Any major transformation is challenging, whether it’s at a personal level or a company-wide transition. Digital transformation challenges abound as more and more businesses realize that a technology-forward approach is critical for success in our modern, high-tech world.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to digital transformation. Your digital transformation strategy must be customized to suit your company’s unique needs and goals with an emphasis on achieving a profound ROI. But many Digital Transformation initiatives get derailed by common misconceptions and challenges that stand in the way of true transformation and—as a result—success.
So let’s look at the top five misconceptions and digital transformation challenges that companies may face, along with tips for overcoming these roadblocks.
Misconception #1: Digital Transformation is just Shifting to the Cloud
While a transition to the cloud may be an important component of a company’s evolution, a true digital transformation strategy is much broader and far more innovative. Switching to a cloud-based infrastructure is akin to the transition that occurred when companies switched from using floppy disks to CDs and DVDs. That’s not innovation; it’s simply an upgrade.
Digital transformation requires true innovation. This may entail something like this: achieving full system integration in a cloud-based environment and implementing process automation in a way that connects all areas of your technological infrastructure, while eliminating manual steps that previously required human intervention. Depending upon your company’s needs, you may also choose to integrate machine learning and predictive analytics technologies to add extra intelligence to the process. These technologies would allow you to identify trends, predict outcomes, and quickly adjust automated processes as the need arises.
Misconception #2: My Company’s In-House Team Can Handle It
Company leaders are often hesitant to call in third-party digital transformation experts, believing instead that the in-house team can handle the project in a cost-effective manner. But the reality is that most companies don’t have the resources and collective experience required to achieve true digital transformation. And in cases where a team does have the technical chops to perform a full digital overhaul, they may lack the bandwidth required to oversee a complex transformation in a timely manner.
The reality is this: Digital transformation requires outside-the-box thinking and a willingness to toss aside the status-quo in favor of something new and innovative. An experienced digital transformation company will have the insights, experience and bandwidth required to achieve results — and they can complete the project without falling victim to the numerous pitfalls and snares that frequently interfere with this sort of overhaul. Simply put, this is one project that’s best left to the experts.
Misconception #3: Everything is Going Well. Why Fix Something That’s Not Broken?
In reality, it is very likely that your main competitor is innovating. There could also be an emerging start-up on the horizon — a start-up that’s going to disrupt the industry with something new and innovative. So even if all is going well, chances are good that your industry is gradually evolving and moving forward; you don’t want to be left behind.
Many company leaders initiate change as a reactive measure; a response to an existing problem or issue. But the most successful companies are led by individuals who take a proactive stance, promoting change to gain a competitive advantage. This type of leader strives to elevate the business to the next level. Any digital transformation challenges that arise along the way are viewed as small bumps along the road to success.
This approach tends to be the most successful when it comes to today’s technology because advancements occur at a blistering pace. Implementing new technology also takes time, especially for large companies with a complex infrastructure.
Combine a reactive approach with rapid technological advancements and the time it takes to get new technology in place and you have a recipe for disaster. Companies that are behind the 8-ball find that by the time they implement new technology as a reactive measure, their “new” technology is on the verge of becoming outdated. What’s more, these reactive companies generally lose any competitive edge that new technology affords. This experience reinforces the leader’s tech-reluctant stance, making them even less likely to adopt new technology in the future.
Conversely, a wise business leader knows that there’s always room for improvement, especially in the realm of technology and digital transformation. By working with an experienced company to build a forward-thinking digital transformation strategy, your business can remain ahead of the curve. If you play your cards right, you’ll earn a reputation as an innovator that’s embracing tomorrow’s technology. It’s these companies that tend to garner a loyal following.
Misconception #4: My Company Doesn’t Rely Upon Technology
Really? Are you sure about that? There are very, very few businesses that operate at 100% efficiency without the use of modern technology. It’s easy for a tech-reluctant business leader to underestimate their company’s reliance upon technology. But if your company sees any adverse effect from a power outage, then it’s probably fair to say that your business relies upon technology to some degree.
Even if you don’t currently consider your company to be “tech dependent,” it’s almost certain that you could see significant growth by leveraging the right digital transformation strategy. That’s because your consumers, clients and customers are probably using the latest devices, software, apps and smartphones.
So even if your company can operate independently from the technological world, it doesn’t mean you should. Virtually all of your clients, users and consumers will expect your business (and its product or service offerings) to keep pace with their technology. This is true for B2C and B2B companies alike.
Even lots of today’s Amish artisans have a significant digital presence. Those Amish craftsmen and artists may still use primitive, technology-free methods to create their wares and maintain their brick-and-mortar shops. But many have realized that, if they’re to stay afloat, they must use technology to connect with consumers. That’s what’s required to succeed in a world where consumers expect to use technology as part of their interaction with a company — even if that company is part of one of the world’s most tech-averse cultures.
Of course, not every company requires a massive and highly-complex technological infrastructure. An experienced digital transformation company can help you develop a strategy that works for your needs, goals and the expectations of your target audience.
Misconception #5: Change is Too Difficult for My Team
Yes, change can be difficult because humans are creatures of habit. Our reluctance to change makes this one of the most significant digital transformation challenges. But this shouldn’t stand in the way of advancement and ultimately, success. In fact, advancement is rarely easy. But there are strategies you can use to ease any discomfort during the transition. That’s where you can see a major advantage if you choose to work with an experienced digital transformation service provider.
Teams resist change due to fear the unknown. While this is natural, it shouldn’t hold your company back from crafting new strategies and improving business processes. So how can your business avoid this fear and the accompanying resistance to change? A digital transformation company can work directly with your team to identify new opportunities, develop a plan and to garner their feedback as the change is implemented. When the ideas for change come directly from your team, and the plans are presented in a non-threatening way, people tend to be more accepting of that change.
A seasoned digital transformation company understands that change can feel uncomfortable. At 7T, our digital transformation experts will prepare your team for the impending changes by developing a transition strategy. This may include trainings and informative sessions to help employees to understand that A) there is a better way of doing things and B) the company’s new technology plan will improve efficiency and productivity. This can be followed by a detailed explanation of how and why the changes will bring improvements.
The best digital transformation consultants will take the time to answer questions, address concerns and offer reassurance, workarounds, and tutorials. Each digital transition strategy is tailored to meet the company’s unique needs and culture. This ensures that your new technology will earn buy-in from the top down and the bottom up.
At 7T, we have overseen many digital transformations, providing companies with the strategy and technology they need to succeed. We achieve this with an experienced leadership team, backed by some of the industry’s best custom software developers, mobile app developers, ERP and CRM developers, and experts in data governance, cloud integrations and system integrations.
With offices in Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Austin, our team works with clients nationwide and beyond. So if you’re in search of an innovative team to guide your digital transformation from strategy development to completion, contact the team at 7T.