Is Your Digital Transformation Just Digital Optimization?

2 min read

    According to IDC, worldwide digital transformation spending is expected to reach nearly $3.9 trillion in 2027.

    To put that in perspective, with $6.3 trillion, you could buy 430 million tons of bacon. That’s enough to fill almost 2 million cargo planes. Imagine: With that amount of money, you could make pigs fly.

    But while the world is spending incredible amounts of money on digital transformation, research tells us that 70 percent of digital transformation initiatives actually fail. That leads to the question: Why?

    Transformation is not just about technology. Contrary to what many software companies may try to tell you, you can’t simply install a new system that will solve your organization’s biggest problems. Or take a legacy analog workflow, move it to digital and consider it “transformed.” Successful digital transformation initiatives are not centered on the technology itself.

    What does this tell us? It tells us:

    • Digital transformation is change management. It is changing how we communicate and requiring alignment on our plans and goals.
    • Digital transformation is culture transformation. It is mobilizing and inspiring our workforce.
    • Digital transformation is transforming the human experience. It is reimagining the way we interact with the world around us, with organizations, and with each other.

    If we want to look beyond today’s challenges to tomorrow’s opportunities, we must focus on human-centered digital transformation. Human-centered refers to more than just the people within the company. We must think about our customers, our customer’s customers, our partners, vendors, and anyone else who comes into contact with our organization.

    Improving process efficiency and productivity is a great goal, but I believe that true transformation should transform the lives of the people we serve.

    Here are some familiar digital initiatives:

    • Creating or updating a webpage for your organization
    • Updating an ERP or CRM system
    • Moving digital assets to the cloud

    These are some examples of process improvements. They are admirable, but not transformative.

    Have you heard the phrase, “putting lipstick on a pig?” It’s like that. No offense to the pig. But it’s still just a pig.

    We want to use technology, data and digital transformation to not just improve, but to transform. To disrupt. To innovate.

    We don’t to put lipstick on a pig. We want to make pigs fly.

    Image of pig with wings.

    Digital transformation is about transforming organizations, transforming culture, and transforming lives. And we should view all our digital initiatives through the lens of human-centered digital transformation. What digital initiatives are you currently working on? Are you putting lipstick on a pig, or making pigs fly?

    Note: this article was also made available on LinkedIn.

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