Digital Transformation – Risk and Obstacles Ahead

So…you are strategizing, planning, or starting to roll out a Digital Transformation initiative?

Most people agree Digital Transformation is not only financially beneficial but also will be a necessity of survival. However, across the manufacturing industry, Less than half (41%) of companies are in the “Rollout” phase of their Digital Transformation Journey according to PTC. That means 59% are still figuring it out!
And if that isn’t surprising enough, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), roughly 70% of digital transformation initiatives fall short of their objectives. That is crazy!!!

What are the most common symptoms of digital transformation failures across the industry?

▪️ Not investing in the right culture. Many processes and activities will change for most employees – Make sure as much effort is spent on the cultural change as the technological implementation.

▪️ Not having clear transformation objectives. Before selecting a single technology or pilot application, be sure to have clear objectives that link back to desired business outcomes.

▪️ Not hiring the right talent. Don’t just hire technical wizards. Select the right change agents who know how to guide the implementers. If you don’t have the knowledge and skills in-house, consider hiring consultants who do this for a living.

▪️ Not thinking beyond the implementation. This is a company-wide transformation and therefore will most likely require changes and course corrections along the way. Let the goal guide you, not the technology.

▪️ Not letting go of the old ways (technology and processes) If you try to digitally transform merely by adding new technologies on top of existing systems and processes, you are bound to create redundancies, inefficiencies, unnecessary complexity, and be arbitrarily constrained by old systems.

▪️ Not grasping how to budget for digital transformation. Have a long-term strategy in place that leverages a flexible budgeting model based on a continual stream of incremental initiatives, successes, and easily demonstratable ROI.

▪️ Not putting enough emphasis on security Don’t overestimate the importance and potential complexity of cybersecurity when digitally transforming. Net Solutions’ digital transformation report for 2020 states that a company’s successful digital transformation journey relies on its ability to secure its digital operations.

About the Author :

Jeff Winter

Mr. Jeff Winter
Industry Executive, Manufacturing


Jeff Winter is an Industry 4.0 & Digital Transformation Enthusiast | Business Strategist | Avid Storyteller | Tech Geek | Public Speaker

Jeff Winter is an Industry Executive for Manufacturing with Microsoft where he acts as an industry advisor helping manufacturers across the US digitally transform at scale. With over 15 years of experience working for different industrial automation product and solution providers, Jeff has a unique ability to simplify and communicate complex concepts to a wide range of audiences, educating and inspiring people from the shop floor up to the executive board room.  As part of his experience, Jeff is also very active in the community of Industry 4.0. 

Jeff is a part of the International Board of Directors for MESA (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association), he is in the leadership committee for the Smart Manufacturing & IIoT Division of ISA (International Society of Automation), he is a U.S. registered expert for IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) as a member of TC 65, and also part of Purdue University’s Smart Manufacturing Advisory Board.

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