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2020: THE YEAR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION DIES
So, as bullish as digital thought leaders have been about the exponential potential of transformation (guilty, as charged!) and as breathless as consultants and tech companies have been in their rush to become your provider of choice, it’s the sense of
By Greg Verdino Published in Gregverdino
Watson, we have a problem.
According to research from McKinsey & Co, 70% of all transformations fail. For transformations of the digital sort, that number rises to over 80%. Of those that don’t outright fail, only 16% actually deliver improved performance. For those that do, the improvements are difficult to sustain.
This is a dynamic that is already turning digital paragons into digital pariahs. (See GE Predix.)
So, as bullish as digital thought leaders have been about the exponential potential of transformation (guilty, as charged!) and as breathless as consultants and tech companies have been in their rush to become your provider of choice, it’s the sense of realism, skepticism and even fatigue on the part of actual corporate leaders that should give us pause.
So when Thinkers360 — an open platform for B2B thought leadership — asked me to share my thoughts about what the coming year has in store for digital transformation, I told them this:
In 2020, the digital transformation bubble will burst.
“While most leaders recognize that their organization must digitize in the coming years, most are already failing. According to recent research by McKinsey & Co, 70% of transformation initiatives fail and only 16% of those that don’t actually deliver improved performance. As reality sinks in, more corporate leaders will pump the brakes on their ‘big bang’ transformation programs. This is actually good news.”
A read through Thinkers360’s roundup of 2020 predictions from a selection of their Top 20 digital transformation experts shows that I am not alone in my thinking. Hayden Shaughnessy argues that many executives “will see why their digital transformations have gone wrong”. Charles Araujo predicts that the very term digital transformation will die, even as organizations get more serious about becoming digital businesses. And Kelly Barner writes that digital transformation “will be replaced by multiple, more specific initiatives as the failure to deliver concrete results eats away at corporate interest and willingness to invest.”