Digital transformation has become a critical initiative for every organization irrespective of industry. A recent report from Gartner revealed that over 90% of organizations have some form of digital initiative in place. Nevertheless, companies usually face obstacles in their pursuit of digital transformation - and, in some cases, many even fail to initiate the process altogether. A study conducted by McKinsey revealed that a staggering 69% of digital transformation projects were unsuccessful. Does this imply that your company should abandon its digital initiatives? Absolutely not. Instead, your company should proactively strive to identify the recurring obstacles encountered in the digital transformation process and employ established strategies to overcome these challenges.
In this blog, we will explore four common obstacles that organizations face and discuss strategies to overcome them. From a lack of talent and engagement to the rapid pace of tech advancements and resistance to change, these roadblocks can impede progress. By understanding and addressing these challenges, companies can pave the way for successful digital transformation.
1. Lack of Talent
The primary challenge hindering organizations in their digital transformation journey is the scarcity of skilled talent. According to PwC, 55% of employers revealed their greatest concern in the pursuit of innovation is the shortage of essential digital skills. The rapid pace of technological advancements further exacerbates this challenge, making it crucial for organizations to proactively address their talent gaps.
Listed below are the roles that are highly coveted by organizations embarking on their digital transformation journey.
- Digital Transformation Leader
- Data Scientist/Analyst
- Software Engineer
- UX/UI Designer
- Cybersecurity Specialist
- Digital Marketer
- IoT (Internet of Things) Architect
- Digital Trainers
- Ethics Compliance Manager
Consider partnering with a specialized staffing firm to overcome the skill shortage and locate top-tier tech talent. By tapping into their extensive network of skilled professionals, you gain access to a pool of talent specifically equipped with the expertise needed to drive your digital initiatives forward. With their focused industry insights, they can provide valuable guidance on market trends, salary benchmarks, and recruitment strategies. By leveraging the expertise of a specialized staffing firm, you can accelerate your digital transformation, secure top-tier talent, and achieve your organizational objectives with greater efficiency and confidence.
2. Lack of Engagement
Digital transformation requires a unified vision and shared direction among all stakeholders within an organization. However, achieving consensus on strategic goals is difficult. Frequently, organizations overemphasize the technological aspect, inadvertently neglecting the human element in the process. Despite its tedious nature, actively engaging stakeholders is critical in a digital transformation project to ensure alignment, foster collaboration, and most importantly maximize the chances of project success.
To address this roadblock, organizations should be committed to transparency. Regularly engaging with employees at all levels to share the vision, goals, and progress of digital transformation initiatives fosters collective responsibility.
Here is a list of solutions to engage stakeholders and align strategic goals.
- Create distributions lists to deliver regular updates
- Organize workshops or training sessions to engage stakeholders
- Establish clear channels for feedback
- Assign project representatives to answer miscellaneous questions
- Highlight the achievements of project contributors
3. Emerging Technologies
Emerging technologies are causing significant disruptions to the digital transformation journey for many businesses. The disruption arises from the sheer complexity and scale of integrating these technologies effectively. Furthermore, the fast-paced nature of technological advancements often renders traditional transformation strategies obsolete, demanding agile approaches to keep pace in a dynamic environment.
Let’s look at a few technologies influencing digital transformation, for better or for worse.
- AI & ML
- AR & VR
- Quantum Computing
Relying on independent contractors and technology vendors can be instrumental in overcoming this pain point. Contractors bring specialized expertise in rising technology disciplines, allowing organizations to bypass expensive employee upskilling programs. Technology vendors, on the other hand, offer ready-made solutions and support, reducing the burden on internal resources. By leveraging the knowledge and capabilities of these external resources, organizations can ensure smoother implementation of new technologies and extract value from expert consultants.
4. Resistance to Change
According to Altimeter, 26% of employees expressed a resistance to change when asked about their company’s digital transformation journey. Now you might be thinking ‘only 1 in 4 respondents’ – that isn’t a significant portion. To the contrary, one bad apple in a group has the potential to disrupt the entire process. Their resistance or unwillingness to adapt can create a toxic environment that impedes the successful execution of the transformation. Luckily, there are solutions to address this issue.
To address this roadblock, digital leadership should initiate an honest dialogue with the resistant party. By actively listening to their concerns and addressing them with empathy, this is a great first step to alleviate their fears and build rapport. The next step might seem counter-intuitive, but it is necessary to achieve synergy between all parties. Consider involving resistant individuals in the decision-making process. By giving them a sense of ownership in the journey you can foster a greater willingness to participate. Be sure to implement a gradual, phased approach to change to help overcome resistance.
Final Takeaways to Guide your Journey
In the modern era, companies that aren’t actively incorporating new digital tools to improve operations and grow business will fall behind. By proactively getting ahead of the obstacles, your company is better prepared to achieve success in your digital transformation journey. If your company is struggling to keep pace with innovations in tech and locate technical talent to advance your digital makeover, consider consulting with our experts here to talk through your distinct journey.