Research from digital transformation firm boxxe shows the pandemic has created a new era of technological advancement for UK businesses, with 61% introducing new digital solutions or fast-tracking plans in reaction to the changing landscape.
When questioned as part of the survey, 82% of respondents said they had undertaken significant digital transformation work within their company in the past year, with improved security perceived as the biggest benefit for over a third (36%) of respondents, followed by a boost to productivity (34%) and better customer service (25%).
However, the need to act quickly has caused problems for some, as 35% say they have witnessed a digital project fail, with the most popular reasons for failure being:
Staff not being involved early enough – 38%
Trying to fit the business around a technology rather than vice versa – 33%
Lack of clear vision and a plan – 31%
Not scoping and planning properly before starting – 27%
IT department not aligned with other departments – 25%
Lack of clear roles and responsibilities for roll out – 24%
Joel Berwitz Chief Revenue Officer for boxxe said:
“Businesses are under a lot of pressure to create efficiencies and it can be tempting to fast-track digital transformation projects as a result. However, without proper planning and experienced staff to support implementation, a digital project can turn into a huge problem – costing time, money and morale that companies cannot afford to lose”.
In addition to the blind spots businesses have when it comes to successfully implementing digital transformations, the research also showed that over half (53%) of UK companies have neglected to staff digital projects in the past and, of those that did, 49% did not ring-fence additional time for staff to manage them, whilst more than a third (42%) have undertaken projects without additional budget.
Tim Hall, Head of Innovation at boxxe gives the following pieces of advice for businesses that want to avoid these blind spots when embarking on new digital transformation projects:
Our research shows that businesses often fail to provide the required investment for creating successful digital projects, with 42% undertaking projects without additional budget.
When essential works are needed, it can be helpful for teams to first analyse the key success criteria. Once you are able to outline a hierarchy of requirements, you can then evaluate what is achievable within a sliding budget scale and allocate funds accordingly.
Our research shows that over half (53%) of UK businesses have neglected to staff digital projects and of those that did, 49% did not ring-fence additional time for staff to manage digital projects.
If you lack the expertise, time or resource to manage projects internally you might consider working with a third party. As well as saving valuable internal resource, third party specialists can be helpful in sense-checking plans, filtering options, suggesting the most cost-effective options, securing deals you might not otherwise have access to and creating a roadmap for project success. In most cases, third-party support pays for itself in the long run.
Getting board-level buy-in:
Our research shows that early staff involvement can make all the difference to the success of a digital project and senior level buy-in is arguably the most fundamental element for setting the tone and priority of any new undertaking.
A good starting point for any digital project is to ensure key stakeholders are fully aware of the importance it plays. In many cases digital solutions are essential, not only for providing better customer service and saving valuable time and resource, but also in safeguarding against security issues which have the potential to cost millions and destroy a company’s credibility if left unmanaged.