How to Ensure Sustained Digital Transformation
in Your Organization

See also: Digital Skills

The Covid-19 pandemic helped business owners and managers to appreciate how automation and digital transformation can allow employees to be productive while staying socially distant. Since then, digital transformation has been not merely an industry buzzword, but has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Eventually, companies began to replace old-fashioned techniques with new ones. Business owners and managers noticed a significant boost in profitability when AI and digital tools replaced tedious manual tasks. However, in some cases, employers failed to witness the expected outcomes and couldn’t sustain digitalization.

Human and digital hands.

What went wrong? Statistics indicate that not even 30% of transformation endeavors reach fruition. You may argue digitalization seems unreliable, considering the examples of several companies that failed. Experts suggest companies commit some grave errors – rookie mistakes, we’ll call them – as they attempt to undergo digital transformation. Charging into a transformational change without preparing your employees is one of the reasons why these efforts may fail. Other reasons include the following:

  • Not focusing on customer experience
  • Allocating resources haphazardly
  • Having the wrong data in the wrong place
  • Not anticipating post-transformation risks
  • Underestimating digitalization expenditures
  • Implementing digitalization on broken systems

From LEGO to Haribo – several examples describe the importance of sustaining digital transformation in your company. It is important to remember that changes can be exciting and confusing at the same time. Introducing AI, chatbots, and other “cool tech stuff” can boost your workforce’s productivity, but only if you properly combat the “fear of change” among employees. Digitalization is successful when disruption gets handled correctly. Here is how you should transform your organization for long-term benefits:

1. Train everyone involved

Digital transformation isn’t akin to a robot uprising; it involves processes you implement.

What is the objective of this change? It is not to replace humans with machines and software, but to make employees more productive with their help. Training your workers can help them become as productive as you expect. If your workforce seems resistant to change, leverage e-learning to make them overcome this fear.

You can encourage employees to pursue online automation courses to gain essential skills and know-how one must possess to survive the effects of disruption. Even senior management can benefit from these learning opportunities since these courses help managers integrate, sustain, and expand the necessary processes for technological disruption.

2. Align your business strategy

Your business strategy must dictate the direction digitalization will take, not the other way around.

Understand how your business strategy is linked with your transformation efforts. Digitalization efforts will fail when there is no strategic connection between the plan and the intended outcome. Never transform your organization just for the sake of it. Ensure the changes never deviate from the business strategy by defining clear-cut goals. You can define these goals by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are the end goals of the transformational process?
  • What will change, why will it change, and when will it change?
  • How should digital transformation change the company exactly?

3. Build your framework

These three questions (and many more, if you can think of them) can help you establish a great framework for digital transformation. Understand how changing one aspect of your operations can affect other aspects too. For instance, switching from paper-based documentation to cloud-based data will influence everything from inventory management to accounts receivables to payroll.

Ensure these sudden changes don’t cause any disturbance, i.e., something we call uncontrolled technological disruption.

4. Improve and digitalize

Digital transformation fails when business managers implement it to change poor-quality as well as broken processes. Again, digitalization isn’t the answer to all your business problems. Nobody can put to work machines based on faulty code and expect them to work productively. If you digitize any flawed process, your transformation endeavors will remain unsuccessful. The process must function correctly for automation to be successful and, for this, you must collaborate with your workers and identify mistakes.

5. Measure to manage

How does one manage something one does not understand? This question is valid as it asks managers to avoid managing without their decisions being supported by statistics. Data-driven decisions must prevail when you are trying to make your organization go digital. Misinformation hinders digitalization, and this misinformation can be countered by relying on analytics. Unfortunately, 77% of IT decision-makers refuse to trust the data coming from their teams. That’s why you must focus on building “data integrity” to visualize how your decision would influence everyone’s productivity. Trust data by making pro-data decisions and ensuring sustained digitalization via DDDM (data-driven decision-making) as a rock.

6. Selectively choose projects

Another rookie mistake experts have noticed is that managers bring about digital changes quickly and transform the entire organization simultaneously. Changes come in stages, so business managers must choose their projects selectively when transforming an entire company.

Sometimes, organizations continue to throw money aimlessly at change initiatives to see what sticks. However, it would be wiser to switch to selective digital transformation, i.e., restrict digitalization to a few procedures first. Testing any new technology can prevent many mishaps if you’re careful.

7. Test, then implement

Large-scale changes are often unpredictable and, sometimes, even uncontrollable. That’s why many companies prefer to restrict digitalization to a demo stage first before allowing it to overwhelm their company in its entirety. Test your newly grabbed tech tools in a controlled environment. If you observe wonderful outcomes, feel free to implement the disruption company-wide. Digital transformation endeavors of a company can only be sustainable when they’re tested carefully first.

8. The three Cs

Some experts have proposed three interlinked concepts collectively known as the three Cs- continuity, communication, and change management. You can add a 4th C, i.e., compromise to improve your transformation efforts even further and ensure they’re sustainable. What do these Cs mean?

  • Continuity: Remember that digital transformation is always a long-term process. You should expect positive outcomes only after enduring digitalization consistently for a long time.

  • Communication: Effectively communicate your goals, mission, and vision to your workers in a manner that inspires us to become more tuned with digitalization. Ensure everyone’s kept in the loop and there are no information silos.

  • Change management: Changes cannot arrive quickly and must always come in stages. Vendors, business partners, employees, and customers will appreciate it if you give them time to adjust.

  • Compromise: Uploading your company’s information to the cloud is effective but exposes it to cyber threats. You must make these compromises and make some adjustments (cybersecurity) to secure vital company information in the digital space.


It’s important to understand transformational change can be a lengthy process, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to it. But some steps are more or less constant. Train your workforce, test before implementing, choose a few processes to start with, and align your transformation strategies with your business goals. Following through diligently and carefully can ensure sustained results with a low risk of failure.

About the Author

Mark Wood is a passionate technology and lifestyle blogger. He loves to engage readers seeking home, lifestyle and tech related information on the internet. He is a featured blogger on various high authority blogs and magazines where he shares his research and experience with the online community.