Why Is It so Rare to find a Successful Digital Transformation?

digital transformation Jul 5, 2021

The last couple of years has been the year of digital transformation. Most Companies declare that they are currently doing digital transformation.
McKinsey did the research to measure the success rate of the ongoing digital transformation within companies around the world, and the result tells that the success rate for these efforts in Digital Transformation is consistently low: less
than 30 percent succeed.
It is not digital transformation that is failing, but rather the companies' approach to it. They often focus on one of the many aspects without taking into account all of them.

In order for a company to successfully go through digital transformation, McKinsey summarize five categories of keys to success

1. Having the right, digital-savvy leaders in place

Onboarding such a leader is one of the keys to transformation success
The leaders should have strong commitment and clear vision for the future to drive the transformation within the organization. It is also part of their jobs to establish a clear message about the transformation to the whole organization.

2. Building capabilities for the workforce of the future

The company should able to find the gaps between the traditional and digital parts of the business. They will identify skills required to deliver digital products and services in the company's portfolio. They will fill the gaps by adding the required skill to the current employee, or recruit external talents based on specific skill needs

3. Empowering people to work in new ways.

Digital transformations are not just about new technology, but also about getting rid of old habits and patterns from people's mindsets. The company should make sure the employees able to work in new ways of working. They should have a programs and channel for the employees to develop the required skills.
Some companies leverage the benefit of MOOC - Massive Open Online Courses as learning support for the employee

4. Giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade.

there are many initiatives that a company can do in this area, such as make information more accessible by leveraging digital tools, Adapted business processes to enable rapid prototyping and testing with customers, Included new behaviors (eg, internal collaboration) in formal performance-management systems

5. Communicating frequently via traditional and digital methods.

clear communication about WHY the company should transform and WHAT is required from everyone in the company is critical during a digital transformation. The leaders should be able to create the visibility across the entire organization by communicating it clearly in different type of channels to reach the audience.
It can lead to getting buy-in from the employees

Digital transformation is an ongoing process that never ends. If you want your company to be successful in digital transformation journey, It is always a good idea to reflect on what went well and what went wrong, so you can adopt the suitable approach and avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.


Unlocking success in digital transformations by McKinsey