With more than 500 Million Indians having access to the internet, a number expected to register double-digit growth in 2019, the Indian market is already double the size of the US market in terms of internet subscribers.

And as the country leaps ahead in its digital growth life-cycle, India’s core digital sectors are expected to double their GDP contribution by 2025, growing to anywhere between $355 billion and $435 billion.

There sure are exciting times ahead of us. But where there is light, there must be shadow, and businesses must be wary of the biggest risk factor in 2019, 'Digital Transformation Risk'. Of all the Dollars spent on digital transformation last year, a stark 70% went to waste. But why do most of such digital projects fail?

#1: Getting the Strategy Right
McKinsey rightly points out that the most difficult part about any digital transformation project is not determining what to do but rather how to do it. Whether you are looking to transform a particular segment of your business, or you are setting up a whole new digital business altogether, strategy always comes first.

There are no points for successfully building the Titanic to transport yourself to Mars, and it is the same with Digital. Make sure you know exactly what you are building, but more importantly, understand the ‘why’, understanding who is the end consumer. What are their pain points? What are you about to simplify for them?

#2: Consult an Expert
It is good to learn from your mistakes, but even better to learn from others’ mistakes. Once you have your strategy in place, it is best to find an expert to consult or someone who has previously executed a similar digital transformation project. Make sure you scrutinize every aspect of your plan and hash out all of its nitty-gritties.

Often, what a third-party perspective also brings to the table is complete detachment from something that you might be holding dear - could be an idea, or even a specific technology. There are always better and smarter ways of getting across the line, and you should always be open to it.

#3: Align Your Teams
One of the biggest risk factors with digital transformation is the adoption and sustainable effort that your teams must put in for the success of the project. Make sure you have the right team in place to spearhead specialized areas of work that may seem new to you. Hire if you must, but make sure that you are able to eliminate all waste that can arise out of poor execution.

#4: Do Not Waste Time
Once you have checked all boxes and double checked your plan, speed is of the essence. A lot of the effort and hard work can go to waste if the output of your Digital Transformation initiative is delayed. In today’s dynamic business world, requirements change at the drop of a hat and delayed market feedback can lead to expensive course correction that could otherwise have been avoided.

Digital Transformation may seem misty and confusing at first, but the impact always outweigh the costs as long as you are equipped with the right strategy and people. Focus on the ‘why’ before you start shopping for the tools that will be the ‘how’ - technology is a mere enabler.