How to resume Digital Transformation Process
Suraj Tripathi
Suraj Tripathi

How to resume stalled digital transformation progress?

Last Update February 3, 2021

Seven out of ten respondents said that transformation progress in their organization is stalled at some point. Here we will discuss how organizations can prevent and restart the digital transformation progress. 

A new McKinsey Global Survey suggested that enterprises stand a chance of restarting stalled digital transformation progress because most of the reasons for the slowdown are within enterprises’ control. 

The good news is that enterprises can prevent the reasons that halt their progress and restart the halted digital transformation progress. 

Reasons why progress stalled:

Most of the factors that derail the progress include lack of clarity and resourcing issues. These findings counter the most common conceptions that external factors like regulatory changes and market disruptions pose threats to the digital transformation progress. The best part is that the real cause that poses the threats to the digital initiatives is within the organization’s control.   

Resourcing Issues:

Among the other challenges faced by the organizations, the resourcing issue comes on the top. The resourcing issues arise due to the inappropriate allotment of talent and funds within the organization for the smooth digital transformation process. 

Lack of clarity: 

After the resourcing issue, respondents said that lack of clarity is the second problem they face that stops their digital transformation progress. CIOs need to define and translate the digital transformation strategy aligned with business objectives. 

Some other factors also cause the problem in digital transformation progress. These factors take a longer time to address. Among these factors, misalignment of working methods and culture are the most cited problems.

Almost 40% of respondents said that misaligned organizational culture and working methods are the most significant factors that kill the digital transformation momentum. 

Note: There is a difference between factors that stall the progress in the initial stage and factors that stop the organizations from achieving the transformation’s expected result.

For instance, the respondents cited a lack of clarity as the main problem that stalls the progress in the initial phase of the digital transformation.  

Most of the stalls are addressable. 

Almost 9 out of ten respondents said that their organizations started the digital transformation process. Out of all respondents who said their organizations started the process, 70% said that the process lost momentum at some point; either it did not scale up completely or stalled before achieving its expected outcome. 

More than 60% of respondents believe that the reasons that cause the problems, leaders can address those causes. Organizations can regain the momentum of the progress.  

Rebuilding digital momentum if a transformation stalls

According to the survey, 36% of respondents who mentioned that their organizations renewed their stalled progress highlighted the steps that helped them address the issues. One thing that came out from this survey is that companies may not avoid the disruption in the progress, but they can find a path to renew the progress.

Resourcing issues and external disruptions are the top two challenges addressed successfully.  However, the two most difficult challenges to address are transformation quality and clarity. 

Here are three interventions that worked better than other ways of regaining the stalled digital transformation momentum:

1 – Making the improvements in the economic model regarding transformation’s time and impact

2 – Building a robust internal communication strategy 

3 – Implementing meticulous change management strategy

Apart from these three interventions, organizations have adopted other interventions too to regain the lost momentum. However, these three are ranked top among others in helping organizations to regain the momentum. 

For the organizations whose progress has stalled in the initial phase, two interventions worked better in that case: Making the improvements in the economic model regarding transformation’s time and impact, and other is cooperating with the operations department to redesign the entire transformation process. 

Note: Who should initiate the intervention? In the survey, it is found that intervention initiated by CEOs received more percentage of success in renewing the stalled progress of digital transformation compared to other leaders in the organization. 

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