Common digital transformation missteps businesses make and the keys to getting it right

Organizations have high expectations for digital transformation, but new research from SnapLogic, the leader in self-service application and data integration, has uncovered that 40% of enterprises are either behind schedule with their digital transformation projects or haven’t started them yet.

digital transformation missteps

Delayed projects aren’t the only factor keeping IT decision-makers (ITDMs) up at night. The new research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, also revealed that 69% have had to reevaluate their digital transformation strategy entirely, and as a result, 59% would do it differently if given another chance. In fact, only 13% of ITDMs are completely confident they are on course to achieving their digital transformation goals.

When asked why they are struggling with digital transformation, 58% admitted that there is confusion amongst the organization around what they’re trying to achieve with digital transformation – an alarming result.

Digital transformation snags

Internal politics (34%), a lack of centralized ownership (22%), and a lack of senior management buy-in (17%) were identified as common roadblocks to digital transformation. In addition, 55% of ITDMs noted that a reliance on legacy technologies and/or a lack of the right technologies within their organization was holding them back, while 33% were stalled by a lack of the right skilled talent, and 31% reported that data silos were causing problems.

Additionally, 20% of organizations didn’t test or pilot their digital transformation projects before deploying them company-wide, and shockingly, 21% of ITDMs continued to roll out a company-wide digital transformation despite unsuccessful pilot programs in one part of the business.

Gaurav Dhillon, CEO at SnapLogic, commented on the findings: “Despite all the noise around digital transformation in recent years, it’s clear from our research that there’s still much work to be done to help organizations be successful. While some companies may take solace in knowing they are not the only ones struggling, for those of us in the technology industry this is a stark wake up call that we must do a better job advising, partnering with, and supporting customers in their digital transformation journey if we are to ever see the reality of a digital-first economy.”

Delivering on the promise

Make no mistake: The promise of digital transformation is huge. For those about to undertake an enterprise-wide digital transformation, ITDMs expect to see the following results upon completion, on average: increased revenue of 13%, increased market share of 13%, reduced operating costs of 14%, increased business speed and agility of 16%, improved customer satisfaction of 18%, and reduced product development time of 15%.

But businesses are never going to achieve these gains unless they’re able to overcome key hurdles and turn the corner. For those who’ve completed a digital transformation, successful or otherwise, ITDMs identified the three most critical steps to success as investing in the right technologies and tools, involving all departments in strategy development, and investing in staff training.

digital transformation missteps

The promise of new technologies in particular is seen as having a significant impact on digital transformation success. Case in point: 68% consider artificial intelligence and machine learning as vital to accelerating their digital transformation projects.

Dhillon concluded: “Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight, and there’s no silver bullet for success. To succeed with digital transformation, organizations must first take the time to get the right strategy and plans in place, appoint senior-level leadership and ensure the whole of the organization is on-board and understands their respective roles, and embrace smart technology. In particular, enterprises must identify where they can put new AI or machine learning technologies to work; if done right, this will be a powerful accelerant to their digital transformation success.”

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