With so much being said and written about digital transformation, we recognized the need for real insights based on survey data. We checked in with 301 senior IT and operations professionals representing diverse industries about where they are with their use of technologies that empower employees to lead change that improves business performance, transparency, efficiency, speed and agility.
Our data showed that much progress has been made as a result of the high priority that digital transformation initiatives have been given. However, the data also uncovered troubling practices that put digital transformation initiatives at risk of falling far short of expectations due to the perspectives and people involved at many organizations.
To make these learnings as clear and impactful as possible, we created a five-part infographic below that uses the survey data to tell the story of a typical organization looking to take first place in the digital transformation race and the obstacles that it must overcome to be successful.
Feeling good about the progress that has already been made, senior management at the organization exudes confidence about how far along they are in reaching their goals for digital transformation: grow revenue, reduce costs and solve problems. They do not see any reason to doubt that the organization’s efforts will not continue to proceed as smoothly as in the past.
In preparing for this leg of the race to digital transformation, senior management does not deviate from its standard play book. It sticks to its practice of depending heavily on corporate IT and other technical staff to lead decision making and implementation of technology-related solutions to drive digital transformation.
Cracks in the façade start to appear as top executives prioritize digital transformation above all other priorities and presume that their organization is ahead of the competition. Out of sync with the managers and staff actually responsible for implementing digital transformation across the organization, top executives are unaware of the challenges being experienced by the people on the ground.
Given the overconfidence about progress and over reliance on corporate IT to lead digital transformation, the organization starts running into serious problems. With corporate IT as the group assigned to carry nearly all the weight, despite the top priority assigned to digital transformation, the initiative starts to run up against common organizational barriers such as lack of budget, management resistance (except of course among top executives), and IT staff unavailability.
Only when faced with the real possibility of failure does senior management finally recognizes its mistakes and takes steps to expand its digital transformation team by including operations and business professionals from across the organization. To be successful, people who are closest to the internal and external processes that run the organization and will be transformed by digital technologies must be involved. That is how to maximize the benefit of applying the latest digital technologies to transform business operations.
What data can teach your organization is that in addition to corporate IT, business professionals across your organization should be empowered to help develop and adopt solutions for leading change to achieve your digital transformation goals of improving business performance, transparency, efficiency, speed and agility.
Get the State of Citizen Development Report and learn how organizations are winning the Digital Transformation race.