RSM recently released findings from its 2018 Digital Transformation Survey. We surveyed CFOs across the middle market to better understand how they are handling the race to “digitize” their business. The survey itself yielded a number of great insights and results that we are already using to tailor our services to meet the needs and demands in the market.
However, after scouring the results, two statistics immediately jumped out to me.
I find this extremely intriguing because, in short, it is saying that for the large sample of organizations included in our survey – almost all of them have plans to undergo some type of digital transformation, but only half have a good understanding as to why or how they are doing it.
Even more surprising, given the audience for our survey (CFOs), moving forward on a roadmap without clearly defined goals and outcomes presents a huge risk for over- or unnecessary spending. Not to mention, it significantly increases the risk for project failure (which again drives more spending). In short, moving forward on digital initiatives without a concise strategy presents a number of risks – and with what return? A 2-3 month advantage on a particular project?
Many clients we work with today appear to have chosen a similar path. Various technologies were implemented with very specific objectives in mind, which over time, resulted in a jigsaw puzzle of solutions. One can only imagine the operational nightmares that would follow that type of approach.
The Importance of Having a Digital Strategy AND Roadmap
Let’s start by aligning on a common but simple understanding of the definition and intent of both a strategy and a roadmap.
Under this light, your organization should not be using one-or-the-other, but both. A strategy without a roadmap is a pipe dream. You know what you want to do, but have no path to doing it. A roadmap without a strategy is a cluster. You have teams of people all working on efforts to achieve their own interpretation of the goals, and keeping your fingers crossed hoping that it all comes together.
A well-coupled digital strategy AND roadmap is essential to digital transformation, painting a very clear picture as to where you are, where you want to be and how you get there. The combination can align everyone in the organization to the desired outcomes, help you make the right decisions as to what to pursue and purchase – and what to avoid. In short, it will save you time, money and headache.
As the leading digital enabler for the middle-market, RSM is well-positioned to help your organization build a digital strategy and roadmap customized for your organization, and give you the right foundation to transform your business.