being able to leverage cloud-native benefits.

Wouldn’t the correct approach be to first tackle application modernization as a strategy, before the lift-and-shift migration? With this transformation-led strategy, you can prioritize on re-factoring and re-architecting the applications that are critical for maintaining competitive edge.

What’s the master plan? Modernize first? Then migrate?

What is the truth then? What should we believe vs not?

The cliched (but true) response is that there’s no easy response, and it depends on various factors — the industry, size, infrastructure, demography, technology, competition and so on.

Watch this space 👇 as we discuss these points deeper and in real context, in upcoming articles.

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Ionate, Inc. | Digital Transformation At Scale

We enable companies to modernize their technology and data using machine learning, setting them up for a digital transformation that’s fast, cheap, and secure.