Six ways of overcoming digital transformation obstacles

01 April 2020 5 min. read

International research by McKinsey & Company shows that the success rate for digital transformation programmes is lower than other transformations. How can executives and project leaders ensure that they successfully implement their digital-driven change? Experts from Milton Keynes based digital consultancy Managed outline six ways of overcoming common obstacles. 

Overcoming change hesitation

Change can be difficult to accept when you know and understand the processes you’ve been working on for some time. It might be that the biggest pushback you get is from your employees, who may reject the change that digital transformation will drive. 

To gain support from your team it is important for you to communicate the change that will be happening with your employees; from planning right through to execution, giving them a full understanding of the changes that will be happening within the organisation. 

Keeping up to date with new innovations

In this current climate, technology is moving so fast that it can be difficult for many organisations to keep up. Investing in technology requires a constant review of your business’ current capabilities, the direction that technology is going and assessing if your business can follow. The cloud can play a fundamental role in an organisation’s digital transformation, as it can grow and develop with you and can assist you in meeting customers' ever changing needs.

The cloud can be particularly advantageous when managing corporate growth, compliance requirements and can support businesses with regulatory needs such as the implementation of GDPR. 

Six ways of  overcoming digital  transformation obstacles

Have a clear view of customer needs

Having a full understanding of your customers’ expectations and requirements when it comes to your business will be a vital part in planning your organisation’s digital transformation. Customers’ expectations are exceptionally high in this current technology driven climate. Businesses are expected to have a strong online presence, with the ability to communicate with their customers and answer questions through a multitude of online applications within a few hours.

Many companies that have undergone a successful digital transformation have developed a plan to meet their customers’ digital needs and with the use of the cloud have the ability to develop their systems at the same pace as their customers’ changing needs. 

Trying to modernise legacy systems

Companies trying to build flexible and agile digital systems on top of outdated technology are creating more serious issues for themselves whilst spending lots of money. If your core systems were designed more than five years ago, they probably need to be reworked in order to support a successful digital transformation. Using the cloud to support your systems will mean your business will have the ability to be flexible, agile and eventually can boast a successful digital transformation. 

Human capital

Getting your employees involved and encouraging them to get on board with a digital transformation is key for the success rate of the transition. Here are five ways that can help ramping up employee engagement: 

Communicate the plan

The key to a successful digital transformation is communicating the plan for the business and being transparent about how the systems your employees use every day might change. It is important to communicate how digital transformation will benefit the team and the reasons for deciding to do it. 

Continuing this communication throughout the digital transformation will engage your team through the whole process so they feel involved and understand what is happening, especially if these changes will directly affect how they work. 

Explain how the changes will benefit them 

Your team may be wondering what is wrong with the current systems you have, people like things they know and are comfortable with and therefore might feel apprehensive about the changes new systems will bring. It is your job to be clear about the planned changes and educate your employees with how it will benefit the team and make their life and role in the company easier.

Let employees express concerns 

Letting your employees express any concerns they may be having and answering any questions will reassure them the change will be good for them and the business. Being open with your team about each stage of the digital transformation process will help them understand the change and plan for it. It will also give them an opportunity to voice feedback and opinions which might assist the project. 

Invest in training

Training is key to a successful digital transformation, ensuring all staff fully understand and are trained on the new system prior to rolling it out. This will also assist your workforce in remaining productive and ensure nothing is missed during the changeover from old to new systems. 

Continue to keep employees engaged

Digital transformation for an organisation can take years to complete successfully, especially if it is a business wide transformation. Keeping employees engaged in a long-term project can be difficult. Therefore, it is important for CIOs to be open about the plans for the future stages of digital transformation. This will encourage your workforce to adopt the changes you are implementing and encourage support for this long term change.