Siloed projects are nothing new, and most people who have been in the business of change or transformation for more than a few years will have tasted their unsavoury consequences. In this digital decade, successful digital business transformation is highly dependent upon leaders who will steer their digital endeavours strategically and holistically, while avoiding the silo effect.
Despite this fundamental success factor, it's startling to see one of IDC’s latest predictions, which suggests that by 2018, 70% of siloed digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail due to insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing or project management.
“Desired business outcomes from DX follow innovation projects that integrate new digital technologies into stable business services and incorporate new skills, techniques, and culture into the fabric of the IT and LOB organizations. Initiatives that do not infuse innovation into the scale and breadth of the total enterprise have not achieved the prime directive: digital transformation”.
– Bill Keyworth, VP of Research at IDC
Too many well-intentioned yet inexperienced folk are leading their digital endeavours in this non-strategic and siloed manner. Some are blinkered by individual technologies such as cloud or mobile, while others are driven by technology trends as opposed to business needs. Many are simply deploying individual digital solutions, with innovation and integration nowhere to be seen, which misses the point of holistic digital business transformation.
Thankfully some leaders have done their homework and taken advantage of research, frameworks and guidance that is now available. Whether they have upgraded their transformation knowledge through their own trusted transformation advisor or THRIVE training, they will have upgraded their transformation knowledge in order to help them get digital business transformation done right. While others make it up as they go along and steer their people into clouds of chaos and confusion.
The question that all organisations need answered with transparency is; “are our transformation leaders leveraging the latest research and expertise to approach transformation from a strategic business perspective? – or are they being steered into siloed digital transformation initiatives by the likes of sales-hungry account managers and technology trends?”
Siloed initiatives have a long history of hindering corporate progress. Let’s hope that with the lessons learned and widely available transformation knowledge, leaders will seize the opportunity to upgrade their digital business transformation intelligence and prove IDC’s prediction for 2018 wrong.
While the video below is not specific to digital business transformation, it highlights the age-old issue of The Silo Effect, which is a threat to the digital endeavours of too many organisations.