Digital Transformation

Why a lack of top-down communication sets digital transformations up for failure

Digital transformations are flooding the enterprise, but the majority of employees don't know what they are. Here's why your projects are at risk.

Digital transformations are no longer a trend, but a norm. The IDC reported that spending on digital transformation technologies worldwide is predicted to reach $1.3 trillion in 2018, and surpass $2.1 trillion by 2021.

And digital transformation projects live up to their hype. Some 94% of decision makers said their digital transformation efforts are successful in delivering a return on investment (ROI), according to a Nintex report Wednesday.

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

Success notwithstanding, the main issue most companies face is actually completing the digital transformation projects, said the report. In fact, the majority of employees don't even know what digital transformations are. This awareness gap results in employees misinterpreting transformation efforts as an endangerment to their jobs, explained the report.

Nearly a third of employees believe that intelligent capabilities will put their jobs at risk, yet the majority of jobs won't be replaced because of automation efforts, said the report. But 71% of decision makers did report that process automation would eliminate, at most, one-fifth of all jobs in the company.

The reason for these misconceptions lies in a lack of leadership, said the report. Nintex found a lack of consensus about who is leading digital transformation efforts in organizations. While 89% of decision makers claim they have a designated transformation lead, no one person appears to be a clear leader in their companies, added the report.

Leaders in organizations need to balance the needs of business users and IT, said the report. Employees need a frame of reference for how digital transformations work and affect the company.

Other major challenges to digital transformation progress are insufficient training for line of business employees on new technologies (32%), IT bottlenecks (33%), lack of executive buy-in (38%), and lack of sufficient in-house talent (38%), said the report. But educating employees on digital transformation strategies is an easy, productive way to get the ball rolling on new projects.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • While digital transformations are increasingly popular, the majority of employees don't know what they are, which halts the progression of projects. — Nintex, 2018
  • Leadership is necessary for the success of digital transformations, as communication-styles start with how company leaders conduct themselves. —Nintex, 2018

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About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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