Assessing Your Organisation’s Readiness for Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is not only changing companies, it’s redefining markets and industries. Yet, when discussing digital transformation, we often speak of technologies and tools. But change goes beyond tech. It’s about the people, structure and processes that support the technology.
While there’s widespread recognition among executive leaders of the need to transform their business for the digital world, the success rate of digital transformation efforts prior to the pandemic was less than 30 percent. Yet despite the low success rate, digital transformation accelerated during the pandemic with 80 percent of organisations globally embarking on transformation efforts.
Digital transformation initiatives are about positively impacting an organisation’s operating model, its business model and/or those whom the organisation serves. Take sports teams as an example. Winning sports teams are always training, preparing and “getting ready” for the next game or match. They know the better prepared they are, the higher their chance of success. They measure their progress and adjust course as needed.
But how do you know your organisation is ready for change? And more importantly, how do you get them ready?
A Readiness Checklist for Digital Transformation
Whether we are brought in to lead a transformation project or to rescue one that’s gone awry, the NashTech team has routinely found that readiness is one of the most critical factors for digital transformation success.
Readiness isn’t only about the current state of the organisation’s operating model, but also about understanding its future state. Because digital transformation often requires broad reinvention, a useful readiness framework must encompass strategy, technology, talent and organisational culture.
NashTech’s framework for a successful digital transformation journey consists of five dimensions: strategic vision, talent capabilities, technology assets, success metrics and cultural transformation.
You can score your organisation on each dimension based on four levels of advancement: behind, on par, slightly ahead and significantly ahead. You can see the checklist below to explore your readiness for digital transformation success and benchmark it against other companies.
How to Use the Readiness Assessment Checklist
For each of the five dimensions,rate your organisation across the various attributes on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 5 (highest). Depending on how well your company reflects the attributes listed within each dimension, average the sum of all the attributes for each dimension to arrive at your overall score.
Dimension 1: Strategic Vision
Companies preparing for digital transformation should start at the top, with a strategic vision. Companies with a well articulated vision are more likely to make the necessary investments in technology, talent, processes and culture.
Dimension 2: Talent Capabilities
People build technology and technology enables people. Finding team members with the specific skills needed to execute on your strategic vision is one of the biggest challenges in digital transformation.
Dimension 3: Technology Assets
Digital transformation is built on technology, but choosing the right tools can be an undertaking. Rather than selecting products that look good on paper, start with your strategic vision and implement the tools that align with the strategy you developed as part of dimension one.
Dimension 4: Measuring Success
While the business imperative for embracing digital transformation is widely understood, the link to business value is not. As organisations launch new digital initiatives, they must monitor whether they are delivering the right business results.
Dimension 5: Culture of Transformation
Digital transformation and culture go hand-in-hand. While people and culture are integral to a company’s success, they are also the biggest barriers to digital transformation. It’s critical for organisations to proactively drive cultural transformation as culture changes are always more complex and slower than technological changes.
Are you Ready for Digital Transformation? Understanding Your Score
The sliding scale associated with each of the five dimensions provides a useful framework to identify the opportunities and gaps in achieving digital transformation across your organisation. Comparative scoring each dimension are as follows:
- Behind: 3
- On Par: 3.5
- Slightly Ahead: 3.80
- Significantly Ahead: 4.25
With the gap between current and desired states identified, you are in a better position to assess what needs to be done to ready your organisation. We see the biggest differences between high and low performing companies on the dimensions of strategic vision, talent capabilities, technology assets and cultural transformation.
Best Practices for Digital Transformation Success
Digital transformation is not a minor undertaking. To ensure a better success rate than 1 in 7, it’s critical to understand your gaps and have the resources needed to close them. This includes:
Engage with peers:
Digital transformation is a company-wide effort. While CIOs are ideal executives to head transformation efforts, other domain leaders must also be actively engaged.
The five dimensions and their corresponding attributes can help facilitate a transparent conversation with company executives about what’s working and where there are opportunities for improvement.
Assess your progress:
Continue to monitor your progress against the assessment checklist. Use the results to examine your competitive situation and plan next steps to move your transformation efforts forward.
For a comprehensive step-by-step guide to ensuring digital transformation success, download our eBook.