Covid-19 had the world grappling with the newest modes of technology and IT. Companies were looking for the quickest and easiest way to transform the workplace without disrupting the routine. For some, the transition from physical to digital was smooth as butter, others had a tough time finding their way through it.
A vast majority have already made the move to digital transformation. According to a survey, conducted by Tech Pro Research, 70% of the respondents said that their companies either have a strategy for digital transformation or are working on one.
Digital transformation is an inevitable need of time. One way or another, the step has to be made, as the world stops for no one.
While businesses all over the world try and tackle the transition, some barriers to digital transformation are bound to arise. These problems can be dealt with and overcome easily if the company has a firm knowledge of the area and has readied itself for potential disruptions. In fact, statistics show that 87% of companies think going digital will disrupt their operation but only 44% have prepared themselves to deal with it.
Knowing your problem is half the solution. We are here to help you with understanding the problems that may hinder your way. We hope that with proper knowledge of what might lay ahead, you can prepare yourself for the worst and overcome anything that comes your way.
The 10 Biggest Barriers to Digital Transformation in 2022
Here are the 10 biggest problems companies usually face when transitioning to a digital workspace:
1. Inadequate Data
One of the biggest reasons companies finds it difficult to make a smooth transition to digitalization is the lack of data. not having sufficient data means you do not understand the problem and consequently do not have the means to tackle the situation.
Having access to an adequate amount of information and knowing the problem, means you have already identified the cause, all that remains is finding a solution.
2. Lack Of an Effective Strategy
When transforming the workplace from physical to digital, companies have to have a definitive strategy in place to make sure the process runs smoothly. The implementation of the strategy will ensure an efficient transformation.
The lack of a proper strategy, on the other hand, can produce disastrous results. Digital transformation is a big step for individuals, a move away from the traditional norms. The sudden change can not only disrupt the flow of work but affect the employees as well.
This is why it is necessary to keep the process slow and steady. Make sure all concerned individuals are involved in the process, the goals and expectations are clearly articulated, and everyone understands the nitty-gritty of the process and is actively participating in the process.
Once everyone knows the ins and outs of the process and how it will happen, it’ll be much easier to carry out the change without affecting anyone.
3. Gap In Communication
Companies are comprised of different departments; each department manages a specific area. Interdepartmental communication is rare and individuals from different departments rarely interact with one another.
The gap in communication poses another threat to smooth flow into digitalization. Transformation requires a seamless flow of information across all channels, a slight dip in the process can disturb the whole chain.
All departments must communicate and collaborate with one another especially since digitalization is not limited to one department, group, or team, it happens all across the organization.
Moreover, since the process requires the help of the IT department, all teams must work closely with the department so that there are no hiccups in the process. In fact, an inadequate collaboration between IT and lines of business (49%) is number 4 in the list of the top 10 barriers to digital transformation, according to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review and Scout RFP.
That is why project managers need to ensure the smooth flow of communication across all channels.
4. Inability To Experiment Quickly
The inability to experiment quickly is the biggest barrier to digital transformation. This is greatly linked to companies’ reluctance to part ways with the way they have been doing things for years. Suddenly changing lanes seems like a huge risk that most businesses aren’t willing to take.
The downside to this reluctance, however, is that the repercussions could be huge, especially considering the pace at which changes in the digital realm occur. Companies have to be not only accepting but also willing to experiment quickly.
If a company refuses to do so, the lack of change will put it back several years. Consequently, adopting a new change will become harder and harder. So, to be able to keep pace with the world, companies have to be willing to experiment with the latest technologies.
Even if an experiment does not produce the results, you were looking for, you learn a new way of not doing things which ultimately takes you one step closer to success.
5. Complex Tools and Technologies
As a project manager, you might not find adapting to tools and technologies tough, the same, however, cannot be said for the other employees. Adapting new software can pose problems for everyone especially if they have never had any experience with it.
The advanced modes of working can take a little getting used to but eventually, the transition will help users to a great extent.
6. Workspace Culture
Another important barrier that can pose a threat to the digitalization process is the workspace culture. Project managers often overlook their internal culture when making decisions. Employees are expected to change their ways like flicking a switch, quick and effective.
The change process, in contrast, requires time and the approval of the employees involved. Employees are often accustomed to doing things the way they have been doing for years and as such, adopting a new culture becomes difficult for them.
Any change in the workspace should be made after the due approval of everyone involved otherwise, the whole initiative can go downhill.
7. Lack Of Proper Planning and Training
Knowing something is one thing but doing it is a completely different story. Digital transformation does not come with a manual or a YouTube video that you can learn from. It is an experimental process, but you have to have proper planning and training in place to avoid obvious pitfalls.
The lack of a corporate vision for digital transformation is ranked 7th with 39% of votes from senior executives identifying it as a major barrier to digital transformation. With proper planning from start to end and training for the staff, PMs can reduce the chances of failure and increase their chances of success.
8. Lack Of Skills and Talent
One of the reasons digitalization remains a faraway dream for many is the lack of skills and talent required for the change. According to a survey by KPMG, technical architecture is one of the 5 skills in shortage in the business world.
To be able to make the move from physical to digital, you will need a team of IT experts who’ll handle various aspects of the transformation process. Finding the team, however, is not as easy as it seems especially when IT professionals are lacking in numbers.
The change process requires a variety of digital skills and talent, without which the process can not be carried out. So, making sure that you have the ability to make the actual change is a first in the process.
9. Security Concerns
Digitalization, although beneficial, poses some risks for the company. The transformation process requires moving all the data from physical copies, notes, etc. to PCs and laptops. The transfer of data from one place to another can pose cybersecurity problems.
No matter what tools, technologies, or software a company is adopting for the process, cybersecurity is an important risk involved in the process. To prevent theft of data, fraud, or any threat that may risk the working of your company, you have to make sure that your cybersecurity is strong.
10. Insufficient Budget
Everything requires cold, hard cash and that stands true for digitalization as well. Although you can replace cash with money, the crux remains the same, technology needs money and lack of money means no transformation at all.
Digital transformation investment is expected to reach $7 trillion by 2023, which means companies will continue to heavily invest in the changing digital trends.
Transforming to digital mode means you need specific tools, IT resources, and various other things, all of which require money. A slight setback in the process will also add to the burden on your budget. So, to make such a transition, you must have a sufficient amount of capital in your hand.
Fight Your Way Through!
These 10 are some of the most common barriers to digital transformation that can set off a chain reaction of unwelcomed problems. With the information above, you now have adequate information for whatever issue may come your way in the future.
Remember slow and steady wins the race so take it one step at a time. Minimize your risks to make the most of the digital process and enjoy the successes that come with it.
We sincerely hope you are now armed with the info you need to make the change process, without further ado, grab your tools and dive right in!
Best of luck!
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