The Hidden Business Crisis When Digital Projects Fail
- By CDOTrends editors
- December 11, 2023
In an era where digital transformation (DX) is seen as a pivotal step for businesses, a new IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Endava, sheds light on a crucial yet often overlooked aspect: the impact of these projects on the employee experience. The research involving global business leaders and decision-makers reveals startling statistics: nearly 88% of respondents admitted that half or fewer of their DX projects in the past year met their expected goals, leading to significant employee dissatisfaction and attrition.
This trend is especially pronounced in the Asia Pacific region, where 66% of leaders feel that their investments in digital transformation have been largely wasted. The consequences extend beyond financial losses, manifesting in a less competitive stance, delayed market presence, and, notably, a negative impact on staff morale. The research indicates that 56% of employees express frustration, 50% leave their jobs, and 44% find their work environment less stimulating due to unsuccessful DX initiatives.
The root causes of these issues underscore a common oversight in many companies: a lack of a people-first strategy in DX endeavors. Insufficient employee buy-in (39%), conflicting leadership opinions (36%), and poor internal collaboration (33%) were identified as primary reasons for failing to achieve desired outcomes. Over half of the respondents acknowledged that focusing more on human-centric projects, like upskilling staff and enhancing IT-business communication, could have been a more effective use of resources.
Interestingly, the survey also delves into the current status and future plans regarding AI and automation in the Asia Pacific. With over 51% of respondents already implementing AI or exploring proof of concept, there's a clear recognition of the importance of maintaining a human element in these technologies. Moreover, 58% of businesses are directing their automation strategies towards enhancing employee experiences by eliminating mundane tasks, indicating a shift towards a more strategic and satisfying work environment.
Despite the challenges, there are positive outcomes for those who manage DX projects effectively. Successful initiatives have led to process optimization (62%), cost reduction (57%), revenue increases (53%), and improvements in customer experience (45%). More importantly, these projects have also resulted in better employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention (42%).
John Cotterell, chief executive officer of Endava, emphasizes the critical role of a human-centric approach in the success of digital solutions. "The success of digital solutions is inherently reliant on understanding how people will respond to new technologies," he states.
Cotterell highlights the importance of nurturing products and services by understanding user needs, overcoming cultural barriers, and fostering employee engagement from the start. "It's encouraging that more and more businesses are recognizing the importance of human response to new technologies," he adds, stressing the need for inclusive digital strategies that bridge the gap between innovation and market success.
Image credit: iStockphoto/ronniechua