5 Digital Transformation Hurdles and How to Get Over Them

The dawn of the digital age introduced a faster, easily accessible, and cost-efficient data flow between computing devices in the information technology ecosystem. It has compelled enterprises worldwide to embrace digital transformation to improve business management and facilitate a wider reach towards potential customers. The global business world has taken digital transformation as a disruptive phenomenon that offers seamless potential for growth and productivity.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new reality: digital business transformation is crucial to surviving in a post-pandemic world. The pandemic has revealed the potential of remote working and ecommerce. It also accelerated the pace of digital transformation among enterprises all over the globe, with most companies embracing the shift. But there is a larger hurdle to overcome: development and implementation of a viable digital transformation strategy.

In addition to this hurdle, many organizations, large and small,  are confused about the basic idea of digital transformation. They wrongly believe digital transformation is simply the deployment of the latest digital technologies. A survey by McKinsey reveals that less than 33% of digital transformation attempts yield profit-generating results.

Let’s understand what digital transformation is and how this phenomenon can bring a paradigm shift in worldwide business management in the post-pandemic era.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into every area of an enterprise, radically transforming the way the enterprise operates and delivers value to customers. It also means a radical cultural shift that continually compels enterprises to challenge the status quo and get comfortable with trials and errors in the process. A comprehensive business digital transformation process focuses on boosting profits by implementing apt digital technologies.

Also read: Survey: Data Management Issues Hinder Digital Transformations

5 Key Digital Transformation Hurdles and Solutions

1. Poor digital transformation strategies and lack of leadership

As mentioned earlier, many businesses worldwide lack clarity of thought and solid strategies to implement digital transformation. A report from McKinsey shows that 70% of the digital transformation initiatives don’t reach their defined goals. Some of the prominent reasons behind this failure include a lack of employee engagement, limited support from the management, absence of cross-functional collaboration, and a lack of accountability.

Moreover, most of the C-suite executives of top global brands are reluctant to embrace digital transformation as it requires higher levels of innovation and initiatives. Since business leaders don’t have a clear picture of digital transformation, they fail to educate their employees about this revolutionary concept. Hence it impacts the efficiency and productivity of the workforce.

Solution

In today’s world, inundated with information and data, clear understanding matters more than anything else. Business leaders should develop a blueprint of an effective digital transformation strategy and develop a clear-cut idea on how it will impact their business. A clear-headed C-suite executive can communicate the metrics of digital transformation to the employees. Coherent communication can ensure that employees quickly embrace the changes brought by digital transformation. It can also positively impact their efficiency.

2. Ignoring the customer experience

Consumers can rate their shopping experience and share it with the entire world in a split second. Hence, if a company fails to impart a better customer experience (CX), it will lose its customers forever. Therefore, the better the CX, the better would be the brand image of a business.

Businesses that are reluctant to embrace digital transformation will have a tough time retaining their customers. Encountering poor CX, customers seldom return to those digital platforms. According to a report by Accenture, CX is rated as one of the key drivers for sustainable business growth.

Solution

A bottom-up business digital transformation approach can revamp the current CX of your enterprise. A meticulous digital transformation helps your business to identify the buying pattern of your targeted customers. The revamping of your CX solidifies your brand presence. Your enterprise begins to create more customer-centric and easily accessible products and services. Therefore, your enterprise gets a better chance of customer retention and keeps it ahead of the competition.

3. Inefficient data collection

Today, virtually every business organization globally is closely connected in one way or another using cloud computing technology. Despite its size or position in the market, every business organization should leverage customer data to succeed in the market competition. Failure or reluctance to implement an efficient digital transformation strategy makes an enterprise unfit to optimize usage of bulky unstructured customer data.

Solution

Again, a bottom-up approach in digital transformation comes to the rescue. It helps to determine the critical data points that can impact the buying patterns of potential customers. Value can be created from unstructured customer data only if you understand the tastes of your customers and cater to them with a personalized experience. A well-planned digital transformation helps you implement an omnichannel approach to identify the needs of your potential customers and to reach out and engage them via various digital platforms.

Also read: Steps to Improving Your Data Architecture

4. Loopholes in cybersecurity

There are many global cases of large corporations falling victim to cyberattacks. Loopholes in cybersecurity act as a major hurdle in successful business digital transformation. Most businesses fail to keep pace with the exponential evolution of new-age digital technology, inviting uncertainty and instability in the growth of a business.

Solution

According to Gartner, 99% of the business cybersecurity issues are not rooted in ignorance but in the reluctance to act proactively. Cloud migration can solve most of the cybersecurity issues related to business digital transformation. Today, most enterprises migrate to cloud platforms that offer easier digital transformation and enhanced security features such as automatic software updates and patches, DDoS protection, data encryption, and disaster recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic further compelled many business organizations to migrate to the cloud to keep their data safe and easily moveable.

5. Fragile traditional business models

Traditional business models are are often resistant to change, clinging to legacy technologies and inefficient work processes. Organizations that hesitate to adapt to digital transformation will die a premature death. On the other hand, enterprises that aggressively implement business digital transformation strategies will remain at the top of the game.

Solution

Every business organization should admit that change is the only constant. Today, digital business transformation sets up a do-or-die scenario for every enterprise worldwide. As business requirements and objectives vary with the organizations, digital transformation should be implemented as a flexible strategy.

Embrace Digital Transformation or Become Irrelevant

A study by Oxford Economics and SAP Centre for Business Insights reveals that digital transformation enabled 85% of the enterprises to increase their market share. The study also states that 80% of the businesses that embraced digital transformation reap greater profits than their competitors.

Business digital transformation bestows your enterprise with top-notch CX, enhanced workforce productivity, efficient resource management, and state-of-the-art Business Intelligence (BI), among a few of the benefits. Whether your business adapts to digital transformation or not, digital technology never stops evolving and disrupting the status quo.

Read next: Using Responsible AI to Push Digital Transformation

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