Top 5 Challenges on the Road to Digital Transformation and Solutions to Overcome Them
Digital transformation is no longer an option for businesses but a necessity. Advanced technologies have started to impact and have transformed the way people communicate, collaborate and interact with business. For most CEOs, it is a matter of survival in the evolving business landscape.
According to a 2018 survey by Tech Pro Research, 70% of survey respondents said that business heads either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one. Also, the IT digital transformation budgets have been increased by CEOs and other senior level executives in the past couple of years.
It is widely accepted by C-level executives that most businesses digital solutions are critical to the success of many businesses; but still the percentage of brands that have invested in the transformation strategy is staggeringly less.
- What contributes to such a low adoption rate despite the huge success by some brands?
- What's stopping the C-level executives from embracing digital transformation solutions?
As a business head, if these are the questions you're seeking answers to, this post will help!
Before deep diving into the challenges and solutions, let's explore what digital transformation really is and why it is critical for modern-day businesses.
What is Digital Transformation
According to a latest report from McKinsey, a majority of incumbents who do not respond to embracing digital transformation fail miserably. Only the aggressive movers, who adopt the transformation early are at the top of the game currently.
As many presume, business transformation doesn't mean shaking up just a few processes here and there or implementing one or two innovative technologies to enhance a business' performance and efficiency. It takes more than that.
Digital transformation is all about transforming a business' model, processes, people and operations using advanced digital technology/solutions. It's about transforming the entire company not just parts, but completely.
The transformation will impact not just businesses and its employees but also the stakeholders associated with the brand. Transforming any business digitally should be executed with extreme care and diligence.
Here are some benefits of digital transformation
- Supercharged customer acquisition and retention
- Streamlined workflow and operations
- Explosive reach
- Accurate insights and foresights for better decision making
- Faster time to market
Well, now it's time to focus on digital transformation challenges and how to overcome them.
Top Digital Transformation Challenges for Businesses
Lack of definition and leadership buy-in
According to a CIO Report, most digital transformation failures have happened because of poor strategy and undefined scope and implementation by CEOs. A report from the Harvard University Review reveals that many CEOs of top brands like P&G, GE, McDonalds, and Ford were asked to step down due to having challenges embarking the growing digital age and customer needs.
- The definition of digital transformation varies amongst businesses. Sticking to a defined methodology of business and applying the same on another is highly impractical, given the ever-evolving customers' behaviors and needs.
- A top reason why most C-level executives give up on the digital transformation is the number of initiatives to be taken against measurable outputs.
- Taking it to employees is a huge roadblock for many business heads. 90% of the workforce generally don't like adapting to sudden changes in their operations. This again impacts the efficiency and performance of the business.
- Data security is a concern for most visionaries as cybersecurity is fast and ever-changing. Even the latest reports from industry research experts like Forrester and Gartner are pointing towards the same concerns.
- Another huge barrier that halts the digital transformation juggernaut from rolling is missing the clear picture of what the evolution is all about. Only business heads that understand the digital regime will completely say YES to the raging concept and others may just fail to get the best out of this.
CEOs should have a clear strategic plan based on digital transformation metrics. Who will be impacted and how it will influence performance and efficiency? Also, discussing with employees and briefing them about the transformation planned would help business heads understand the real-time problems they face and measures to fix them.
Lack of understanding digital culture/solutions and its significance
Many businesses fail to understand the necessity of creating a digital culture inside an organization, even before planning for a transformation.
This is extremely critical as most stakeholders in the company may not be prepared for a change. As a result, a potential drop in performance and employee efficiency can be expected during the transition phase.
The reason for failure is often because most companies endorse the transformation process without considering the stakeholders on the transformation path. This frequently hits hard on the efficiency of these businesses.
So, creating awareness and necessitating to employees, customers, and stakeholders of the business the significance of transformation and the much-needed performance boost is critical for consistent growth.
Creating a digital culture across the organization. Encouraging employees and other stakeholders to grow accustom to the digital culture, tools, technology, and solutions will help businesses persuade the workforce during the transformation phase.
Starting slow is the key. Explaining the transformation process and allowing the stakeholders to settle in will ensure a successful business transformation.
Lack of clarity on the transformation budget/having a limited budget
Zeroing in on the budget for developing digital solutions and transformation process can be bewildering for most business heads. As this is an evolving process, fixing a finite budget for the overall development and implementation of solutions can be extremely painful.
The budget involves the technology, infrastructure and resources investments to develop an intelligent digital solution like a chatbot or Virtual Assistant to beat the competition.
As customer demands constantly evolve, adjusting to the market requires more investments and may exceed the actual budget set earlier.
This lack of clarity on budget slows down decision making and forces the leaders to step back when it comes to digital transformation funding.
Having a strategy in place for the long-term with a budget in mind is recommended to avoid potential financial risks of the company.
With meticulous planning and a thorough understanding of the digital solutions and culture setting, a budget that deviates minimally from the actual estimation is highly possible.
Limited digital expertise or lack of understanding of end user experience
Well, to provide fitting customer service through the latest digital technology or solution, the business must come up with a robust product/service.
Creating a winning product/solution requires a specialized approach and hands-on experience in devising a meticulous digital strategy, exposure to tools and technology, and successfully transforming a business.
Most businesses that plan to develop an advanced solution fall short to experts/expertise in their respective domains/technologies to only develop solutions that are not attuned to customer needs.
Understanding the business and client's end users is extremely critical during the transformation phase and achieving this without a team of experts is hard. It takes years of experience and expertise to understand the business better and what end users want.
Lack of resource availability and resource management planning
A shortage of resources available and poor resource management planning can hurt businesses. So, even before developing a product roadmap, it is a must to analyze the resources available to set the project in motion seamlessly.
Poor planning with a lack of resources results in below par results and this will eventually bring down the performance of the business.
A finite strategic plan in place, even before getting started with the transformation process, is critical as this might help business heads understand how to plan resources accordingly.
Creating a pool of talents with strong prowess on technology and solutions is a must to strategize, develop, and deliver on-time without any compromise in quality.
Digital transformation requires a careful approach and having a novice team will make the job difficult during the transition phase. Have a clear plan for the resources available and using them to take the business forward.
From the above discussion, it's evident that the success of a digital transformation doesn't rely on the technology or tools, but on the people executing. Most leaders that achieved digital success have thorough planning, long-term strategy, skillful resources, and clarity of budget.
Give your business a new dimension and take it to the next level with our digital transformation experience and expertise. Don't know how to get started? We can help!