Beware the Digital Dip: Four "Hacks" for a Successful Digital Journey

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While most enterprises are running digital initiatives at varying levels of scale and maturity, not all succeed. Recent research suggests that more than 40% of enterprises are currently facing roadblocks in scaling and reaping benefits from their digital initiatives – thus facing a Digital Dip. And only a third have moved beyond these challenges, and are successfully running scaled digital programs with appropriate benefits accruing to the business.

Everest Group's research with over 200 global enterprises indicates that this Digital Dip is the result of one or more of the following:

  • Use of traditional IT methodologies for digital projects
  • Lack of clarity on strategic objectives behind digital programs
  • Inability to engage a wide set of stakeholders
  • Inside-out (versus outside-in) process definitions
  • Insufficient or absent change management

4 Hacks to Succeed with "Digital"

Here are four hacks to help you overcome these "dips" and embark on a successful digital journey:

1. Get Agile

While most people already know this, they may not realize the downsides of not going all-in on Agile. Digital initiatives have their own special needs, including:

  • Having a "minimal viable solution versus end state definition" viewpoint
  • Testing with live audiences
  • Working in cross-functional teams

2. Get clear

On postmortem, stalled digital initiatives reveal a startling lack of clarity of strategic objectives. Successful digital transformation requires an obsessive focus on a limited set of objectives.

3. Design from the outside-in

In a pre-digital context, processes are defined inside-out, i.e., from the enterprise point of view. Key to the move from pre-digital to digital is the ability to develop an end-to-end view of the process from the user’s point of view.

4. Invest in change management

A corollary of the "Get Agile" hack, enterprises need to plan for, and invest in, an ongoing change management mechanism. The key challenge of driving adoption and ensuring adherence to reengineered processes involves significant time and energy spent on user education.

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Note: For more details see the full report, Beware the Digital Dip