10 Feb 2023
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Avoiding Pitfalls in Digital Transformation Efforts

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


Hey, let's talk about digital transformation. It's all about changing up your business by really using tech to your advantage. The big idea is that these digital tools can help businesses get creative faster, boost how well they work, and improve how they connect with customers, not to mention upping their revenue. But let's be real, it's not some kind of instant fix-it-all. Remember when had a pretty rough start? Or how Walmart is still trying to get the hang of e-commerce? These examples show that things can go sideways. So, what went wrong? I'll walk you through six common blunders that can trip you up in your digital transformation journey.

Need to prioritize

The first step in any successful digital transformation is to define the problem.

This step is crucial because it forces you to think critically about what needs to be changed and why. It also helps you determine whether a solution is possible by asking yourself: "Is there a way for me to achieve this goal?" If there is, save time trying (or worse yet, spending money).

Once you've identified issues with your current practices and goals, set some new ones. This will help keep things focused on where they need improvement most rather than spreading resources too thinly across multiple areas at once. Be ambitious but realistic in setting these objectives; otherwise, they'll become unattainable or lose their meaning over time as other priorities arise during implementation efforts.

Not understanding your customers' needs

Not understanding your customer's needs is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in digital transformation. As a business owner or manager, you need to understand the problems your customers are facing and what they want from your product or service. Suppose you need to know your target audience and what they're looking for from a product or service like yours. In that case, it will be difficult for any marketing campaign or initiative that comes out of this process to have any real impact on sales figures or customer satisfaction (if either even matters).

You might make assumptions about what people want based on personal experience rather than facts. For example: "I love using Uber because I don't have to wait around when I get off work. Everyone loves Uber." This is only sometimes true, and if it were true during every season of life (and location), competition would never be able to catch up with such an innovative idea/service combo.

Ignoring the importance of culture

Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. It's about changing the way you do business, and that means changing your company's culture. This can be hard to do because culture is critical. It guides us and helps us make decisions in our daily lives. Culture also holds businesses together; it makes them unique and gives them their identity.

But if you're going to succeed at digital transformation, it's worth it: The benefits include more innovation, greater employee satisfaction, and improved customer experience (to name just three).

Focusing too much on technology and not enough on people

You can only have digital transformation with people. And yet, far too many organizations focus on technology and need more on the people who will use it.

The critical question to ask yourself when considering your organization's digital transformation efforts is: "What are we trying to achieve?" If you're like most businesses, your answer is probably something like, "We want better customer experiences" or "We want our business processes to be more efficient." But a bigger question needs answering: How can we achieve these goals?

The answer lies in understanding what motivates people and how they interact with technology--and then designing systems based on those insights.

Neglecting internal communication

Internal communication is an essential part of business transformation. It's also necessary to keep your employees informed about the change and help them understand it, feel comfortable, and even embrace it.

Suppose you need to communicate more effectively with your team members about what's happening in the organization. In that case, you could miss out on collaboration and innovation opportunities, two of the most critical factors in digital transformation success.

Being slow to adapt to change

You can only expect to succeed if you're willing to change. The only constant in business is that everything changes, so you must be ready to adapt and grow with those changes to avoid being left behind.

To be successful in digital transformation, companies need to become more agile and flexible in the face of new challenges and opportunities presented by new technologies and innovations.

  • Don't make these mistakes as you're trying to transform your business
  • Failing to align your people, processes, and technology
  • Failing to understand what's essential for the business
  • Not asking the right questions when it comes to digital transformation

The best way to avoid these mistakes? Start with a solid foundation. That means understanding what matters most in your company and why and clearly articulating that vision. It also means ensuring that everyone involved has bought into this vision before moving forward with any changes or initiatives related to digital transformation (or anything else).


It's common for companies to make mistakes as they try to transform their businesses, but it's not something that should be taken lightly. Your company's digital transformation is an ongoing process, and if you're making these mistakes at any point along the way, it could very well mean that things need to be going according to plan. To avoid this fate and ensure your organization stays on track with its goals, it's vital that everyone involved understands what each stage requires from them individually and collectively within the larger group, and remember: no one knows everything.

Tyrone Showers