5 Challenges Businesses Face with Digital Transformation
Everyone is talking about digital transformation, but what does it truly mean to transform digitally? It occurs when an organization overhauls its processes, strategies, competencies and day-to-day business operations by leveraging technology capabilities to achieve desired business results. While the specific outcomes are unique to each business, these results often take the form of: improved operational and IT efficiency, greater employee productivity, reduced time to market, more agility with scalable systems, improved sales and marketing functions, stronger cybersecurity posture, and compliant practices. Digital transformation is more of a technological journey than a simple, one-time transformation, but the results fundamentally reshape the business for the better.
When preparing to begin a digital transformation, it is necessary to proactively assess for potential setbacks. With all the business resources involved, the process is an intricate one, requiring careful planning to avoid costly mishaps, resulting in maximizing the process’s ROI.
Before a company undergoes a digital transformation, it is imperative that the goals of the project are clearly defined. If the intentions and priorities are misaligned, this may leave employees or stakeholder groups unsatisfied and portions of the budget lost. This disconnect may be more common than you think. In fact, 69% of businesses say there is a disparity between business leaders and IT professionals about what can be achieved with a digital initiative [Mulesoft Survey].
For example, IT professionals name security, cloud computing, and integration between applications as the top concerns necessitating their businesses’ digital transformation [Mulesoft Survey], whereas business leaders aim to become more competitive amongst their competitors and delight their customers through a more seamless experience [Accenture]. This disparity can be avoided through clear communication and collaborative planning between involved groups.
Culture can make or break the success of your digital transformation. In fact, digital transformation has become increasingly synonymous with cultural revolution, well beyond the technological purview. A toxic or inefficient company culture can undermine employees’ willingness to adopt new technology and processes. As such, investment in the company’s technological infrastructure is not maximized.
Learn more about an effective, workplace culture that supports digital transformation here.
Digital transformation is an investment with a promising ROI if done right. Fifty-six percent of CEOs surveyed said their digital improvements had already increased profits, according to a 2017 Gartner research study. It is a process that requires planning and identification of priorities to successfully achieve all needs with the business’s budget. This planning, when done correctly, will serve as a transformation roadmap, guiding the process from start to finish on time, on scope, and on budget.
While many business leaders account for possible strains on budget, you must also consider the amount of time required for a successful digital transformation. Depending on the scope of project, and the size of the business, the timeline for these digitization efforts is unique to each organization. That said, you should still maintain a schedule of improvements, so as to track progress and ensure that all goals are being met.
Legacy Infrastructure and Systems
Legacy systems that have become outdated and are no longer supported by their manufacturer represent a risk to digital transformation efforts. Many companies continue to rely on these systems because they fear the cost and inconvenience of moving data to a new, modern system. However, it is costlier to continue using these older systems, as maintenance and risk of a security breach increase over time. When transforming a business, it is important to migrate data away from outdated systems, even if employees are more comfortable using them. It will aid the overall security and governance of company data.
While not an exhaustive list, it is likely that your business will face one or more of these challenges throughout the process of digital transformation. A proactive approach is always better for these initiatives, so ensure that your company has a cogent plan when preparing for any technological upgrades.
If you are ready to begin a transformation with a proactive approach, request a phone consultation to speak with one of our experienced consultants.