The term ‘digital transformation’ refers to the adoption and integration of digital technologies to transform the way a business functions. Recent technology advancements are driving digital transformation worldwide, with business leaders introducing new IT systems to increase productivity, efficiency, and profits. The rise of remote and hybrid work has been a catalyst for many as businesses were forced to implement solutions, such as Microsoft Teams, to enable employees to work from home. Now that businesses have seen the tangible benefits of such technologies, they’re looking for the next solution to aid their employees, and the business as a whole. Although the final destination of the digital transformation journey has many benefits, there are often many challenges along the way. In this article we discuss 4 common digital transformation challenges and how to overcome them.
Lack of in-house expertise
A key principle of digital transformation is the implementation of digital technologies. Although the end-user experience may be simple and easy to use, often the implementation requires a high level of specialised technical expertise. Even for companies with a highly skilled IT team, implementing new technologies requires them to shift their focus from their typical work to spend time learning and implementing the technology. This can cause issues with other areas of the business, and often IT teams lack expertise in specific solution implementation, cybersecurity, and technical architecture. For this reason, it is advised to outsource implementation of technologies to a trusted IT provider to achieve effective digital transformation.
Poor employee uptake
For businesses to realise all the benefits of digital transformation, it must have buy-in from all levels and departments. Moving from one IT system to another can frustrate employees as they are required to re-learn a system that they have potentially used for many years. To overcome this challenge, businesses should keep employees engaged throughout the process. This includes being clear and transparent with internal communications, whilst also explaining why the technology is being introduced and how it will help employees in the long term. Throughout this process, employees should also receive adequate training to ensure they understand the feature set and how to use it effectively.
Lack of planning and strategy
As with any major business decision, the key to success is strategic planning. The allure of new technology can cause business leaders to haphazardly request it to be implemented and cause frustration for employees. Another key digital transformation principle is that the technology should help employees work more efficiently and effectively, rather than force them to change the way they work. A lack of planning may also result in poor integration with other IT systems, which can harm productivity and may cause a potential security risk. To overcome this challenge, it is suggested that businesses include stakeholders in the discussion early in the process and set clear goals, objectives and timelines. This is also where a trusted IT provider can aid the digital transformation process.
For small and medium businesses, budgetary constraints can be a significant digital transformation challenge. For poorly planned implementation of technologies there are often increases in cost due to scope creep, and additional time and resource requirements. This specific challenge can be avoided with thorough strategic planning. Working with a trusted IT provider means a business can rely on their expertise if a specific solution is outside of budget, and the IT provider can offer suggestions for similar technologies at a lower cost.