Let’s Talk About The Keys To A Successful Digital Transformation

Abhilash Khalkar
3 min readOct 11, 2021
Image Source: Amazon AWS

Digital transformations are usually difficult to pull off as compared to traditional change efforts. However, most effective digital transformations point to five key factors for success.

Studies have shown that only a handful of organizations have had successful digital transformations and are realizing improved performances. Digital transformation has equipped these organizations to withstand radical shifts in the long term. A few companies also suggest that they did realize improved performance but those improvements were not sustainable.

Even digitally savvy industries such as telecom, media, and high tech are struggling to bring about successful digital transformations. The scenario is even worse in traditional industries such as pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, automotive, and oil & gas.

The keys to a successful digital transformation

Having key technologies and capabilities in place is only one side of the coin. Companies should figure out how exactly they could make technology-based shifts that differentiate their digital transformation initiatives from the rest.

  • Building capabilities for future workforce
  • Having the right, digital-savvy leaders onboard
  • Giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade
  • Empowering people to work in new ways
  • Communicating frequently via traditional and digital methods

Building capabilities for future workforce

Developing skills and talent throughout an organization is a fundamental requirement for transformations. This is also one of the key factors to bring about success in a digital shift effort. Scaling up workforce planning and talent development, and at the same time empowering them with digital tools is critical for a successful digital transformation.

Having the right, digital-savvy leaders onboard

When it comes to capabilities and talent, change takes place at all levels in the course of a digital transformation. Hence, adding leaders during transformations becomes critical, as they can assist companies in gauging their path through the overtly complex routes.

Giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade

Organizations need to empower their workforce to work in new ways by showcasing proactive support for digital tools and processes. Changes involving the use of digital tools and processes as an organizational standard can emerge as key to realize a successful digital transformation.

Empowering people to work in novel ways

Digital transformations often need behavioral and cultural changes such as customer centricity, increase collaboration, and risk-taking. Companies need to embrace these new necessary changes and at the same time encourage their employees to leverage new technologies to bring about efficiencies.

Communicating frequently via traditional and digital methods

Crisp and clear communication is the key to the successful accomplishment of any transformation. Organizations need to communicate a change story to their employees so that they can understand why are there changes in the organization, why are these changes important, and where is the organization headed. Frequent communication helps to ensure that everyone in the organization is well-informed and are on board with the new shifts.

Looking ahead

Many digital transformations do fall short in equipping companies with sustainable changes and improving their performance. While this is true, we can always learn lessons from organizations that have reported success in their digital transformation initiatives. To conclude, here are a few steps organizations can take to reflect inward and increase their rate of success during a digital transformation:

  • Rethink your workplace
  • Upgrade the organization’s “hard wiring”
  • Alter the ways you communicate



Abhilash Khalkar

Abhilash, a serendipitous writer, aims to create an impact in this world with his writing. He enjoys espressos, as should all right-thinking people.