Guest Blog

Top Reasons Why Enterprises Fail with Digital Adoption

Top Reasons Why Enterprises Fail with Digital Adoption

No business that wants to gain a competitive edge and survive in the digital age can afford to ignore digital transformation. That’s because digital transformation is proven to boost operational efficiency, ensure faster time to market, and enhance a business’s ability to exceed customer expectations. 

But digital transformation is more than a mere buzzword. Many businesses fail to leverage digital transformation. Research shared by BCG revealed that 70% of the digital transformation efforts fall short of their objectives, often with profound consequences.  

Digital transformation failures continue to plague business success because most digital adoption strategies, a critical aspect of DX, aren’t working as planned.  

Here’s why digital adoption isn’t yielding the benefits businesses expect. Further in the post, we will also share how enterprises can leverage digital adoption to drive business growth.  

Not Investing in the Full Stack of Technology 

When executing digital transformation strategies, businesses should look at the full stack of the required technologies that can help them achieve their digital objectives. Failing to do so can lead to failure.  

For instance, businesses desiring to drive digital adoption should focus on several aspects, namely creating a video-first communication environment, building an impressive website using these free website templates, investing in employee communication, installing security and compliance infrastructure, and more. 

Businesses should analyze their goals, look at the complete technology stack that can help them achieve the goals and implement their digital transformation projects.  

Not Knowing What Digital Adoption Is 

One of the biggest reasons why organizations fail in their digital adoption efforts is that they don’t understand what terms like digital transformation and digital adoption truly mean. A few organizations believe that it’s simply an upgraded form of IT that needs investment in innovative technologies. Others believe that it is about transforming the business digitally to boost employee productivity.  

Failing to have the right mindset when implementing digital adoption can cause your strategies to underperform or fail altogether. Most teams are intrinsically averse to change. Hence, business leaders must know what digital adoption is and bring about the right mindset needed for such successful transformations.   

Digital adoption is the state in which users can use digital tools for their business to achieve goals to the fullest extent. It is what allows businesses to understand the potential of their digital resources and leverage technology to the fullest to drive innovation and optimize resources.  

CEOs and business leaders need to get behind the transformation by setting the tone and model for behavior. Further, they need to operationalize these behaviors. Hence, they must understand digital adoption well and educate/convince people that it will help them go in the direction that the company desires.  

Underestimating the Nature of Digital Adoption 

Digital adoption is extremely disruptive by nature. It leverages new combinations of talent and technology to deliver stellar customer and operational efficiencies. It streamlines processes and harnesses data, thus driving positive outcomes bringing together all enterprise processes for a common purpose.  

However, most businesses underestimate the nature of digital adoption. Business leaders often tend to overlook how disruptive these digital tools can be. This is a common occurrence in the business world. No wonder, many businesses neglect employee training during digital adoption efforts.  

Several brands like Kodak, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and Ford failed in their digital transformation efforts because these brands failed to anticipate its disruptive nature.  

The adoption of innovative digital tools can disrupt the way your business operates. It can change the processes, the way your team interacts with customers, and the service lineup.  

The consequences of investing in digital adoption are far-reaching. Hence, change management is a big aspect of digital adoption. Failing to understand how digital adoption will impact your business processes will cause your employees to be underprepared for the change. Hence, it is important to plan the potential outcomes of digital adoption.  

Holding on to Legacy Systems 

Legacy systems are essential pieces of business infrastructure that demand heavy maintenance. That’s because these systems are complex and aren’t built to interface well with most pieces of technology. Moreover, their maintenance cost is high. 

The result is, most enterprises end up with a multilayered architecture that comprises middleware and connectors that make it easy to build on top of core technologies. However, legacy systems are often outdated and aren’t able to keep pace with the ever-evolving technology changes. 

Digitization is triggering a change and businesses need to evolve faster than ever to stay in the game. Hence, when legacy systems become a burden it’s wise to let go of them, else they will bring down process efficiency.  

Digital adoption is not just about innovating. It involves an investment of time, money, and resources to stay relevant and competitive.  

Driving Digital Adoption in a Silo 

In 2014, the American automobile multinational, Ford, gave a shot at digital transformation by starting a new digital service, Smart Mobility. Instead of integrating its digital solutions, Ford decided to keep this service separate from the rest of the company.  

The goal of Ford Smart Mobility was to build digitally-enabled cars with improved mobility. However, the siloed service was slow in driving forward digital transformation and more so because it wasn’t integrated into the rest of Ford. It was located away from Ford headquarters. Hence, it was seen as a separate entity with no cohesion to other business units.  

The result was that the firm faced quality concerns despite pumping a lot of money into the initiative. Further, Ford’s stock price dropped.  

The lesson we learn here is that companies should always integrate digital adoption initiatives with the other business units. Failing to do so can lead to wasted resources, user frustration, and low productivity.  

Hence, make sure you prioritize 360-degree integration when implementing digital adoption.  

Failing to Hire the Right People 

Not hiring the right talent to implement your initiatives is a big reason why enterprises fail with digital adoption. It’s a no-brainer that people who do not have a clear understanding and experience of managing these initiatives will not be able to implement them.  

So, any leader who thinks that they can digitally transform their business with a team that is not prepared to tackle the challenges that might come their way is in for failure. This is especially true for non-digital firms that lack digitally-skilled teams.

Finding skilled and experienced people to drive these initiatives is a challenge because there’s a dearth of talent in fields like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity.  

Yet, firms should invest in finding and hiring talent who can manage the initiative when something goes wrong.


Digital adoption isn’t just modern business jargon. It has become imperative to business success, especially in the backdrop of the pandemic and all the disruption it has brought in. However, successfully implementing digital adoption isn’t easy. Businesses have experienced a fair share of failure with these initiatives.  

A Digital Adoption Platform like Apty is designed to empower Enterprises to achieve end-to-end Digital Adoption success. From training and onboarding new and existing employees, to ensuring pan-organizational process compliance, this tool can transform the way your company perceives Digital Transformation.  


This is a guest blog by Hazel Raoult, freelance marketing writer.

Originally posted on March 14, 2022

Hazel Raoult
Written by Hazel Raoult

Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.

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