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Stop thinking of only tech in digital transformation

Coworkers in a conference room
Success could hinge on an organizational shift.
Coworkers in a conference room
May 23, 2023

Successful transformation requires an organizational shift

Digital transformation is more than a technology upgrade — it’s a holistic shift in how organizations use technology.

When done right, businesses can increase their customers and improve productivity. But when done wrong, they’ll lose customers and association on top of their investment.

Businesses need a new leadership mindset, different employee skills and the right infrastructure to make the transformation possible.


  • 69.9

    of digital transformation projects fail

  • 2.4

    will be spent on digital transformation in 2025

Here is how to make sure you’re not among the 87.5% of digital transformation projects that fail.

1. Build the Strategy, then adopt the technology

Start by building a strategy to maximize digital technology’s potential — then pursue upgrades, as necessary, to achieve that vision.

Take a holistic look at the organization and how it functions. Then build a road map and plans to use technology to achieve strategic goals across the business. Your digital transformation strategy should have regular milestones, cost estimates and success metrics.

Don’t set the plan and forget it. Fail fast, be agile, learn from mistakes and adjust along the way.

2. Improve employee and customer experience

Technology becomes transformative when it improves the way employees and customers connect to one another.

Look for ways to unify online and in-person systems or to create automated customized offers for customers. Use enhanced data insights to halt costly advertising campaigns that generate low-quality leads, and adopt marketing tools that make customer interactions more meaningful and efficient.

Employees need a 360-degree view of services, service requests and their status. Move data out of clunky spreadsheets, automate routine processes and consolidate system logins to single sign-on.

Use artificial intelligence and data to anticipate customer needs and move them through the buying journey. With first-, second- and third-party data available, you can learn a lot about your customers’ financial search experience before they even reach your website.

  • Build your business case to invest in digital

    Get an in-depth look at how you can calculate your potential return on investment in our How to determine your tech ROI e-book.

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3. Integrate systems in real time

Integrating many legacy systems can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Figure out a way to include an engagement layer in real time — not in near time or in batch processes.

Integration becomes transformative when it creates business intelligence, speeds up operations and drives better decision-making. It can also lead to faster response times for customers and more first call resolutions.

4. Gain leadership buy-in

Digital transformation requires resource commitments and support from the CEO. Link the technology plan to bigger-picture business strategies and be clear about how you’ll measure success and demonstrate ROI.

5. Manage change

Many organizations blame transformation failures on technology. But usually, their plans didn’t address people, processes or culture. Make sure you build a change management plan into the digital transformation road map to manage the impact on personnel and culture.

For instance, as you increase automation, look for ways to redeploy or upskill staff into new positions. And don’t assume everyone is eager to embrace change, especially if they’ve been inundated with new technologies and processes.


Wipfli supports digital transformations every day. We can help you write a technology road map and select the right tools for your business, culture and goals. Our technologists can even implement and manage applications for you. Let’s start planning your transformation today with the right digital strategy.

  • Billy Collins
    Billy Collins
    Senior manager
    Billy puts humans at the center of every digital experience. He brings a user-empathetic perspective to digital strategy and product ideation that uncovers hidden ROI opportunities for clients.
    Contact me


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  • 69.9

    of digital transformation projects fail

  • 2.4

    will be spent on digital transformation in 2025