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Digital transformation & High-Tech company, 5 pitfalls to avoid

"Life is made of obstacles" is what your grandfather used to tell you. And you understood it well the day you started a company or decided to manage a team.
There are pitfalls everywhere and mistakes that we would like to know more about before launching ourselves.
As far as digital transformation, digital, or "digitalization" is concerned, call it as you like, it's exactly the same thing! It's a path full of pitfalls that awaits you. So we prefer to avoid you falling into it. That's why this article gives you some advice on the major pitfalls to avoid before embarking on a digital transformation project. "One person warned is worth two!"

"The world is a landmark full of traps and pitfalls."

📌 Definition: Digital transformation

Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology into all aspects of the business, requiring fundamental changes in technology, culture, operations, and value creation. To take full advantage of emerging technologies and their rapid expansion into human activities, a company must reinvent itself by radically transforming all its processes and models.
Source: Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Pitfall 1: Believing that digital transformation is not for High-Tech companies

Ne nous faites pas rire ! La transformation numérique c’est aussi pour les entreprises technologiques

"I'm a company that sells a SaaS, so you can imagine that my digital transformation was done a long time ago!" Don't make us believe that digital transformation "is for the other guys". It's a topic that concerns everyone and especially every tech company in the world. Often seen as a background subject because the products or services sold are technological, this sad reality leaves many very small companies, SMEs and even large groups, to be overwhelmed by the events.

It is often said that the shoemaker is the worst off, and this is also true for High-Tech companies.

  • Do you still have an Excel-based CRM?
  • You still send your newsletters from lists using Gmail or Outlook?
  • Your Accounting system is not integrated with your CRM. Nor is your webinar tool?
  • You still view your data in 12 different tools and take 3 days to produce reports where the error margin is close to 90%?
  • You still ask your web agency to develop an additional banner on your website?

Some of you recognize yourselves, and some of you don't (fortunately!). But it's never too late to change and bring your business up to speed. Digital transformation is not only about the technological tools you use, but much more.

Pitfall 2: Limiting digital transformation to tools or technologies

Débutez un projet de transformation numérique par faire évoluer votre organisation

Installing a sustainable digital transition project does not mean that it is only about implementing software or any other technological tool.
Digital transformation goes far beyond working tools, it is above all a renewal in the way of thinking about processes, in the approach to your product or service and sometimes even a change of direction in your business model.

First of all, before thinking about adopting technological tools, you need to gear the transformation towards new practices, towards innovation, towards a more agile organization to meet market requirements, or a new culture based on new values. The tools and technologies support the transformation choices and not the other way around.

Digital transformation is above all about questioning your model, your organization, your practices and your culture.

Don't be afraid!
We see you coming "I'm fine with my business model and I have a healthy company culture that everyone adheres to, why would I change?!" We're not telling you to question EVERYTHING. You have to take it one step at a time. Your initial "foundation", the reason your company exists, is not going to change at all. Nevertheless, you should start with small changes, such as :

  • Your working methods: the way you hold a meeting for example or interview your employees.
  • Your organizational processes: your sales processes, the daily work between your marketing and sales teams or the problem solving processes for your customer service and technical teams.
  • Your employee practices: evolving communication practices between teams, recording and saving information so that it is accessible to all and consistent, encouraging traceability of work to ensure continuity, etc.

Pitfall 3: Proceeding with a digital transformation of all your departments at the same time

Toute transformation digitale implique un changement

We're not telling you that your accounting or HR department should stay with its big binders and notebooks, its slips of paper and its old calculator (yes it's a cliché!). No. We're simply telling you that you need to take things one step at a time.

The common mistake is to start off with a head start thinking that all your departments will be able to change at the same time. Many CEOs and executives think that everyone affected by a transformation project will adapt to the changes at the same time and at the same pace.

In reality, everyone takes the time they need to adapt to the new situation and accept the change. The terminology "Resistance to change" is certainly far from being unknown to you. It is in this type of project that resistance to change can cause great damage on a corporate level, and on a personal level, if it is poorly managed.

You must first identify the different segments of your structure that are affected by a transformation according to different axis:

  • their departmental adaptability: Some departments are more risk averse than others based on various criteria: age, year of experience, cohesion, personalities, etc.
  • the business objectives of the concerned team: If the objectives are very high on a team, you are aware that the change will certainly slow down the results to begin with, it may not be the right time.
  • the role of each team member in this project: You need a referent, one or two people that you engage more in the project.

Make sure that all the stakeholders in the change process receive the right information, support and motivation, in a timely manner.

The idea is to avoid frustrations and get the project off to a good start. If you find "leaders", people who want to, involve them and give them the resources (time, training, financial rewards, etc.) so that they gather people around them on this digital transformation project.

If you don't have anyone in-house to take on this role, then consider bringing in outside forces (consulting firms, agencies, training, etc). You need to know how to properly engage and monitor such a large digital transformation project for it to succeed and for everyone to benefit.

Pitfall 4: Not having a plan before tackling digital transformation in your business

Organisez et planifiez votre transition numérique

Digital transformation is different for each company, there is no miracle formula to implement it and ensure its success. Nevertheless, one thing is certain, it is a heavy project that needs to be thought through and organized. Here are some key steps:

Make a plan of the elements to be transformed

  • Think carefully about how you want to grow.
  • Where do you want to start?
  • Determine what processes need to be changed to achieve your goals.
  • Identify the resources available that can be dedicated to this transition.
  • Change the priority of some of your projects (Yes, you're not going to be able to do everything at once! And don't put it off. You have to go for it!)
  • Identify the obstacles that could hinder the digital transformation process and find solutions to implement beforehand (better to anticipate!)
  • Determine a progressive timeframe to reach your goals.

Organize the adhesion of your employees around the project

This process can be complicated because the new models "disrupt" the traditional models. Some of your employees will be more comfortable with this new model, and others less so.

Digital transformation must be accepted. It is necessary to accompany the change and the people who will implement it. Alone, we will get nowhere.

  • Communicate on the concrete gains it will bring in the daily life of each individual.
  • Prove the usefulness of this transition with figures, diagrams, drawings, etc.
  • Ask them for their opinions, and get them involved. Your employees should not be spectators but actors in the change.
  • Raise the obstacles, fears, and objections (by preparing yourself).
  • Give them the necessary resources to feel invested in this mission and succeed together: training, tools, support, etc.
  • Give meaning to this project "If we evolve today, it is to be more successful tomorrow. We will make more sales by changing our practices, and that is beneficial for everyone!".

Map the existing technology to make it evolve

Keeping legacy technology has a -falsely- comforting side: Everyone knows how to use it, you know the price, it is useful in the mission, etc. However, it is not a good practice in a digital transition project to keep aging technologies.

The idea of upgrading "old" technology in your company indefinitely, for comfort, is a bad practice. It is very expensive, energy intensive and complex.

Often these technologies are no longer profitable, they do not offer adequate functions for the current market, they sometimes disappear all of a sudden in favor of a brand-new tool, etc. Too many discomforts in the end! This can paralyze your company as a whole.

  • Map your machines, your tools, your software, your devices whatever they are.
  • Identify the priorities to change (according to your objectives, your budgets, etc.).
  • Train and coach employees on the new tools.

Reason intelligently, new technologies are globally easier to use, and more efficient and they offer a better experience to customers and employees.
You will only come out as a winner!

❓Migration of resources and data, how does it happen in the digital transformation

A great stress for many managers or team leaders, and even for operational staff, is to lose data during the change of technology or to lose know-how, a skill, a human resource, etc.
It is essential in this phase of "migration" whatever the tool, to be accompanied. How many companies have gone into it alone and found themselves crying over lost resources? Far too many!
The best digital transition is the one that is accompanied.

Pitfall 5: Waiting for the "right moment" and jumping in by yourself

La transformation numérique est un projet sur le long terme

The "right time" is different for everyone. What you think is the right time will be the wrong time for some and vice versa. Keep in mind that your digital transformation is fully integrated to your business strategy, so there is no particular moment that is good or bad, there are only small steps to accomplish.

There is no ideal time, only opportune times to attack your digital transformation.

Integrating this digital transition into your internal culture and your strategy allows you to mobilize all stakeholders and ensure their support, even the highest authorities (management committee, shareholders, investment funds, etc.).
Transformation is the ability to adapt to the unpredictable and to put men and women, whether they are employees, customers or suppliers, at the center of the process!

On the other hand, besides the momentum, don't think you can do it alone like a valiant knight. Most of the structures are supported in the digital transformation because when it is such a big project for the organization, if it is badly managed, the consequences can be quite disastrous (loss of data, demobilization of the troops, confusion in the processes, bad information, decreasing results, etc).

Being guided in its transformation is a factor of success. It is necessary to know how to involve consultants to progress very quickly in maturity on complex subjects. This stage of transformation is only the first phase of a recurring series of transformations where expertise facilitates agility, cohesion, and decision-making.


All companies, whether they are large, medium, or small, regardless of their sector of activity, fear change. Not because it is bad (quite the contrary!) but because it requires energy, planning, and mobilization at all levels. However, one of the major projects of our century is that of digitalization, the transition to digital, not only in the tools but also and especially in the organizational processes and cultural practices. It is about replacing your traditional interactions with new experiences.

Often companies are forced to make this digital transition. Unfortunately, they do not make the full choice to do so. Being pushed to the wall is never good for business! A company that chooses change and adapts to a more agile model is largely better equipped to succeed. Indeed, undertaking a digital transformation means taking into consideration all aspects of an organization and thinking about how to modernize them so that it can continue to evolve along with technology.

Here are some ways to start or continue your transition:

  • Improve your processes: New technologies allow you to automate the simplest processes to remove the middleman from more complex processes. This makes you more agile and allows you to capitalize on your human resources.
  • Find new sources of revenue: Some opportunities that may not have been available to you before are now possible thanks to emerging technologies and their "democratization".
  • Build more personalized and engaging experiences for your customers: Today's customers expect that you listen to them and respond to their specific needs. You need to offer them a unique experience and position yourself as an expert who guides them through their lives. A brand is no longer associated with a simple product or service sold but with much more!

We answer frequent questions about digital transformation for High-Tech companies

Am I "forced" to digitally transform my business when everything is currently working well?

There is no obligation other than to be profitable for any business, otherwise you would probably be a non-profit! Nobody will "force" you to follow a digital transformation process. Nevertheless, it is better to think about it anyway, rather than getting to a complicated moment where you realize that your products or services are no longer adapted to the market, that your results are falling, that your competitors have adopted new positions or that your customers end up complaining and leaving.
Thinking about a transformation is not necessarily about taking action right away. It's about making a smart plan to move forward gradually and integrating that plan into your business strategy.

How to find the right tools to transform my processes?

There are a lot of tools, machines, and technological software. We advise you to map the existing and prioritize according to your needs. Don't forget that all the resources linked to the tools (human beings, data and others) will need to be adapted and, also, to evolve. There are several sites that allow you to compare technology tools in your field. Check out the ratings, the comments, ask around, make your own comparisons, see how it fits into your organization, how much it costs and over what period the tool will be sustainable, etc.
Above all, prioritize! You can't have everything. "You can't fit circles into squares, you will have to make choices and non-choices.

Where do I start my digital transformation?

Begin by settling down, choosing someone who can help you, and then making a plan. Don't go off like a fury and say, "Next month, let's go!" Measure your resources carefully and engage your collaborators. Find "team leaders" who will support you in deploying the transition. Set milestones and manage it as a project that is fully integrated with your strategic directions and business objectives.

Do I need support to undertake the digital transformation?

Yes, yes and yes! We can't repeat it often enough, this is a "structural" project for your company that requires the support of some experts. The advantage of an external expert such as a consultant or an agency is, beyond the expertise, its external position which will help you to develop your project internally. He will help you to follow good practices, to progress correctly in the project and to bring legitimacy to your collaborators. An expert knows the major steps of implementation and above all he knows the pitfalls to avoid! He or she will save you time, money and energy and will ensure that the project is completed in an agile and fluid manner.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment or contact us :)


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