The Digital Tsunami is moving at a rapid pace, encompassing all aspects of business and society. It touches every function of a business from purchasing, finance, human resources, operations, IT and technology, sales and marketing and every other division in the business.
Understanding this dynamic and making the necessary changes, is the context for digital transformation. The starting point is to assess your businesses’ state of digital preparedness based not just on technology, but on a comprehensive picture of digital integration and engagement throughout the organization.
Digital transformation poses these top five challenges to businesses of all sizes:
1. Culture: There is a fear to change with an attitude of why fix something that isn’t broke? Company culture is the basis of digital transformation. Without openness to change, either naturally or as a specific initiative, the digital transformation does not go as planned. It is important to remind teams of the benefits that will directly impact them in a positive way. Open communication is important when clarifying the purpose of a digital transformation and identifying the role it will play in their daily work routine.
2. Lack of Leadership support: Most of the companies C-Suite is over 50 now and are digital immigrants. They have slowly adapted to web surfing, emailing, texting and the instant world of social media. Hence it is difficult for them to drive the digital transformation. They need to set the tone by collaborating with managers on designing an organization-wide digital strategy while encouraging ongoing innovation. A dedicated Chief Digital Officer is one way to go.
3. Inter-Department collaboration: It is essential that all departments work together to bridge gaps, break down data silos, and make important connections. Companies are challenged to get the right people in their organization to work together to create a consistent experience across the board.
4. Resource Crunch: With so many technologies paving up every day, it is almost impossible to have people who know them well. Organizations need to recruit for the future with jobs skills that they have not considered to meet forthcoming changes in the digital marketplace.
5. Understanding Customer: Companies like Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, and Tesla have changed the expectations of the market forever. The average consumer now expects brands to be able to understand their unique wants and needs and create a tailored experience to suit. Most business leaders understand this principle but often find themselves caught in a discussion about technology.
Though these are often the most prevalent challenges cited by organizations going through the digital transformation, countless others exist like identifying right digital opportunities, right technology selection etc.
To meet the manifold challenges posed by digital transformation, individuals and organizations should have the confidence and commitment to make digital integration a strategic imperative.
The success will depend on whether every employee and manager is ready to anticipate, innovate and participate in each step of Digital Transformation.