More than 80% of digital projects fail. Digital is too critical to a company’s competitiveness to be left to fail.

Crack the Digital Business Code to Thrive in the Industry 4.0

June 7, 2019
Anja Hoffmann

Part 1 of 3 in the series “Crack the Digital Business Code to Thrive in the Industry 4.0”.

It’s an exciting time to be in the business of digital development and technologies. Digital technologies, like cloud services, mobile, IoT, AI, and advanced analytics, play a dual role in business development. Within existing businesses, digital technologies contribute to overcoming challenges as powerful enablers of automation, efficiency and productivity. Simultaneously, digital technologies set new challenges for those same businesses, by lowering barriers to entering new markets, which means more competition appears.

Digital technologies and platforms have tremendous potential to foster innovation in companies of any size. However, too many digital projects tend to cause fire fighting, frustration and lack of success.

An incredible 91% of organizations believe revenue will be negatively impacted if digital transformation initiatives aren’t successfully completed. The problem is that a staggering 84% of organizations that plan digitally initiative are stalled by integration challenges, according to MuleSoft 2019 Connectivity Benchmark Report. How can we overcome these challenges in the future?

Why do so many digital projects fail?

Most business executives recognize the value of technological investments. However, why do so many digital projects fail? Digital is too critical to a company’s competitiveness to be left to fail. If even one step of the development process is weak, companies need to move away from developing a “digital strategy” and, instead, focus on developing a business strategy that’s built on what makes sense for their organization and enabled by digital technologies. One size does not fit all!

Digital initiatives are less about technology investments and more about understanding what outcome you expect of the transformation.

How do the most innovative companies increase their revenues and redesign their products and services? These companies are exploiting the digital touch points between systems, things, and people. They acknowledge the importance of connectivity when it comes to delivering outstanding customer experiences. The leaders of these companies recognize the importance of creating a digital culture that continually evolves, grows and serves the needs of all stakeholders. Companies need to understand what drives customer value.

Digital is too critical to a company’s competitiveness to be left to fail. If even one step of the development process is weak, companies need to move away from developing a “digital strategy” and, instead, focus on developing a business strategy that’s built on what makes sense for their organization and enabled by digital technologies. One size does not fit all!

Power of small wins for foundational transformation

One way of getting started with a successful digital foundational change is through digital prototyping in well-defined processes - with a focus on the small wins. As technologies are getting more complex, companies as well as software developers must understand the big value of these small wins. Once you take steps to seek out the small wins within digital transformation, they become more realistic.

I see a great potential for higher success rates in digital transformation if companies build their digital enhancements organically, through smaller wins and closer internal and external collaboration. The process of the required organizational self-realization, identification of digital potential, prototyping, feasibility analysis and strategy clarification obtain my interest today.