Digital Transformation - 70% Failure!
$900 Billion Wasted!
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Brouwerism #26:
Nothing can be accomplished when a process is in a constant state of transformation!

Here is an astute observation by a fellow that read the article . 

"This is the Reality of It, perpetual unproductivity, well stated."

I have been beating the drum for almost 20 years that much of the InfoTech solutions were ineffective. It was first with PLM and then with IOT, IIOT, Industry 4.0, Digital Twin and ending with Digital Transformation. Why? Most InfoTechs do not have the applicable knowledge to effectively influence their related industry.

All of those terms are totally ambiguous. I wonder why, with most of the InfoTech gurus with high levels of college degrees they are either IYI (The Intellectual Yet Idiot) or purposely making them ambiguous.

The CIO (Fox) now sits at the right hand of the CEO. All departments now report to the CIO because he/she who control the software control the company!

The Fox is in charge of the hen house!

You CEOs should wake up and find a way to kill the Fox. Infotechs should be in a subservient role to those that have the knowledge to get the job done.

Let's start with the original article.

Why Digital Transformations Fail:
Closing The $900 Billion Hole In Enterprise Strategy

I don't even think the author realizes now devastating this article is. Who in the world is going to invest in a technology that is 30% effective?

"This year enterprises are expected to invest $1.3 trillion (USD) in digital transformation initiatives to apply digital capabilities to improve efficiencies, increase customer value and create new monetization opportunities. Tragically, research tells us that 70% of these initiatives will not reach their stated goals. That equates to over $900 billion worth of spend that will miss the mark. This is mismanagement on a colossal scale."

Now the author give two reasons why it may have failed. He really doesn't know. Digital Transformation is so ambiguous to even hazard a guess. What are the individual solutions that failed or the few that were successful?

Then he proceeds to gives three tips on how to make it succeed. It is like those that tried to implement it were just ignorant. These were highly paid InfoTechs, that seem to be the most silo'd of groups. They hope no one finds out about their little monopolistic game. More about how a "User" discovered their scheme later.

Who are the players behind the "Digital Transformation" and all the other "Digital Concepts"?

I find Siemen at the top, with McKinsey in their pocket influencing those at the WEF. Now Dassault, PTC, Rockwell and a few others seeing the gold in them thar hills have joined in.

The follow article tries to do damage control on the original article. They understand this survey could completely sink the Digital Transformation marketing effort if the CEOs catch on and quit listening to their CIOs. Their recommended solutions are nothing more than putting "Lipstick on a Pig".

Digital Transformation
Is Not About Technology

"A recent 
survey of  directors, CEOs, and senior executives found that digital transformation (DT) risk is their #1 concern in 2019. Yet 70% of all DT initiatives do not reach their goals. Of the $1.3 trillion that was spent on DT last year, it was estimated that $900 billion went to waste. Why do some DT efforts succeed and others fail?"

It is not about why some DT efforts succeed is why so many fail!
I want to make sure this statistic sinks in!
A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money!

I posted this comment on the this article on the Harvard Business Review and they removed it. I have found the InfoTech world cannot tolerate any negative comments. It is a bunch of bobble heads with a huge vested interest!

30% benefited from Digital Transformation? It is hardly worth the effort! I expect there is no one with enough applicable knowledge to implement effective DT and I suppose they all still got paid.

The world has been digitized (computerized) since the introduction of the PC! It is obvious to me that DT is nothing but a marketing scheme to keep the money flowing, trillion$ is not trivial. The InfoTech world is the most "Silo'd" group there is.

How do you operate in a world that always needs to be transformed? There is obviously huge amounts money in transforming. The engineering world is in chaos because those that implemented the transformation had no understanding of the engineering process.

This chaos always ensues when trying to reinvent the wheel in a place where the wheel is very well defined.

The CIO (Fox) now sits at the right hand of the CEO. All departments now report to the CIO because he/she who control the software control the company!

The Fox is in charge of the hen house!

You CEOs should wake up and find a way to kill the Fox. Infotechs should be in a subservient role to those that have the knowledge to get the job done.

Here are a few more articles showing the failure of PLM and DT!

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Is Your Company Ready For Digital Product Life Cycle Management?

"However, before your company rushes into digital PLM or other digital transformations, it's important to recognize that not everyone is doing it. And some companies are failing at large digital initiatives. A recent report shows that 51% of companies have stalled or abandoned IT transformation initiatives. Earlier this year, HBR wrote about major digital transformation failures for companies like GE and Lego."


Why So Many High-Profile Digital Transformations Fail

"GE is hardly the only company to run into performance issues and sooner-than-expected executive departures in the midst of a huge digital transformation effort. Lego recently defunded its Digital Designer virtual building program. Nike halved the size of its digital unit in 2014 by discontinuing its Nike+ Fuelband activity tracker and some other investments. Procter & Gamble wanted to become “the most digital company on the planet” in 2012, but ran into growth challenges in a difficult economy. Burberry set out to be the world’s best digital luxury brand, but performance began to suffer after initially improving. Ford invested heavily in digital initiatives only to see its stock price lag due to cost and quality issues elsewhere in the company. These companies spent millions to develop digital products, infrastructures, and brand accompaniments, and got tremendous media and investor attention, only to encounter significant performance challenges, and often shareholder dissent. At P&G, then-CEO Bob McDonald was asked to leave by his board, as was Ford CEO Mark Fields. At Lego and Burberry, the CEOs leading the digital charge stepped into lesser roles."

IT in Transition: How IT Leaders Are Faring

1. Common challenges that derail projects

Looking at Figure 1, we see more than half of respondents (51%) reported challenges that made them stall or abandon IT transformation initiatives. An even larger number — 65% of respondents in big organizations of 10,000+ employees — also found this to be true

The above survey does not give the specifics of the failures or successes. What are these initiatives or at least what is the nature of them. This is why I find the InfoTech world the most Silo'd group. Nothing is in specifics. They constantly talk in terms of ambiguous "DATA", never defining what that data is!

How in the world did a draftsman that has sold PC based 3D CAD/CAM and provided engineering services for 32 years come to see this problem?

The 1980's - 3D CAD - The Beginning

The Data Management Mess

PLM & PDM Defined

The Death of PLM

Engineering Documentation - A Primer for the PLM Guru!

CADKEY or Catia? Boeing’s Billion-Dollar 3D CAD Mistake!

The Worst to Best 3D MCAD Systems Expanded!

Of course, the term Digital Transformation is horribly ambiguous.

The authors of these articles seem to blame a mindset. So now we have a group of people that have the right mindset trying to make a completely unworkable ambiguous process work.

We must first ask what is Digital Transformation? 

I suppose I could say I have been in the DT business for 32 years by providing CAD/CAM solutions to the NW. And then I could say, I do TRUE DT and you wouldn’t have a clue what my solution is.

This is the problem with many of these terms. They are coined by those that have an overall concept. Like IOT, what is it? There are no actual specific definitions, like system or software solutions. It seems to be just some sort of category. Is IOT a form of DT? See what I mean. This begs this question. Is it this ambiguity on purpose? 

In these articles they define how to set your mind-set right by asking questions that will make your DT selection or implementation more effective.

I saw this group that was offering “Digital” solutions. Nope, not DT just digital. As you can see there is no basic common focus on this ambiguous term.

I quizzed her on her solution. She was basically offering operational system optimization. Now why didn’t she just say that?

Another fellow states after reading the second referenced article that he has been supplying a DT solution for 10 years. What does he really do? He provides a machine shop management software. He seems to think using DT as a marketing moniker would open more doors.

I supply DT solutions! Ahh come on, “What do you really do?”

Joe Brouwer