There is no longer an ‘if’ around digital transformation. Organisations of all sizes, across all sectors and around the world, need to embrace technology as a way of remaining competitive and moving forwards. However, there are a number of challenges you may face when creating your strategy for digital transformation, so it is important to understand how to work through them if you are to be successful.
- Getting the board on board
Your board of directors will be very aware of tech’s rising status as a necessity for business, they might even have some visions around how they want your company to look digitally. However, this doesn’t mean that all of their visions will work. They may not be prepared to wait for the changes to take place, and they may be unwilling to redistribute budget to fund such activity. 27 per cent of respondents to our recent Trends Survey* stated that a barrier to modernisation for them is that management are unconvinced by technology investment. To get the board on board, you need to communicate the cross-business value of going digital.
- Panicking about transformation
The necessity to digitally transform doesn’t make building your strategy any easier. If anything, the pressure and consequent panic can be why your strategy fails. Succumbing to the pressure can mean you rush through the initial design process. This can lead to an ill-thought-out strategy that doesn’t work for you. Patience and clear thinking are absolutely key to an effective, successful transformation.
- Understanding your organisation
To develop an effective strategy, you have to understand every element of your organisation. Digitising has to happen as a whole, affecting every person and every function on some level, to be transformative. Therefore, if you don’t understand where you are, then you cannot possibly get to where you want to be. You need to know how your IT estate is currently set up. What applications do you have? Where are they hosted? What are their dependencies? Without this, the steps to be taken cannot be decided. You also need to know how prepared for change your people are. If your employees are resistant to technological advances, it render digital efforts redundant. Looking at other organisations in your sector to support this understanding can be helpful, and that is certainly advisable. However, there is a sector-agnostic element to digital transformation, so don’t be afraid to look to companies that have similar features to yours but aren’t necessarily directly related to what you do.
- Defining digital transformation (continuously)
As well as understanding your organisation, you need to have a definition of digital transformation that pertains to your goals. Digitally transforming isn’t a single moment of throwing out paper and switching on a device. Technology will continue to develop, which means you need to know how you want it to work for you. Do you really need an AI-powered document-processing app? When do you need it? Now? Or should you focus on electronic management software, and adopt intelligent software in the next five years? These questions can be easier to answer with the input of an experienced IT specialist partner.
- Transforming with minimal disruption
In our recent Trends Survey, 22 per cent responded that interruption to customer services is the biggest barrier to modernising systems, while 27 per cent said disruption to staff’s day-to-day productivity is the main issue. This shows that nearly half of the 1,000 respondents we surveyed feel that disrupting the experience of their end users, internal and external, is the main reason they are reluctant to modernise. This is understandable of course, your business needs to continue to function at the highest levels. When building your strategy, an element of patience is vital. This is not only because patient, pragmatic planning will mean you have taken the time to understand your company, but also because sensible timelines will ensure minimal disruption. As has been found recently in the financial services sector, a ‘big bang’ approach that changes everything in one go can be a recipe for disaster.
A calm and considered approach to transforming your organisation digitally is the best strategy for success. Challenges can be eased by working with an IT Services partner that has undertaken other, similar projects so that they can support your efforts with tried and tested advice. Our experts are able to provide this, if you would like to find out more, please get in touch.
*Advanced’s Annual Trends Survey Report, released November 2019, https://www.oneadvanced.com/trends-report/2019-20/