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7 Reasons Why Digital Transformation Projects Fail

Digital transformation has become a buzzword lately. It is thrown around so frequently that most people are still confused about what exactly digital transformation means. With many people putting forward their definitions, it does not help either. Simply put, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of your business. It transforms the way your business operates and how you deliver value to your customers.

It seems that every business wants to jump on the digital transformation bandwagon, but only a few manage to achieve success. According to Forbes, 84% of companies fail at digital transformation. The reason is that digital transformation requires a new business model. To be successful at digital transformation, businesses need a new way of thinking and a new approach.

In this article, you will learn about seven reasons why digital transformation projects tend to fail more often.

Resistance to Change

As soon as you start talking about digitally transforming your business, you will face some resistance from your employees. This happens because they have become familiar with the current system implemented in your organization and don’t want to change it. They have worked hard to get their way around the current system due to its steep learning curve and don’t want to do the same drill from scratch again. As a business that is embracing digital transformation, you need to make them understand the benefits of digital transformation and help them learn the new system. Get all the stakeholders on the same page before launching the digital transformation project; otherwise, it is bound to fail.

Lack of Involvement from Higher Management

Lack of interest and involvement from top management is enough to derail any project, let alone a digital transformation project. According to research conducted by the University of Ottawa, 33% of projects fail due to a lack of interest from top management. To ensure the success of your digital transformation, you will need to persuade your top management of the importance of digital transformation. When they realize that digital transformation will deliver tremendous value for their business, they will automatically start to show a keen interest in it. You have to prove to them that it will bring more revenue and will help your business grow. Once they start to put their weight behind your digital transformation process, the chances for project success increase substantially.

Ignoring Customer Experience and Priorities

According to a survey, 95% of respondents believed that the main goal of digital transformation is to give customers a unique experience. For that to happen, you have to put your customers at the heart of your digital transformation strategy. Despite knowing that it is critical to digital transformation success, customer experience and preferences are usually the last two things on their list, which is why most digital transformation projects fail. Make customer experience your priority and everything will fall into place by itself.

Using the Wrong Technology and tools

Digitally transforming your business is not easy. There are many challenges and hurdles that you have to overcome to make it possible. Thankfully, some tools and technologies can help you with that, but you have to choose the right ones and ditch the wrong ones. You don’t need the latest and greatest tools and technologies.

Let’s say you want to move all your data from your dedicated server to the cloud as a part of the digital transformation process. It can be tough, but if you have the right tools and technologies at your disposal, you can easily do that. To choose the right technology and tools, it is important to first assess your business needs and choose tools and technologies that can fulfill those needs.

Trying to Change Too Much Too Quickly

Another big mistake most businesses make is trying to make too many changes too quickly. As a business, you should make sure that you set the right pace for your digital transformation, as changing too many things too quickly can turn even the advocates of digital transformation into adversaries. This will overwhelm your employees and lead to burnout when they cannot cope with the faster pace of digital transformation.

Changing Too Slowly

Just like changing many things too quickly can backfire, changing things slowly can also have a negative impact. Time and money are directly proportional to one another, so the longer your digital transformation projects take to complete, the more they will cost. Similarly, the longer your digital transformation project runs, the risk of scope creep increases. Before you realize it, your digital transformation projects have surpassed the budget and time allocated for them, and the scope has blown out of proportion. The result is the same: project failure.

Lack of Training

Digitally transforming your business takes time and is an iterative process. You need to make sure that you train your employees and project managers regularly to handle each phase efficiently. Lack of training can lead to project failure. That is why poor handling by unskilled and inexperienced digital transformation managers is one of the biggest reasons why your digital transformation project is not achieving success. As new technology and tools are introduced, you should always stay in the learning mode and master the latest tools and technology for successful digital transformation.


Digital transformation is all about making a smoother transition from traditional to a digital business model. It will boost your productivity and efficiency and help you generate more revenue while growing your business in the process. You can get all those benefits only when you do the digital transformation the right way. Take precautionary measures to avoid any hiccups in your digital transformation process. I hope this article might have helped you understand the key reasons behind digital transformation project failure so you can easily avoid it.

Which do you think is the biggest reason why digital transformation projects fail in your opinion? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.

Written By

Mohammad Ali is an experienced digital marketer and a search engine marketing specialist who is currently associated with HostNoc, as senior digital marketer and brand strategy agency.

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