Digital transformation is much more than technology. Digital transformation reimagines how technology in combination with people, processes, and data work together to serve business needs for today and strategies for tomorrow. Understanding your organization’s readiness for change is a crucial step toward achieving the true value in your digital transformation vision.

Unfortunately, proper preparation for digital transformation often falls short, which is why 70% of digital transformation efforts slide into a rut toward failure. They become stuck because:

  • Executives and leaders are not aligned around a clear vision from the start,
  • Governance is perceived as a project function, not as a strategic driver,
  • Change management is thought of as something done at the end,
  •  Technology investment alone should fix all problems, or
  • Unforeseen issues surface to impede progress.

The challenge, then, is how to get out of the rut and onto the right path for transformation success.

Avoiding Yesterday’s Experience Tomorrow

When it comes to replacing an ERP, an HR, Finance, or Payroll system, an informed leader will likely read about digital transformation successes and failures, and wonder if the organization is ready to embark upon an ERP transformation journey –

Can we undertake the investment?
Will we be able to truly change?
Can we transform?

While initially known elements such as technology investments and historical data can provide readiness indicators, bias and overconfidence in these elements can reduce preparedness and give rise to transformation risk. They can hide challenges rooted in:

  • Organizational culture: People underpin the success of any organization regardless of size or industry. Knowing the adaptability and willingness to change of the people within your organization can shape the scale and degree of transformation that the organization will be able to undertake and absorb.
  • Process-first thinking: Process-first thinking prioritizes how things are completed today rather than attaining the outcome in an effective and efficient way tomorrow. Understanding the what and why behind processes is crucial for achieving true transformation to avoid replicating the missteps of yesterday.
  • Ineffective governance: Keeping projects and operations focused on driving measurable return-on-investment (ROI) and sustainable value-on-investment (VOI) are key aspects of effective governance. Maintaining focus through clarity of roles, responsibilities, and decision-making is crucial.
  • Service delivery shortcomings: Digital transformation concentrates on weaving people, process, technology, and data together to drive an improved and effective provider-to-consumer experience. While quantitative feedback may indicate a particular consumer experience direction, it can create a false reality or an erroneous self-fulfilling expectation if not explored in a broader context.
  • Strategy and operations misalignment: When leadership and operations diverge in understanding and outcomes, a gap forms that limits the organization from operating effectively and efficiently. Recognizing if a gap exists and working toward closing it will increase the chance of transformation success. Leaders, managers, and staff will understand each other and be on the same page working toward a shared outcome.

Fortunately, proper preparation can mitigate these and other challenges. While being aware of these issues cannot guarantee a positive outcome, addressing the underlying factors early within transformation program design can increase the likelihood of success.

Digital Transformation Readiness & Maturity Assessment

The Strategy & Transformation team of Collaborative Solutions’ Advisory Services practice has developed a Digital Transformation Readiness & Maturity Assessment (DTRMA) to help organizations surface indicators and suggestions to improve digital transformation readiness. Built around a self-assessment approach, the DTRMA spans six (6) key areas:

  1. People
  2. Process
  3. Governance
  4. Technology
  5. Data
  6. Change

These six elements represent the foundational aspects that must be in alignment to achieve the transformation and success desired.

Preparation is Essential

Regardless of the nature and scale of the digital transformation your organization needs to undertake, preparation is essential to improve outcomes and reduce risk. Strategies, operations, people, and processes change over time, so even pre-COVID assumptions need to be reexamined to confirm that your organization is on the right path to reshape its future for its workers, leaders, candidates, and consumers.

This post was written by Collaborative Solutions, they are an exhibitor on the HRTech247 Workday Partners floor in the Partners Hall here.