Five tell-tale signs that your digital transformation is happening too slowly

Five tell-tale signs that your digital transformation is happening too slowly

Digital transformation has been a key topic in the business community for a long time, but it’s become a matter of life and death in 2020. Is your organisation on top of its digital transformation or are you lagging behind? Here are some signs that you might need to pick up the pace if you’re hoping to survive and thrive in the new normal.

COVID-19 caught you off-guard

By definition, no organisation was really ready for COVID-19, but some are adapting to it with far greater commitment and agility than others. The pandemic has led to a step-change in the rate of digital transformation [1] and firms whose transformation was already well-advanced were in a good position to rise to the challenge of an all-digital operation. Those who were further behind have clearly struggled to adapt as fast as required.

You don’t have a roadmap

Maybe your leadership team is still hoping to weather the storm and get ‘back to normal’. Perhaps the will is there but it’s taking time to bring the plan to fruition. In the latter case, this is a sure sign that your senior team is overburdened and under-resourced. Moving quickly is essential, or that strategy could be out of date before it sees the light of day. Strategising and planning is essential but you’ll go from Gannt chart to gone in the time it takes a competitor to deliver a better / faster / cheaper solution. Agility is key but a commitment to securing the right people with the skills, time and energy to develop and deliver it is crucial.

‘Agile’ is just for IT

A modern IT team is made of experts in agile methodologies: cross-functional working groups, iterative design and delivering rapid response to changing needs. Those are exactly the skills that each and every division in the business needs right now. The digital world moves quickly, from optimising increasingly competitive ad purchasing to figuring out how to work from a dozen different sites without a team’s productivity dropping off a cliff.

You don’t know how clients and consumers are adapting

Consumer habits drive change, or at least they should. If your organisation is making assumptions about what consumers are doing, or why, you can’t properly engage with them through the digital channels that actually matter to them. You need digital experts on board who can understand and anticipate further changes, and the impact they’ll have on you and your clients.

Whilst the pace of change may have accelerated as a result of the pandemic, the transformation is a largely logical one. It doesn’t require guru-esque thinking to foresee the public’s reticence to return to high contact processes, for example.

Accenture identified as far back as April {2} that 88% of consumers were gravely concerned as to the longer-term economic ramifications of the pandemic and subsequent purchasing behaviour has reflected this. Your better / faster / cheaper competitor simply reacted to this extrinsic input before you did. Now it’s your turn.
You’re not investing in your digital future

Unless you’re very fortunate, you probably don’t have the perfect mix of tools, skills and experience to rapidly reconfigure your organisation into a digital-first one. You’ll need leaders who embrace and advocate change, experts in the digital space, and the right business tools to make agile, flexible working really work for you and your team. Of course, your current staff can build those skills and experiences but that takes time, and if there’s one fundamental truth about digital, it’s that it evolves fast. Perhaps you need a catalyst.

Management teams in 2020 are encountering exceptional challenges and innovating at light speed against a backdrop of incredible opportunity. Why not contact our industry-leading team here at Clifford Associates and discuss how we can help ease your organisation’s digital resourcing burden?

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-digital-led-recovery-from-covid-19-five-questions-for-ceos

[2] https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/consumer-goods-services/coronavirus-consumer-behavior-research

 

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