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Digital transformation: 10 sneaky money-wasters
Digital transformation work remains at the top of IT leaders’ to-do lists. But there’s only so much funding. Are you falling into any of these spending traps?
6. Overzealous automation
Not everything that can be taken over by a machine should be. Complex use cases and business processes are poor candidates for RPA. “If you are not automating your mundane happy-path business processes, you are not getting quick value,” Kachroo says. “Spend 20 percent effort to automate 80 percent of the process and leave the complex processes or decision forks to humans. This will create the best human-machine combination for your business processes and maximize the value from your automation.”
7. Lifting and shifting legacy apps
They don’t call it transformation for nothing. Simply shuttling existing applications from legacy environments to the cloud without considering the challenges and opportunities of the different architecture is short-sighted. “[Organizations] should instead take a refactoring approach to assess and address issues first and also test the market for ready-made replacements that could cut down the duration and effort of the modernization,” says ISG’s Chowning.
8. Ill-defined projects - especially analytics work
Lack of clarity on goals remains a huge money waster, says Saldanha. That’s particularly true when it comes to large analytics initiatives. “These are hard and long project journeys which need to deliver ongoing business value in addition to creating long-term business opportunities,” Kacrhoo says. “Goals must be established at the outset so you’re not blindly pursuing an undefined outcome.”
9. Technology for technology’s sake
You’ve heard this before, yet it remains an issue. It’s tempting to want to adopt the next new thing – this year, say, augmented or virtual reality tools. “But if it’s not optimizing customer experience, it’s indeed a big money waster,” says Virgil Wong, global practice head of digital experience and creative at digital transformation agency HGS Digital.
10. Using insufficient metrics
Digital transformation ultimately should be pragmatic, with organizations starting small and improving over time. However, too many organizations fail to set up a robust monitoring program with metrics. “They don’t include measurement mechanisms to ensure effectiveness, including feedback channels,” Chowning says, “which means they don’t diagnose failure early on and make corrections.”
[ Get answers to common digital transformation questions and lessons from top CIOs: What is digital transformation? A cheat sheet. ]