Digital transformation is probably the most substantial investment modern organizations are making. Multiple sources put global investments at several trillion dollars in upcoming years, and they expect that number to keep growing.
When only 17 countries in the world have a GDP surpassing the trillion-dollar mark, that’s a staggering investment — and it’s not paying off.
Only 17% of workers in the U.S. strongly agree that their company readily implements new technologies that help them be more productive, and Gallup’s Real Future of Work study finds on average only 22.5% of employees in Spain, France, Germany and the U.K. strongly agree their company upskills them to make effective use of new digital technologies.
After evaluating the existing gaps, leaders need to shortlist the most critical opportunities to digitise their business model and select one or two initiatives to focus on.
Leaders need to convert business cases into an inspirational vision that resonates with the entire organization — and role model it.
Gallup has identified seven principles for successful change management that leaders need to bear in mind when deploying any digital transformation initiative, starting by articulating a strong vision and being strategic about who to involve and when.
Before committing more resources and implementing at scale, agile teams need to run short pilots to identify common success barriers, organisational strengths to lean on, and capabilities to build over time.
During and after the rollout of pilots, leaders need to closely monitor the impact of the new technology on the business case and compare it with the external benchmarks and internal projections.
If it is not, leaders need to propose an alternate strategy to pilot before investing more resources to scale the initiative.
Embracing a digital transformation is never easy, particularly in an era when technology continually reshapes the boundaries of what is possible.
It’s more difficult when most employees don’t see the point or don’t feel ready for it.
And even more so when the investment fails. Leaders with a systematic approach to take advantage of new opportunities will win the battle of the future — and see the investment pay off.