Chapter 4

Fail 4: Going at it alone and failing to see the big picture

Digital transformation is, as stated above, a team sport. Even though IT decision makers may be excused for wanting to retain their digital fate in their own hands and teams, such an approach is associated with a great deal of risk.

One danger of ‘going at it alone’ is that companies buying and implementing new technologies are likely to struggle with getting reliable information on what to expect from their investment. The risk is taking the word of vendors who have been overselling the benefits of the technologies, long before they really know whether they can deliver the results customers expect. This is especially true for mid-sized enterprises.

Two hands pointing towards a document

“Smart businesses liaise with transformation partners.”

While middle-market businesses have all the complexity of companies with greater than a billion pounds in revenue, they have fewer resources to manage the intricacies of these projects. There is no shortage of cautionary examples of how easy it is for companies to get caught in the middle with complex needs and limited resources. Unable to dedicate resources and expertise to validate and thoroughly vet each supplier claim or recommendation, they must rely on vendor and partner guidance.

Rather than taking unverified and anecdotal assurances as gospel, smart businesses liaise with transformation partners that can document their track record and industry expertise through reference customer testimonials, quality standards certifications, and so on. The right partner should be willing to show their work, and be an objective sounding board for organisations looking to vet their ideas for change. In short, the right partner won’t be afraid to engage in that uncomfortable conversation mentioned above.