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The three common digital transformation pitfalls to avoid

On our recent episode of Digital Lighthouse, we spoke about digital transformation with  Danny Attias, the former Chief Digital and Information Officer at Anthony Nolan.

Danny’s experience is a perfect example of how to implement technology and avoid common digital transformation pitfalls. Keep reading to discover his tips on how you can bolster business goals when you deploy in the right way.

The three digital transformation pitfalls when implementing digital change

1. Forgetting that legacy infrastructure has existing dependencies

Research shows that 44% of IT leaders say that legacy infrastructure is the biggest barrier to digital transformation. Not only do you have to unpick a legacy system in order to replace it, but you also have to loosen your workforce’s dependencies on the ageing platform, process, or tool.

Danny overcame this particular challenge at Anthony Nolan by instigating conversation and collaboration:

  • Conversation: To separate out-of-date processes from the organisation, you have to educate staff about new technologies. 
  • Collaboration: Allowing staff to be part of the conversation about how software can support their activities. 

Including employees in the early stages of your discussion helps identify the right platform to satisfy expectations. Over time, staff will see how their challenges can be solved by newer technology, and their dependency on slower systems will shift.

2. Not securing buy-in across the company first

Changing your business culture to accept a digital transformation can be a difficult task, in fact, a recent McKinsey survey found that only one in three attempts at cultural shifts succeed. 

A failure could be due to a lack of buy-in from the influential members of your staff — perhaps they are sceptical that the changes will impact their performance positively. Your leaders, middle-management and their reporting teams must be committed and understand the value of change. So, to gain that all-important buy-in you need to build their trust in the tech. 

For Danny, streamlining basic infrastructure such as stabilising the email system and allowing mobile access at Anthony Nolan were ‘quick wins’ that allowed employees to see how digital could positively impact their productivity — in advance of a full digital transformation. 

3. Not revisiting and revising your software periodically

When technology becomes outdated it can lead to issues such as system crashes, reduced productivity, potential data breaches and compromised security.

To avoid issues, it’s important to regularly revisit and revise digital capabilities to ensure they still support business functions properly. 

If your business has a technical team, you can extend the lifespan of your technology by conducting regular maintenance, and adapting the systems to suit your business needs as they change and grow.

Not only will your staff be able to deliver consistently when their functions are supported by technology, but your investment in digital will continue to support your business infrastructure in the long run.

Avoid digital transformation pitfalls in your planning

Investing in digital isn’t just about taking on new ‘trendy’ tech. It’s about transforming the way a business delivers on its goals by creating solid digital foundations. Once you’ve gained buy-in, improved productivity and learned to revisit your platforms regularly, the sky’s the limit for what technology can do for your operation.

If you’d like to learn more about how to avoid digital transformation pitfalls, and navigate technology challenges, view our Technology Strategy information page for information and examples of clients we’ve helped.

Read the full transcript and listen to Danny’s full interview

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