How seamlessly are businesses integrating digital technologies into their work processes? With digital transformation, the goal is to revolutionize the way your business works, improving operations and performance. This involves a complete overhaul of a traditionally-run business, and it can be tricky to complete.
However, modernizing your business has become more of a necessity than an option. Any business caught slacking will face rising competition levels and will find it difficult to retain customers.
Over the past year, we have seen a major increase in digital transformation around the world due to the pandemic. Companies were forced to go “online” and adopt new methods to reach their customers. On top of that, companies also increased their efforts to improve technologies so as not to be outdone by their competitors.
In fact, recent studies show that the adoption of digital technology by companies was sped up by almost seven years. This all happened within a few months of the pandemic affecting the global markets.
With more businesses switching over to digital, you don’t want to be lagging behind. There are many reasons why a business may want to try digital transformation. But, the biggest reason for most of them is simply survival in an increasingly competitive industry.
Just take the pandemic. Almost all businesses were affected by it in some way. It required businesses to adapt to the new conditions, change supply lines, and meet new customer demands. As a traditional business that uses minimal technology, this is a big task to adopt to overnight. Companies with modern technology in all departments will have a much easier time of it.
Then, let’s look at how digital transformation affects both customer and working experience.
Customers — You will be able to gain better insights into their behaviors and collect more data. This will eventually lead to them having a better user experience with your business.
Workers — They will be able to:
These are all positives for a business and are good for all parties involved in the business. As such, there are a lot of reasons as to why you should adopt digital transformation.
Now, the future is definitely going to become fully digital. However, the path to reaching this point is still not easy. There are many companies that have tried this approach and failed. According to a study, only about 30% of digital transformations have been deemed as successful. Here are some barriers that can make the path to digital transformation all the more difficult:
Other than the competition, there are always other reasons why a business will decide to go digital. For example, this may because of falling sales and declining retention levels. However, a lot of them decide that simply “going digital” is going to fix the issue. This is a completely false belief and will definitely lead to more problems in your business.
Before you decide on a digital transformation strategy, you need to understand the root cause of the problem. This means taking some time to research and identify what needs to change in order to address a specific problem. Once these are identified, you can create a digital strategy around fixing these issues. This way, you are meeting the problem head-on rather than creating a solution for a problem you don’t know how to fix.
As we learn in all business courses, change is something that many people find scary. Employees tend to get set in their ways, especially those who have been in the company for a long time. When you try to change something they are used to, it creates fear of not understanding what’s happening. And digital transformation will change how everything operates, meaning this is huge for all employees.
If you try to implement these changes without first educating your employees, you are definitely going to face a lot of resistance. These changes are going to completely restructure how the employee’s work. As such, they require good leadership and the introduction of a new culture into the business.
Employees need to understand why these changes are happening and what is expected of them. Also, the whole idea of digital transformation is to improve collaboration inside the business. In keeping with this, a new culture of collaboration and continuous learning needs to be embraced as well.
One of the biggest challenges that businesses face will be the cost of all the new technology. A complete overhaul of all departments will mean a huge investment up front. This means that the business needs to have the cash flow to support this change. If not, it will need to free up some of its investments, shift budgets accordingly, and focus on the core of the business.
You are most likely going to face issues with costs only if you try to get involved with complicated techniques such as machine learning. However, if the costs are still too high, there are other options such as PC-as-a-service. These services allow you to hire all the equipment you need on a monthly/yearly basis. This way, you can adjust how much equipment you need throughout the year. You can keep costs down in this area while keeping bigger budgets for spending on new technology.
As was mentioned, digital transformation is going to completely change the way the business works. This means that employees are going to have to get used to the new structure and how things are done. This is not an easy step, especially if you have a workforce that is not used to modern technology.
These changes mean that there will be new positions, new roles, new processes, and new expectations. All of this has the potential to cause chaos inside a company if it is not managed early. Simply changing the culture is not enough. There need to be processes and constant communication between the management and employees. This is to manage their fears and any questions they may have.
The best way is to gradually make these changes rather than do it all at once. You first start with education, the reasons for the switch, and the new hierarchy. You should leave communication open so that employees can approach management and clarify doubts.
Then an introduction to the new technology and the processes should follow. Also, remember that change requires time to set in. Make sure that you provide enough time for every step that this process takes. Pressure should not be placed on the employees to start performing immediately. A buffer period is a must to ensure that employees become familiar with the new practices.
Digital transformation definitely has the potential to completely revolutionize any business. And, for the most part, the problems with implementing it in the business can be overcome with a sound strategy.
You can simply decide to adopt this new strategy and then implement it over the next month. Take some time to do your research and plan out the strategy. By breaking down the entire process into steps, you can easily identify what needs to be done for it to be successful.
You now have an idea of the potential barriers you might face. With some deliberation, you can come up with solutions on how to overcome them in your own business.
Contact us and we will help you develop a digital transformation strategy !