Did you know that 84% of company transformation projects fail?

Here’s a two-pronged approach you can adopt to avoid this.

Research by Forrester Consulting1 has found that organisations by-and-large understand the need to compete with one another based on customer experience, with 87% of them agreeing that traditional experiences are no longer enough to satisfy customers.

With the omnipresent impact of automation, artificial intelligence and other job-threatening developments, companies have been willing to break the bank to invest in their futures. In fact, businesses have spent nearly $4 trillion on tech2 last year.

And yet, 84% of transformation projects fail3. It therefore begs the question, why then, is the rate of failure that high?

In 2019, AVADO polled 2,000 employees globally, to find out the state of the workplace in the age of constant digital transformation. This poll included 350 C-suite leaders and 350 HR managers and had questions that analysed factors such as training methods, office culture and professional capabilities.

What we found was astonishing. Leaders are aware that change is disruptive. However, they often underestimate its impact on the existing workforce. Change at work is one of the most stressful things an employee can experience, and not enough is being done to ensure that they feel confident about the future. Should businesses take simple steps to mitigate these impacts, the rate of failure could be drastically reduced.

Employees are feeling vulnerable

its impact on the existing workforce

Whilst it’s not an earth-shattering revelation that rest-of-organisation employees would feel a greater degree of negative emotions in the advent of digital business transformation than their C-suite counterparts, finding out why this is so, is key. Employees are feeling vulnerable, confused and overwhelmed. And something must be done to alleviate this.

Employees wish for more training

Our poll revealed that wasted training opportunities are a key contributor towards reduced morale. 75% of the employees who were polled felt that they could have had more training to deal with the changes that were occurring and almost half didn’t feel like their managers had prioritised training at all. Negative feelings such as inadequacy would then lead to a loss of productivity and a toxic work environment, resulting in employees who leave the organisation. However, if the solution is to simply train more employees, why hasn’t it worked yet?

C-suite executives are prioritising investments in tech over people

HR Executives believe more attention should be given to training

43% of C-suite executives indicate that ‘Updating Technology and Software’ is an area that needs more attention versus the 38% of HR Executives and Hiring Managers who indicated this. However, only 27% of C-suite executives believe more attention is needed to be given to training, compared to the 49% of HR Executives and Hiring Managers who believe in that.

The main problem, therefore, is that C-suite executives are prioritising investments in tech over talent development. And the far-reaching consequences have resulted in the astonishing rate of failure in businesses transformation projects. So how can HR Executives and Hiring Managers help their respective C-suite executives recognise this problem?

Here’s how AVADO can help

Capability Audit

AVADO has a two-pronged approach which organisations can adopt in order to achieve successful digital business transformation. Firstly, there is a need to build consensus amongst leadership teams that training will help the business with its transformation goals, and secondly there is a need to strengthen capabilities across the entire organisation.

AVADO’s Capability Audit is a tried and tested process which delivers valuable insights and a clear action plan to aid an organisation with the transformation process. It provides a complete picture of areas of strength and weakness at both a strategic and operational level, from the perspective of the employees, within four key areas: mission and vision, people and capabilities, culture, and skills.

AVADO works with an organisation to build a customised online survey, manages the launch and engagement process to ensure high completion levels, and produces and presents a detailed report with qualitative and quantitative data that finishes with clear recommendations and next steps.

And it can be rather alarming, for example, when a company finds that only 18% of its existing workforce believes that there is enough digital knowledge and capabilities within the organisation to keep up with the competition.

This audit serves as a critical first step which can be used by HR and L & D executives to provide business leaders with a firm grasp of the exact training, development and resourcing needed to make the highest impact within the organisation.

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To learn more about how AVADO’s Data Leadership Bootcamp and Capability Audit can help your business achieve its transformational goals, drop us an email at



1 Forrester 2019 Report: CMO-CIO Collaboration – Resolving the paradox

2CNBC 2019 Article: 4 trillion in tech spending here’s where the money is going

3 Forbes 2018 Report: Why 84% of companies fail at digital transformation

Radzif Nasri

Radzif Nasri

Digital Marketing Manager - APAC

Posted January 17, 2020