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When to NOT follow a digital transformation strategy

1. When you don't want to grow your business 

"We're happy with our business as it is. We don't want new customers or to try to keep hold of the existing ones. We don't need to change."  

2. When you want to grow but you want to be constrained by having to hire people in line with that growth - e.g. double the revenue, double the staff.

"We love the fact that we need to constantly hire new people and expand our physical office space, providing kitchens, break out areas and all the other employee benefits just to keep track with the growth of the business. When we put in a new chair and desk it feels like progress." 

3. Where you want people to manually handle every transaction and process.

"Our staff need something to do all day, that's why we like them to manually process every step in our business. We don't mind that everyone does things slightly differently and we like it to be time-consuming and expensive to bring a new staff member on board. Also whenever things change its great that we have to re-train everyone again and put up post-it notes to remind people what they should be doing differently."  

4. Where you're happy that critical parts of your business are processed on a spreadsheet that only one person understands and may have numerous mistakes hidden within it.

"This spreadsheet has kind of worked so far. It takes ages to run its calculations and we know there are probably things that are wrong with it but we dont know how to change it or fix it. The person who wrote it has left and no-one else understands it. That's why we haven't changed it."  

5. Where you want all business to be done face to face or over the telephone

"We have a large call centre and our customers don't mind wasting their time, waiting in a queue listening to piped muzak or heartfelt messages about how much we care about them before they eventually connect with a team member to resolve a simple problem".

6. Where you want business to be done when its convenient for your staff, not your customers. 

"Our customers are happy to deal with us between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays. Nobody will ever want to contact us or do business outside of those times." 

7. Where you'd rather spend money sending letters to customers instead of emails, SMS's or in-app notifications. 

"Customers love waiting 5 days to receive notification from us on paper that contains admissions such as 'if you've already recently addressed this issue, please ignore this letter'. They also love putting the contents of the envelope into the recycling."

8. If you think the Internet and smartphones are passing fads 

"Our customers may have the power of a supercomputer in the palm of their hands but they don't want to use that to deal with us. They'd rather write a letter, pick up the phone or come and visit us in person."  

9. If you're waiting for the post-Covid world to get 'back to normal' so that your old business model will be viable again.

"Our customers are just biding their time until the vaccine rollout is complete and the country opens up again and goes back to normal, then they'll behave just as they did before so we'll be ready and waiting for our old operating model to kick in once that happens. Our customers haven't gained new habits, like doing more things online rather than in person." 

10. When you don't have any competitors 

"Our business is a total monopoly, so we can afford to be complacent. Nobody else is in our sector trying to win our customers away from us. When our customers joined us there was no other option for them but to be with us." 

Clearly, no forward-thinking business owner would say these things.

Even though you may not think of your business as a technology business, you can be sure that your sector is being disrupted by those who embrace technology and are ready to leapfrog your position in the market. We've seen this time and again in many sectors, where what was once the cheeky young upstart becomes the major player that seems to have come out of nowhere.

Any business that is evolving, growing and adapting to a changing world needs to accept that digital transformation should be their primary focus. We at ClearSky have guided many businesses through their digital transformation programmes with impressive growth and ROI.