When Does a Digital Transformation End?

Written By: Brian Potts
Date: June 7, 2018

Clients often ask us, “when does a digital transformation end?”
Well, you probably saw this coming, but the answer is never. To be clear, once you begin on a digital transformation, you and your company are locked in for life. It’s like a marriage in the good ‘ol days.
The reasons for this are many, but stem from the fact that technology transformation continues, therefore our adoption of technology must continue. Companies who are successfully transforming into the digital era are doing it with more of an agile approach. They are setting roadmaps with longer-term objectives, but these roadmaps are broken down into clear, short-term objectives, and the overriding roadmaps are then re-evaluated on a regular basis. The more successful project teams build organizational agility into their digital transformations.

Take an Ecommerce initiative for example. A company may begin with the goal of “adopting” Ecommerce, however the competitive landscape surrounding E-commerce is changing every day. Once an Ecommerce solution is selected and implemented, the use of the system needs to be continuously monitored and updated. Mobile applications, changing product lines, marketing initiatives or changing EDI requirements will require updates, additional technologies or processes. Once those changes are made, inventory systems, integrations etc. will need to be modified accordingly, and vice versa.

The same concept remains whether we are talking about ERP, EPM, CRM, data analytics, automation, mobility, etc. With technology changing as fast as it is, it is important to understand how to define a great digital strategy for your organization. This roadmap should articulate how you will adopt new technology, business processes, and organizational changes for the years to come. In other words, a digital strategy will give you some clarity on your never-ending digital transformation journey.

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If you feel stuck in a digital transformation, you are, and that’s ok. Take a step back and consider the progress made to date and be grateful that there will always be more to do. If digital transformations were ever truly finished, a good percentage of CIOs, IT Directors, and consultants would eventually be out of work!

Brian Potts

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