The Digitisation of businesses is one of the major themes of 2019, and although it creates numerous benefits, it proves to produce enormous challenges for companies. 49% of recruitment professionals chose ‘embracing the digital transformation’ as their top challenge. Nowadays, businesses are under increasing pressure to provide a flawless digital experience in their interactions. This means that companies born before the digital age must transform radically to remain relevant. Those who fail to do so either shrink or go out of business entirely. North American firms are significantly less likely to view embracing digital change as an operational challenge. This is because some firms are already incorporating strategies related to artificial intelligence and ‘transformative’ technology into their workflows and processes.
Challenges facing Businesses
Employee pushback - The biggest concern for most companies considering a digital push is employee adoption and how it will impact not only the company’s culture but its organisational structure. This means that employees may feel that their job is threatened by the changes in digital transformation, which isn’t good for morale or productivity.
Organisational resistance to change - To the majority of people, change means uncertainty and a challenge to their role or identity. Therefore it makes sense not to want to see your routine and progress get overturned by a dramatic change. Digital transformation, by its very nature, is a drastic change. However, the truth is that in times of change, not changing could be more damaging rather than taking that risk. Similar to employee pushback, a big challenge for businesses going through digital transformation is getting the full backing from employees and overcoming any organisational resistance to the change.
Lack of expertise leading the company through the transformation - Digital transformation will come with a collection of technical challenges and businesses need to be equipped with the right strategy and team before leaping. Employees who don’t have the expertise in leading the company through the transformation could jeopardise the whole transition.
Management of budget - It is likely that any business going through a digital transformation will face budgetary constraints that may limit any part of the transformation journey. With this being said, many companies who aren’t prepared for these financial obstacles can undertake severe repercussions and must be financially prepared to make the transition.
How to overcome the challenges
Develop a company-wide digital transformation strategy - You need a plan when going through with such a drastic transformation. A project is required to clarify a vision, set goals to reach it and give your whole team a purpose. Without strategy and purpose, many companies have crumbled. With this said, the plan must not be being carried out by one department that’s leading. It must be a collective goal as a company overall.
Put the employer first to avoid an employee ‘pushback’ - Keep your employees informed and involved through the whole process. Empower them and set them a goal in the future that they can all work towards. By helping your employees understand what’s at stake, it can be used as motivation to push them even further into their work.
Manage the shifting risk landscape - Shifting to a digital infrastructure requires a full evaluation of its impact on corporate risks. Risks can escalate with each digital improvement, and the complexity of global organisational structures can add unnecessary confusion to the risk management process. With that said, Digitised security systems usually encompass the structure as a whole. This means that risks involved in managing the digital enterprise are more comfortable to both identify and handle.