In today’s ever-disruptive times, small business owners understand the necessity of digital transformation for their survival. However, a staggering 70% of digital transformation efforts fail, according to David Rogers, professor at Columbia University and author of The Digital Transformation Roadmap. This failure can be attributed to the fact that companies view these efforts as technological challenges rather than organizational ones.
Despite these discouraging statistics, small business owners cannot let it hinder their progress. It is important not to assume that failure is inevitable for your small business. Rogers points out that many small business owners do not fully comprehend the importance of digital transformation. Some have already initiated efforts, while others are unsure of what digital transformation truly entails.
To address the barriers to change, Rogers presents a framework in his book that can be applied by companies of any size. This framework equips leaders with a hands-on toolkit to unlock the potential of every individual in their organization to drive growth.
In an email interview, Rogers sheds light on how small business owners can demystify the digital transformation necessary for survival in this digital age. He emphasizes that businesses that want to grow must undergo digital transformation due to the rapid changes in customer behavior, competition, business models, and new entrants driven by digital technologies.
Rogers identifies five fundamental barriers that lead to the failure of digital transformation efforts across companies of all sizes. These barriers include the lack of a shared vision, the absence of disciplined priorities, a lack of habits of experimentation, inflexibility in governance, and an inability to grow capabilities.
For small businesses that have not yet begun their digital transformation journey, Rogers recommends starting with defining a shared vision that is unique to their business. This shared vision should articulate the future landscape of the industry and the company’s right to win. It is crucial to ensure that every employee, investor, and stakeholder understands and is motivated by this vision.
Success in digital transformation can be measured once the shared vision is in place. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the impact the transformation will have on customers and the financial gains it will generate for the business. By focusing on these outcomes, businesses can determine appropriate measurement metrics and track progress.
It is crucial for businesses to approach digital transformation with a deep understanding of its purpose and potential impact. Only then can they effectively navigate the challenges and ensure the success of their sustainable growth.