If you aren’t among people who ignore reality, you know the digital era has arrived. It doesn't matter what you are doing—whether you are selling seats on a rocket to Mars or funny socks made of alpaca wool—you need to be set with digital. The process of digitizing your business can entail significant difficulties, but the benefits (and profits) are incomparably larger. Once you overcome your worries and resistance, read on to see how to cope with digital transformation challenges.
Identifying Transformations Problems
Recent Walkme and Constellation research on digital adoption in 2021 reports that 77.3% of CIOs name digital transformation as their biggest budget priority for this year. Sounds like a sort of trend. Plenty of companies have realized that a decent level of digitization could have helped them better overcome all the bitterness of 2020.
And now all of them have a large amount of work ahead of them. There are so many things that are connected with digital transformation that no one can be certain what will become a challenge for a certain business. We propose you focus on the five key challenges each company faces.
Odds are, running your business still requires people. If so, a major challenge and opportunity will be integrating people and digital transformation; it can be difficult for people to learn and adjust to new patterns of behavior. However, the more professional the staff, the easier it is to adopt new technologies.
It’s always important to be human; to delicately and patiently explain what digital transformation is and why your employees need to devote time and energy to the new order of things. Obvious, but according to McKinsey’s research on digital transformations, a Chief Digital Officer brings 1.6 times more chances of successful digital adoption. This also applies to personnel management.
What is digital transformation and its potential for innovation? Like any other thing that improves and thus reconstructs your system in the era of smart tech, digital transformation is all about continual updates. The core concept will stay the same, with targeted adjustments tailored for particular businesses. But new concepts and adjustments will be developed faster than the eye can blink. Some companies and departments tend to demonstrate resistance to change when it comes to updates. But keeping attuned to change is the key to success.
“The IT era is dynamic and complex, with constant and sudden changes and updates. Those who stay in place will be left behind. You need to keep your eye on the ball, which means the latest updates and nuances. This is not easy, and depends on the internal expertise and resources within the company. Quite often, choosing external professionals for custom software development solutions is far more efficient”
— Vlad Medvedovsky at Proxet
Staying on top of updates is not as hard as it might seem. Searching articles for the latest trends and validating that info with actual data and real-life examples is a good strategy. This post-COVID-19 prognosis of digital transformation trends by Daniel Newman on Forbes.com is a solid example. Moreover, there is always a place for world examples and best practices. For instance, take a look at the Microsoft digital transformation processes.
There is one more option to boost the process. There is such a thing as digital transformation consulting. You can find many agencies and experts with impressive clients and portfolios to help you build the best plan and handle all updates and issues.
Digital marketing and digital marketers are constantly developing new tactics to promote goods, services, and brands efficiently. So, digital marketing challenges go hand in hand with digital transformation ones in terms of constant updates and advancements. The “constant updates” rule is also true for retail digital transformation processes.
Time to Adopt
As mentioned above, technology advances rapidly and continually, and companies’ internal systems are always catching up. Most companies are trying to reach specific outcomes on defined timelines while navigating waves of digital transformation. So what is the best solution? Forget about the destination. At a minimum, try to shift уоur focus аwаy from the destination; your real aim is actual transformation.
What about defined timelines? Well, digital transformation can’t happen in one year. Even for small companies, five years is a more realistic scenario. What’s more, people should understand that even if the initial phase of digital transformation is finished, digital transformation is never over. The Econsultancy published an article highlighting great examples of timelines for digital transformation. People have to be ready because digital transformation is not a destination; it is the road.
If you thought digital transformation is primarily a concern for tech companies, you’d be wrong! Think of public relations: it might appear to be a job for humans only. However, there are SaaS solutions for improving PR: they analyze user keywords input and reach out to online influencers. Or take, for instance, a conservative industry like public health. Digital comes in handy here as well: an AI/ML platform can recognize drugs and assist caregivers.
According to CyberGRX research, digital transformation increases cybersecurity risks. As digital transformation is rapidly adopted, vulnerabilities may mushroom in most companies.
The most popular issues are general cyber risks, data breaches, increased impact of third parties, ineffective use of data, and the application of IoT and cloud providers.
Altimeter survey revealed that cybersecurity is a major consideration and investment priority for modern tech companies. Protecting business and customer data has to be the top priority of any organization.
Transformation of security teams is also a good practice since learning new skills is vital for interaction with new technologies. A digital organization structure can vary, but one thing is always true—if the company is understaffed, you will have to search for new talents that can fit.
Obviously, nobody can give an answer to the question, “How much money will I need for successful digital transformation?” in 10 minutes. The budget for this process has to be meticulously planned and accurately conceived. And it’s not only about math. There are tons of factors. Interestingly, Statista believes that by 2023, digital transformation glоbal mаrket rеvеnue will be about $2.3 trillion, in case somebody still wonders whether digital transformation is a fad.
First of all, a collaborative approach is key. Second, involving everyone from the company will help to work out the best, most comprehensive plan. Third, flexible/agile budgeting will help to avoid the “hidden costs” pitfall. Fourth, it is vital not to forget about data migration costs. Fifth, the experience of big companies shows that it’s good to allocate funds for R&D and training separately. And finally, companies must be prepared to accept risk, i.e. be ready for a scenario in which budgeting faces severe issues. As they say, “plan for success, prepare for failure.”
Create a Digital Transformation Strategy
Digital transformation strategy—plan of action—is another significant issue. Regarding digital transformation, we face three major points to be aware of:
- Diagnosis: It is extremely hard to build a decent strategy without a good diagnosis of the company’s needs. It’s very important to calculate even the smallest nuances. Let’s say a company made its move, but people don’t use the implemented technology. Thus, lack of diagnosis leads to wasted resources.
- Plan of action: Sometimes a company can work 24/7 and get nothing. It happens when management hasn’t come up with a coherent plan of action. It leads to wasted time and investments. Nobody wants such a scenario for their company.
- Guiding policy: This point can be explained in one question: “How do you want it to be done, exactly?” Any business has to meet its strategic aims. A strategy without a guiding policy is nothing but an improved wishlist.
The three cornerstones of strategy building are communication specialists, technology experts, and the leader. Therefore, an organization will need seasoned communication pros for internal disagreement solutions and external affairs (e.g., social media expert), a strong technology department, and of course, a true leader.
Carry on with the Digital Transformation Program
As the core plan is implemented, it is vital to see the big picture and continue with the program. Of course, many companies face different troubles at the early stages, but the important thing is to try to not to get knocked off course.
The aforementioned updates have nothing to do with changing the initial program. If the plan worked out and the company implemented technology—even partly—there is no way to change it drastically.
Small updates and improvements shouldn’t run counter to the program. Otherwise, a company will have to create a brand new plan and strategy, a form of “Here We Go Again.” It means new budgeting (if the company still has investments), a new plan of action, a new policy, and tons of wasted time and resources.
Enjoy Your Biggest Transformation
At this point, try to enjoy the result. Digital transformation, in most cases, is not 100% feasible. There will always be issues and pitfalls. Once again, immediately after the transformation is implemented is the best time to relax for a second and see the full picture. And once you’ve enjoyed what you’ve implemented, you’ll see a way forward. And you’ll avoid letting small issues ruin your plan
After all, the biggest transformation is yours. Look around. You were able to implement a complex and complicated technology. Above all, this is a transformation of yourself!
If you are looking for experienced professionals who can deliver real top-notch transformation to your company, turn to Proxet. Here, you’ll find a vast range of services, the best cutting-edge technologies, and innovative solutions. What’s more, Proxet is an expert in startup partnership and healthcare digital transformation. We work with enterprise clients with over $1B+ in revenue, while 90% of our projects incorporate ML/AI.
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