Back in 2014, Ford created a new business segment called Ford Smart Mobility. As part of the brand’s digital transformation strategy, the company’s goal was to offer improved “mobility services” by building digitally-enabled cars. However, they hit a bump in the road. Ford failed to properly integrate this new business segment into the rest of the business. Headquartered far away from the rest of the company, Ford Smart Mobility was an entirely separate entity from their other business units. Keen to stay at the forefront of automotive innovation, Ford invested huge amounts of money into the venture but it never really got off the ground causing their stock price to drop dramatically and the CEO to step down.
If there is one lesson businesses can learn from Ford Smart Mobility it is that you have to integrate all digital transformation efforts with the rest of the company.
Below, we outline a few other digital transformation challenges and how to avoid them.
#1 Lack of leadership support
Successful digital transformation programmes rely on commitment from leadership. If the people at the top don’t buy into what you’re attempting to do with digital, your transformation efforts won’t have the backing needed to succeed. Leadership buy-in is so important that companies who hire a Chief Digital Officer are more likely to run a successful digital transformation programme than those that don’t, according to McKinsey.
#2 Insufficient budget
Here’s a hard pill to swallow: digital transformation costs money. If you want to be an innovator in your industry and outdo your competitors, you need to be willing to invest in the process. But remember that it’s not a race. If budgets are tight, consider developing a transformation plan that takes place over several phases so that you can spread out your spending.
#3 Resistance to change
Digital transformation represents a change across the entire business. Whether you are rolling out completely new technologies or making the move to a digital-first company culture, this change needs to be managed, especially if your transformation strategy drastically modifies existing processes. If you’re transforming up how someone has always done something, you need to take the time to guide him or her through the change.
#4 Failing to plan
Most businesses know that they should be making the move to digital but this doesn’t mean that they know where to start. Successful digital transformation demands vision and planning. Without a clear vision of what your want to achieve and a clear picture of the process, you’re heading for failure. Proper planning entails everything from understanding what is needed before making a commitment and thinking about how these efforts will affect the company’s broader strategy to considering how end-users will adapt to the changes.
#5 Limited expertise
When it comes to digital transformation, it is important to bring in the right talent to plug any skills gap you may have. Without the necessary skills, organisations will fail to complete their digital transformation projects. If you’d like to create a winning product/solution you need to work with specialists who have taken the time to learn about your business and understand what you’re hoping to achieve.
Want to better understand your company’s infrastructure and identify gaps in service? Keen to use digital solutions to increase your short-term performance, but also meet their long-term objectives? We can help you find the best tools and technologies to meet your unique needs. Simply complete the form below to find out more.