What is the cost of digital transformation?

The advantages of digital transformation has long been a hot topic, but what can be said for the costs that it comes with?

Digital transformation is possibly the most exciting thing to be happening to businesses today. Once organisations have gone through the motions of automating and streamlining processes, they will be able to focus on wider business opportunities.

The advantageous outcomes of digital transformation are no secret, and today, businesses everywhere are exploring their options to get there. However, how much is digital transformation going to cost them?

Understanding the time frame, or lack of

An interesting consideration for organisations is: how do you know when you have completed your digital transformation? The simple answer is that it’s a continuous state, rather than a phase with an exit strategy at the end.

Now, digital transformation is primarily customer-driven; organisations are leveraging their transformation to meet and exceed customer expectations. However, these expectations are constantly changing. At the risk of making it sound as though customers are ‘demanding’, they will always want more than what you can offer. Thus, your organisation needs to be in a place where it can continuously evolve.

Divvying up the budget

Interestingly, as it may not present itself as that obvious, but you need to allocate a portion of your digital transformation budget towards leadership training. Once the organisation is on its transformation journey, its important to revisit the business strategy and goals. In particular, it’s important to consider whether the transformation has had any impact. It’s especially important for leadership to be as involved as possible in the process.

If leadership don’t fully understand their digital transformation, their employees won’t either. Thus, leadership teams should invest in training and education for themselves to ensure they spend their budget wisely.

With modern organisations becoming more data and cloud-driven hand-in-hand, organisations will experience a reduction in capital expenses. However, it’s important to be mindful of migration application expenses and whether it’s necessary for your organisation at all. For example, businesses with a less extensive customer base may end up spending more than saving.

The fact of the matter is, though, you can invest in all the tools and applications you need for digital transformation, but what you need most is skill sets. Unfortunately, many fields of the tech industry are suffering skills shortages. There’s also no knowing when it will be over. With the lack of talent available, you need to invest in training for your staff.

The pennies are with the people

Overall, the common theme of digital transformation expenditures is your workforce. In particular, training your leadership and your workforce is among the best digital transformation-related return on investments you’re going to get on your journey.

Above all, at the risk of sounding a little cliché, the biggest cost of digital transformation is not doing it at all. It goes without saying, but organisations who don’t go through the motions necessary will, for sure, get left behind.

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