Is Digital Transformation more than just tech?
Digital Transformation is simply more than technological advance – the right technology with the wrong process or culture will still fail.
This cultural oversight is why more than 70% of all digital transformation programmes fail. Failure is defined as providing no business value, i.e. the project was simply an expense with no material return on investment.
This is a shockingly high number and an unaffordable cost for SMEs who often work in very competitive environments. Hayachi Services has seen first-hand where our top-100 legal customers will deploy new software and systems, all the while having a large sum of spend on unnecessary resource.
Would your business hire a team of consultants at £250exVAT per day for an entire year, to plug in headphones?
Nor would we.
The sad fact is that a certain selection of our larger customers do this, and it is no surprise to say they fail to deliver on their IT Refresh Projects.
Knowing what is needed, who is needed, and for how long is all part of the planning stage for any transformation. It is the foundation of your project.
Where does culture come in?
Building a culture of innovation is difficult, primarily because innovators tend to share responsibility, delegate knowledge and authority, and innovators are known to work in a collaborative way.
A core element of this is communication – not technology, but culture. Take DevOps as a mechanism for building systems in an iterative way – you have to embrace but not engender failure, but there will have to be a safe space for failure, otherwise these failings will rear their head in production.
This methodology requires multiple layers of planning which goes beyond the standard high-level planning a typical project manager will cater for. It requires technical-expertise, leadership being shared throughout a team (to those who have the aptitude) and embedding expertise within teams.
Culture is central to Digital Transformation because a project will definitely fail if there is no ability to ‘speak truth to power’ or to put it more bluntly: point out when things aren’t working, or don’t make practical sense.
Digital Transformation is hard
Digital Transformation is hard, it has to be: all innovation is difficult, be it internal to a business or market-leading. Change can be painful.
Recognising the value of change, communicating this and being able to handle internal objections, and building expertise to deliver and sustain a Digital Transformation project helps get projects across the line.
If end-users of a platform aren’t on-board from the beginning of your Digital Transformation they will at best begrudgingly accept the change but will rarely embrace and improve on it.
At Hayachi we’ve delivered 100% of our projects on-time and on-budget since our founding. We know what it takes to get a project across the line.
It is nonetheless the case that old habits die hard, and some organisations find they implement exciting new systems only for previous workflows to take root again. It must been seen as a process of continuous-improvement.
To be agile, one must embrace change and learn from failure.