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  • NETMEDIA International

Five tips for missing out on digital transformation

Digital transformation is leading to a real change within the company itself: how to win the battle or rather how to lose it? Here are five tips for missing out on digital transformation.

"Covid has taken us three years further in digital maturity", this quote, which has been seen everywhere and whose author we can't really say, finally urges us to continue speeding up our digital transformation. However, should we 'surf' on this hyper digital maturity to digitalise everything, or not, or possibly moderately?

1. Change everything

During the Covid-19 crisis many managers had to take a step back out of necessity and lack of activity.

In April 2020, the French spent twice as much time on the internet compared to April 2019 (source Médiamétrie), they informed themselves and trained and thought about the future.

This crisis has also imposed the notion of resilience and consequently the need to anticipate other crises of the same type. How do I cope? What are the consequences for my business model? The best solution is therefore to find the perfect solution in the change. And then it's written on the internet.

An aging ERP? Change it. A company that does not have an ERP with APIs will not make it past 2022. No CRM? Subscribe to a cheap monthly solution. Knowing your customers and re-engaging them is the key! The idea is to digitalise at all costs and not to think about it.

Digital transformation means transformation: so we might as well go for it outright and preferably without making the different businesses work together. Working in silos is the key to a botched digital transformation.

2. Do not use #freestylemode indicators

A failed digital transformation also involves the total absence of definition of success indicators or, conversely, too many indicators (those that look good in an Excel table).

A project requires a lot of manpower, both internally and with partners, most of whom are billed by the day. It is this notion of time spent and invoiced that defines, among other things, the ROI of a project.

Whether they are quantitative or qualitative, indicators are useless. It's a bit like running a company with a set of Boogle...

"We can only properly manage what we measure", said Lord Kelvin, the man of "absolute zero". If you choose too many indicators or none at all, without any correlation between your business and your choice of tools, you are guaranteed to fail in your digital transformation. Long live dashboards and business intelligence!

The Google search for "CRM tool" yields approximately 3,990,000 results and "BI tools" 18,600,000 results.

The prices of these tools range from a few dozen euros per month and per user to several thousand per year. In this jungle of promises, one can find a tool for a particular business and/or problem.

Multiplied by the number of Google pages dealing with the subject, a lifetime would not be enough to deal with one of the two subjects.

The success of the choice of a tool often depends on the drafting of specifications which will include:

  1. the context.

  2. the business and functional requirements.

  3. the people who will use the tool.

  4. a schedule.

  5. an estimated cost.

This precious tool, which describes all the processes included in the scope of the project, is a waste of time.

All work upstream of the project must be proscribed, it seems that the Agile method is made for that. Scrum and sprint are essential rules.

4. Choose a range of different tools

Obesity, the abuse of tools results in:

  • increase costs

  • multiplying the number of contracts, each tool having its own contract

  • not to unify skills

  • multiplying training courses

  • multiplying support contracts

  • potentially embedding poorly stored personal data (beware of the RGPD).

Moreover, each tool generates its own data which should not be used together. Although the word datalake is very trendy on Linkedin. Again, working in silos is the key to failure.

5. Imposing change

Change comes from the top. It is not necessary to involve the business lines in the design and validation of their future digital transformation.

Nor is it necessary to anticipate from the start of the project a strong involvement of the business lines to participate in the various workshops, in the acceptance of the settings and in the management of the change with their colleagues, and therefore to secure their activity in their daily function.

The culture of change is a subject in its own right. It is not necessary to involve teams in a business transformation project, which is a potential source of stress, after 18 months of teleworking for some.

A good practice is, if the organisation allows it, to block off whole days each week on the project, in a dedicated room: but do we really have the time and the air conditioning?

To conclude

And not to take this advice literally, if we have gained three years in digital maturity, we will lose much more by attempting to transform in any way and at any cost.

Digital transformation is a dirty word.

For some, it may be a better use of Excel, the implementation of relevant indicators or a more efficient and value-creating collaborative work. It all depends on the objective.

Digital must remain a means to an end. Just as a production line could be for a car manufacturer.

The hyper-connectivity of the last twenty years, the rise in the range of affordable personal computers and the widespread use of smartphones have dematerialised personal and professional life, but have also made them porous to each other.

In the end, digital transformation is nothing more than a means to an end for the company, but it should be thought through before any project is undertaken to avoid the pitfalls mentioned above.

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