Digital Transformation GE: The Lessons From Its DX Failure

What did you know about “Digital Transformation GE”? GE is the abbreviation of “General Electric.” General Electric’s digital transformation earned the attention of many expounders and IT leaders. So, what can we learn from what seems to be a failing digital transformation of General Electric?

General Electric’s Failed Digital Transformation

General Electric is an iconic business conglomerate. It possesses major operations in Aerospace. As well as Transportation and Power, together with major financing arms.

A few years ago, GE engaged in a large digital transformation strategy. But its ambitions for digital transformation went the other way. How so?

General Electric hit a rough patch after missing its earnings. Its CEO Jeff Immelt has resigned due to the corporate tumult. Then the new CEO, John Flannery, indicates a new set of priorities.

He announced that future sales efforts will be focusing on the existing sectors. Instead of going after new industries.

The Lessons We Can Learn

There are 4 main reasons why digital transformation projects fail. So keep this in mind to avoid the common pitfalls of the road ahead. As you embark on your journey towards digitalization.

#1: The Digital Initiative Has No Business Focus As Well As A Quantifiable Rollout Plan

A solid business focus is important to a digital platform. Especially in solving quantifiable business challenges.

Additionally, the approach around business disruption fails due to the following:

  • The political challenges.
  • Applying too many changes too soon.
  • Has no clear focus as well as a manageable action plan.
  • Taking up resources and disrupting existing good performing business models.

So, once you see success, roll it out to projects and continue expanding your transformation.

#2: Avoid Pigeonholing Your Technology Investments

Even modern technologies offer innovative opportunities, never neglect your existing legacy applications and systems. Greenfield applications can be built using new technologies. But, it is vital to remember that the new tech needs to balance with support for the legacy.

Moreover, enterprise must-haves must be supported across both legacies. As well as new technology investments.

Also, remember that if you choose to modernize your infrastructure:

  • No technology fits all for all your needs. And,
  • You never know what better things would come tomorrow.

#3: The Disabled Developers

The innovative business functionality depends on how we enable our engineers to go fast and get things done. And most digital transformation fails simply because they lack it.

Developers often lead the digital transformation. They also develop and adopt new capabilities around software development and delivery.

So, enable your developers. When they’re more productive, choose tools and processes that allow them to easily build and ship products more.

#4: They Did Not Do Any Experiments Along The Way

To be ‘digital’ means rethinking beyond core products and services. And a ‘culture of experimentation’ as well as ‘trying new things’ is the key tenant of DevOps and digital transformation.

Additionally, most digital disruptors realize the fact that digital and cloud transformation is a long time journey. So, they expect that their IT team will do experimentation along the way. They often adjust courses or choose tools and processes that allow other teams to easily experiment themselves too.

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