why digital Transformation Fail
Agus Setiawan

PhD candidate and result-oriented Director with 25 years experience with involvement in all levels of Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Managing Project and Product Development. Aside of managing a company, he is also the best corporate trainer and public speaker in seminar and conference.

Major Mistakes that Cause Digital Transformation to Fail

In this digital era, some say that digital transformation is needed for business to survive. However, the positive outcome is not always guaranteed. When executed poorly, it can act as a catalyst for the downfall of the business. The biggest mistake is to have unclear objectives when executing digital transformation. Having unclear objectives can lead to many bad situations where the negative outcomes will outweigh the positive ones. Here are several situations that can happen when the objectives are not clear from the start.

Different understanding of the objectives

This situation will slow the progress and create ineffective and inefficient environment. It is harder to do collaborative work when the employees have different understanding of the main objective. They will be on different path and working towards objectives that are not in line. The success of the transformation depends on whether or not the employees are able to work together to reach the objective.

Lack of commitment

Some company does not commit fully to digital transformation, meaning that they execute the first couple of steps, but they are hesitant to do the necessary steps to follow up the process. Having a clear plan is one thing, but committing to see it through the end is a different thing. It is imperative to make sure that the commitment is there to reach the objectives. The leaders need to be fully motivated and committed to execute digital transformation until the goals are reached. Digital transformation is not a small change for any business, it is a massive change that needs full commitment to do what it takes.

Top managers not in the same path

If the disagreement among the managers are spoken quickly, then it should be solved within a small time frame. However, the problem lies when some of the managers are not outspoken when they think that the goals are wrong and should be changed or could be improved. The situation will affect their performance or their commitment to the plan on reaching the goals. It will lead them to different paths that do not have the same ultimate goal. This situation makes it harder to measure the progress towards the main objectives as they commit to their own visions of the end state.


To conclude, major mistakes that cause digital transformations to fail are unclear definition or explanation of the objective, lack of commitment from the leaders, and disagreement between managers. These mistakes need to be avoided and have to be addressed properly should it occurs. Digital transformation is a huge change and it needs to be executed properly in order to achieve the goals and the best result possible.

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